Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
PLAIN CITY — One of them is proudly sporting a bright blue Mohawk hairdo. Another could play the title role in a production of "Blackbeard." One's got dreadlocks that would make Real Salt Lake star Kyle Beckerman proud. And the other one, well, his hairdo and lack of facial hair makes him look pretty darned normal. Or, alongside his "folically enhanced"
Fremont High School football teammates, almost abnormal.
Yes, meet the Fremont High School starting defensive line: Luke Hollingsworth (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and Jake Gallegos (6-3, 255) manning the D-tackle positions, with Josh Talbot (6-3, 215) and Lloyd Stephens (6-3, 200) standing tall on the ends.
These four hard-hitting seniors have played a huge role in the Silver Wolves' success this season, helping anchor a strong defensive unit that's only given up around a dozen points per game.
And they'll no doubt play a huge role again Friday at 2:30 p.m. when Fremont (10-2) faces undefeated Lone Peak (13-0) for this year's 5A state championship at the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium.
"All four of those guys have started varsity games for us over the last three years," said Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter. "They've been real solid for us all year, and they're a big reason we're able to do the things we do defensively. It starts up there.
"They're going to be huge in how we contain him (Lone Peak quarterback Chase Hansen)."
Hollingsworth, he of the blue faux-hawk — think Mohawk, but without the sides being shaved all the way to the scalp — said that reaching the 5A finals for a second straight year is a great accomplishment.
But there's one more giant step that they're still hoping to take.
"It means that we've reached all our season goals and we're right back where we wanted to be," he said. "We've got one goal left now."
Yep, all that's left for them now is winning a state championship.
"It's something that would always stay with us," Hollingsworth said. "I'm sure every kid in high school dreams about playing in the state championship and winning the state championship. It's something that stays with you forever."
It would also be the first one in school history and would be a great way to thank a community that has shown tremendous support for this program ever since the school opened its doors in the mid-1990s.
"We've dreamed about this our whole lives," said Stephens, the most "establishment" looking member of the D-line foursome. "We've talked about it ever since we were just little, talked about 'when we win state.'
"I really believe we have the best community support in the whole state. Come to one of our home games and the community gets out and everyone's there early. Our community deserves it and our school deserves it."
Fremont lost to Bingham in last year's state finals, 30-7. And, in the Silver Wolves' only other state championship appearance, they lost a 21-20 overtime heartbreaker to Skyline in 1995.
"Fremont has yet to win a state championship," said Talbot, he of the dreadlocks. "I think it would make our community proud and it would make me proud. It's something I've looked forward to since I was like 7 years old, playing Pee Wee ball."
Unbeaten, high-scoring Lone Peak, led by its multi-talented senior quarterback Hansen, would be considered the definite favorite in Friday's title game.
But Gallegos, whose dyed-black beard makes him look like a 25-year-old truck driver instead of a high school senior, pointed out that the Silver Wolves have grown accustomed to being the underdog.
"Last year, we heard how Pleasant Grove was going to beat us, and then how Skyline was going to beat us, and then how Lone Peak was going to beat us," Gallegos said, referring to the Wolves' stellar run to the 5A finals a year ago. "This year, we heard how we were going to get upset by Brighton.
"I think we get respect. I just think people tend to think other teams are higher quality than us. We love being that underdog.
"We've got just as good a shot at winning this game as they do," Gallegos said. "These are two teams that bring two completely different play-styles to the grid and
we'll see what happens."
Hollingsworth agreed. "We love being the underdog," he said. "It's fun and it gives us an opportunity to go play our style of ball."
Keep in mind that, when this group of seniors were 9th-graders, the Silver Wolves struggled through a 1-9 season.
How far they've come over the last three years, and seeing how much all their hard work has paid off, has made this experience extra-special.
The Silver Wolves' defensive linemen all agreed that getting a chance to get back to Rice-Eccles Stadium for the semifinals — a dramatic 21-14 overtime victory over Region 1 rival Syracuse — and now the finals has been the realization of a season-long goal.
"It's been magical," Gallegos said, who admitted that knocking off Bingham in this year's quarterfinals was "definitely a sweet moment."
"It would be historical to win a state championship. We've never won one at Fremont. And just to say we won one with these guys right here would be the highlight of my life."
Now, it's up to the power of the Blue Mohawk, Blackbeard, the Dreads and Lloyd the Normal-looking Guy to do their best to try and make history happen.
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