Two games pit first-time head coaches: American Leadership (Bobby Kauo) at Layton Christian (Kitt Rawlings) and Provo (Cody Mallory) at Westlake (Gary Clark).
One other contest matches experienced coaches who are new to their school: Ben Lomond, under Bill Mierzejewski (30 years in Wyoming, Idaho and overseas) visits Union, directed by Matt Labrum (five years at Parowan).
Duchesne owns the longest current winning streak, 22, and the 12th longest all-time streak, but the Eagles don't play until Week 2. However, Logan (14), Lone Peak (14), Hurricane (13), all undefeated last year, and Manti (10) put long winning streaks on the line.
Meanwhile, Weber (13 losses), Union (11), Cyprus (10), Parowan (10), and Tooele (10) will all attempt to snap double-digit losing streaks.
Jordan will try and capture its 500th victory when the Beetdiggers invade Fremont…. Kanab competes in its 600th game and Juab in game #550.
Delta starts its 90th season of football, Ben Lomond, Monticello and Olympus begin their 60th, while Mountain Crest and Pine View open their 30th.
Two significant changes highlight eight new rules in effect this year.
(1) If a player loses his helmet (unless caused by an opponent's penalty) while the ball is live, he must sit out one play, unless it's the end of the half or game that is going into overtime. That's a new rule in college football as well, although in college, the player must immediately stop participating in the play.
(2) A receiver must now catch the ball and land inbounds – regardless of the opponent's action. Previously, if an airborne receiver was shoved out of bounds before landing, the official could rule a completed pass if he thought the player would have otherwise come down inbounds. Now, if the receiver is pushed out of bounds while in the air, the pass is incomplete.
Another rule change penalizes grabbing an opponent's tooth and mouth protector – yuck – as a facemask penalty.
(More can be found at nfhs.org.)
Golden Years – School by School, Those Were - or Are - the Days
Duchesne is seeking its third straight state championship, while Juan Diego hunts for its fourth in five years and Bingham and San Juan go after their third in four seasons. Hurricane celebrated a breakthrough championship and has appeared in four straight championship games after years of futility.
For these programs and a few others, there's no pining over the "good old days." Their time is now.
Through the regular season, Felt's Facts will identify the golden era in football for every high school. Around 10 active schools will be randomly selected each week, with two or three of discontinued programs thrown in for good measure.
Although based on fact – as always – the results are, of course, subject to debate. This feature generally looks for golden years, rather than a single golden season. So enjoy the first installment.
Alta – 2005-2009 – Under Les Hamilton, the Hawks compiled a 56-12 record with four consecutive double-digit win seasons and captured five straight region titles. Alta advanced at least to the semifinals all five seasons and won back-to-back state championships in 2007 and '08. Including the Deseret News' Mr. Football Award, Alta produced five all-state MVPs during those years: Boo Andersen, Ammon Olsen, Ryan Rosenvall and Sausan Shakerin – twice.
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