High school football: Felt's Facts Week 1

Published: Thursday, Aug. 16 2012 8:37 a.m. MDT

Hurricane – 2008-present – This long suffering program had just two 10-win seasons before Chris Homer came to town. Although he was 33-40 his first seven seasons, the Tigers found a winning formula in 2008. Since then, they've posted double-digit win seasons each year with a combined 48-7 record. Hurricane has also won four straight region championships (of their 10 total), appeared in the 3A title game each season and captured their first state title in 2011 powered by all-state MVP Brian Scott.

Kearns – 1988-1989 – The Cougars culminated back-to-back winning seasons with their second state championship. Jeremy Castro and LeRoy Vea were both named all-state MVPs on that '89 championship team. Coach Tom Larsen directed Kearns to a 17-5 record, its first 10-win season and a region title in his last two seasons with the Cougars.

Lehi – 1996-2002 – Adjusting to three coaches over seven seasons didn't stop the Pioneers from taking region crowns in 1996, '97, '99 and 2000 and from winning the 2000 Class 3A trophy. Both Chad Smith and Sam Trulock were cited as all-state MVPs in 2000. Chad Wilson, Steve Clements (who coached Lehi to the 2000 title) and Joe Hays led the Pioneers to a 60-20 record over those seven seasons and a playoff appearance every season.

Milford – 1990-1994 – The Tigers won their only football championship – in 1993 – and two region titles, despite operating under four coaching regimes in five years. Milford compiled a 40-14 record, including three 9-2 seasons, the three best in Milford's history. The Tigers advanced at least to the semifinals every year and to the championship game twice. Brennan Jackson ('90-91), Cleve Weaver ('92), Mike Grajek ('93) and Franklin Bramall ('94) coached during that era while Jared Barnes was awarded all-state MVP in '93.

Orem – 1962-1970 – Udell Westover (through 1968) and Charlie Dine (1969-70) directed the Tigers to a 90-11-4 record and eight region titles in nine years (missing only in '69). Orem also captured state championships in 1962 and '68 and made three other title-game appearances. Craig Crompton was recognized as all-state MVP in '68, the first year MVPs were awarded.

Salem Hills – 2009 – In its second year, under Monte Morgan, the Skyhawks posted a 6-5 record, their only winning season – so far – and advanced to the playoffs for the second straight season.

South – 1962-1965 – The Cubs claimed their only state football championship in 1954. But Dale Simmons guided them to their best span of years and a 28-8-2 record. That included a region title and a school-record eight wins in 1965. Incidentally, South played football from 1931 until closing in 1987.

Syracuse – 2008-present – After an inaugural 0-10 season in 2007, Russ Jones coached the Titans to the state semifinals in '08, completing one of the biggest turnarounds in state history. Since 2008, they're 33-13. Syracuse again advanced to the semifinals in 2011, with the school's only two-time all-state player, Hunter Dimick.

Wasatch Academy – 1920-1924 – Under T.P. Fox's guidance, the Tigers won region championships in 1922 and '24 en route to a 22-7-1 record. Wasatch Academy, located in Mount Pleasant, fielded gridiron teams from 1912 through 1971, winning a state championship in 1943.

West – 1973-1984 – Over the final 12 years of coach Gean Plaga's stellar career, the Panthers won four state championships ('73, '75, '80, '84) and appeared in three more. West won six region titles, compiling a 106-32-1 record. Mark Blosch (1980), Perry Bradford (1975), Craig Child (1978), Dave O'Bagy (1971), Steve Peake (1973) and Jeff Takenaka (1984) were all-state MVPs for West. (The only Panther awarded all-state MVP not from this era was Jeff Holtry in 1992 and '93.)

Woods Cross – 1988-1989 – The Wildcats captured their only region title in 1988 and made their only championship game appearance in '89 as John Hanning directed them to an 18-6 record.

Eight of WX's 25 all-time all-state players were recognized those two seasons. Perhaps the best known of the eight is Kitt Rawlings, who set a then-state record for season all-purpose yards (3,267) in 1989.

Finally

There were 1,134,377 players in football in 2010 across the U.S., according to the National Federation of High Schools. Of those, 1,561 were girls.

The Utah High School Activities Assn. (UHSAA) has more current figures: 8,212 participants in Utah in 2011, but just 1 girl, at Pleasant Grove, well under the national average. Applying that average to Utah, there should be have been around 12 girls playing football in Utah.

Alta, Bingham and Cedar each attracted 155 participants to their programs, tops in the state, while Milford drew just 24 – but that's one in four of its male students.

Felt's Facts welcomes questions - feel free to email utahprepfb@gmail.com

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