The first-year coach believes heavily in academics, and in the 55 minutes between when school lets out at 2:35 and when football practice begins at 3:30, he’ll make sure the players are in his classroom studying.
He also wants to involve the community as much as possible, which is no easy task with the program's tradition of losing. Ben Lomond’s last winning season was a 6-5 record in 2000.
“There are some good kids here to get behind,” said Mierzejewski.
Ben Lomond Scots at a glance
Coach: Bill Mierzejewski is entering his first year as head coach at Ben Lomond. He’s never been a head coach in Utah, but he has 30-plus years of coaching experience in Idaho and Okinawa, Japan. He’s a graduate of Plainville, Conn.
(5 returning starters; Wing-T offense)
Ben Lomond only had 11 touchdowns last year, and most of those were scored by departing seniors. The coaching staff is hoping a switch to the Wing-T offense will increase that productivity. Austin Sullins will start at quarterback after very limited playing time at the position last year. He did throw a second-half TD against Stansbury, though. Khalil Cullis will be his primary receiving threat. Braxton Chapman takes over for graduated Nate Watkins as the primary running back, with Mario Anderson expected to step in and fill the fullback role.
(5 returning starters)
Most teams run the football in Region 11, and stopping the run wasn’t much of a strength for the Scots last year. The coaching staff believes in rotating multiple players in and out to keep them fresh throughout the game and the season. The team has several quality defensive end-type players who should help in that category. Alberto Garcilazo and Anderson will anchor the linebacker positions, with Chapman expected to do the same at safety.
Coaches preseason Region 11 straw poll: Seventh
Deseret News Region 11 prediction: Seventh
Bottom line: Coach Mierzejewski is a great motivator, and so far the kids have bought in. If he can keep that up, the young Scots should win a few games this year and lay the foundation to try and be competitive in the coming years as well. At a school that hasn’t had a winning season since 2000 though, that is much easier said than done.
Aug. 17 — at Union, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — at Wasatch, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — CARBON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — at Ogden, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — MORGAN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — BEAR RIVER, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — at Grantsville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — at Stansbury, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 — at Tooele, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — STANSBURY, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Ben Lomond High School
All-time record: 167-379-9 (59 years)
Region championships: 3 (1965, 1967 co, 1985 co)
Playoff appearances: 11
All-time playoff record: 10-11
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-3
Most played rivalry: 63 meetings with Ogden dating back to 1953. Ogden leads 44-19. Meet on Sept. 14.
Felt’s Factoid(s): The winner of the Ben Lomond-Ogden game claims the Iron Horse — one of just seven traveling trophies currently being contested in Utah prep football. Seven of their 63 matchups have gone into overtime, the most between any two teams. ... BL’s Emmett White holds the state record for all-purpose career yards with 8,532 set from 1994-97. He also returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns during his career, another Utah prep record.
Ben Lomond coaching history
2012 — Bill Mierzejewski
2011 — Don Kenyon (2-7)
2007-2010 — Jeff Kilts (6-34)
2005-2006 — Nick Howell (4-16)
2003-2004 — Art Burtenshaw (6-15)
2000-2002 — Aaron Tillett (10-22)
1997-1999 — Guy Andersen (11-18)
1995-1996 — Garry Walker (1-17)
1991-1994 — Roger Howell (9-27)
1989-1990 — Jerre Holmes (4-15)
1984-1988 — Ralph Johnson (18-33)
1983 — Holger Hansen (5-6)
1976-1982 — Brent Belnap (28-38)
1963-1975 — Al Kapp (35-74)
1953-1962 — William "Twist" Jones (28-57)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
Contributing: Jessica Wilde, Conner Johnson, Steve Mundee and prep football historian George Felt.