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Note: Altamont finished with a 2-8 overall record and a 1-5 record in the 1A North Division in 2011. It lost to Layton Christian, 28-21, in the 1A quarterfinals.
When asked what he expects out of his team in the upcoming season, Altamont head coach Mick Fieldstead paused, and then said, “I’m not really sure.”
He then added, “We have a lot of young kids, but they have quite a bit of experience.”
Those players earned their experience the hard way, winning just two games last season, only one of which was to an in-state foe with a late-season victory over Milford.
Since then, the Longhorns graduated two kids — their quarterback and a contributing running back —but return their core, including all of their offensive and defensive lines. The team will be led this season by six seniors, three of whom started while the rest still had plenty of time on the field last year.
“We have a pretty good senior class coming back,” Fieldstead said. “They are our leaders.”
Alex Mackay is one of those leaders. The senior spent last year both catching and throwing the ball and is now competing for the spot as QB-1.
“We lost our quarterback, but we now have two kids competing for that position,” Fieldstead said, mentioning both Mackay and junior Dillon Lindsey.
Other seniors include linemen Sheldon Thacker, Blake Thompson, and Cassidy Smith, who was an all-state selection last season; Chance Goodrich, a tight end and linebacker; and Kyle Foy, who returns as the team’s leading rusher after posting 1,405 yards last season.
“He was our top running back and was all-state last year,” Fieldstead said of Foy. “We’re glad him to have him back out there this year.”
Fieldstead is also glad to have another Foy, sophomore Rylee, back on the field. Rylee Foy was one of three freshmen — along with Talon Gines and Slaton Thompson — to see playing time last season.
Rylee Foy is a lineman who started both ways a year ago. Gines earned time as a tight end and linebacker. And Thompson filled the roles of defensive back, running back and receiver.
“There will be a couple sophomores who will be playing quite a bit,” Fieldstead said of those boys.
Many of the boys on the 35-person Longhorn football team — which makes up approximately 45 percent of the male class at Altamont High — also wrestle. And, Fieldstead says, although they are not very big, the experience winning on the wrestling mat is translating to the football field.
“We’re not real big, but we are quick. And the boys work very hard. I think we have a pretty good shot being there near the end — if we can stay healthy.”
Altamont Longhorns at a glance
Coach: Mick Fieldstead is entering his fourth year as the head coach at Altamont, having compiled an overall record of 15-17. Fieldstead is a graduate of Altamont High.
(9 returning starters; Multiple-formation offenses)
The Longhorns run the ball 80 percent of the time, which primarily means getting the ball into the hands of senior Kyle Foy, who had over 1,400 yards as a junior. The quarterback position is in a state of flux as senior Alex Mackay — who was the backup QB a year ago — and junior Dillon Lindsey compete for that spot. The offensive line is anchored by senior all-stater Cassidy Smith, and he is surrounded by the same group that started with him a year ago.
(8 returning starters)
Just as with the offensive line, Smith and the defensive line return unchanged this year. The Altamont defense gave up 298 points last season. That number is far from the worst in 1A — it as actually tied for fifth out of nine schools — but leaves a great amount of room for improvement.
Coaches’ preseason class 1A straw poll: Fourth
Deseret News preseason class 1A prediction: Fourth
Bottom line: Due purely to the size of this 1A football school, Altamont needs to stay healthy throughout the season in order to compete. This year is slightly different for the Longhorns in that they usually depend on upperclassmen to get things done. This season, younger kids will need to step up and make a difference.
Aug. 17 — at South Summit, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — LYMAN, WYO., 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — SUMMIT, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — at Diamond Ranch, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — at Carbon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — RICH, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — MONTICELLO, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — at Layton Christian, 4 p.m.
Oct. 12 — MONUMENT VALLEY, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — at Duchesne, 7 p.m.
Felts Facts for Altamont High School
All-time record: 138-239 (40 years)
Region championships: 1 (1978)
Playoff appearances: 25
All-time playoff record: 8-25
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-1
Most played rivalry: 63 meetings with Duchesne dating back to 1973. Duchesne leads 36-27. Meet on Oct. 17.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Altamont has played 40 seasons, but has clashed with top-rival Duchesne 63 times. The rivalry is the third-longest uninterrupted active series in the state. ... Longhorn Kyle Foy set the single-game rushing record of 451 yards last season against Milford.
Altamont coaching history
2009-current — Mick Fieldstead (15-17)
2006-2008 — Daniel Zabriskie (3-26)
1998-2005 — Mark Barnum (35-44)
1996-1997 — Robert Marshall (7-12)
1995 — Darrin Jensen (3-8)
1991-1994 — Robert Marshall (25-15)
1986-1990 — Dave Peck (14-33)
1982-1985 — Frank Hill (5-31)
1980-1981 — Kim Petersen (1-14)
1977-1979 — Jack Barton (14-13)
1974-1976 — Bill Manzanares (15-12)
1972-1973 — Rod Jorgensen (Unknown)
1949 — Glenn Allred (0-6)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2011 — Kyle Foy, FB/LB
2010 — Zaquri Brinkerhoff, OL/LB
2010 — Dalton Smith, OL/DL
2009 — Zach Hatch, RB/LB
2009 — Waylon Thompson, RB/LB
2007 — Kyle Pugh, OL/DL
2005 — Matt Kolford, RB/DL
2004 — Gavin Lindsay, QB
2004 — Nathan Wilcox, LB
2003 — Ramsey Miles, RB/LB
2003 — Nils Myrin, WR/FSComment on this story
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.