(4 returning starters; Spread offense)
Payson only averaged 18.6 ppg last season, but senior quarterback Devan Judd is hoping to improve that production. His primary receiving threats are senior KK Loveless and sophomore Preston Little. Coach Chapman said that physically Little was the team’s best receiver as a freshman last year but mentally he wasn’t ready. Kyle Moffat rushed for 374 yards and five touchdowns last year, but the junior should have a much better campaign this year running behind an offensive line with three returning starters.
(6 returning starters)
Getting stops was a problem last year, but Payson is counting on a strong front seven and a new scheme to change that this year. Anchoring the defensive line are a pair of seniors, Rueben Uresti and Taris Schramm. The two combined on 73 tackles and six sacks last season. Sophomore John Harmon is a deceiving strength at linebacker despite standing just 5-foot-7 and weighing 170 pounds. Chapman said he’s a natural leader and expects him to have a strong season after starting as a freshman last year.
Coaches preseason Region 12 straw poll: Fourth
Deseret News Region 12 prediction: Third
Bottom line: Chapman hasn’t shied away from saying the 2012 season will be a disappointment if the Lions don’t earn a home playoff game by finishing in the Top 2 in Region 12. For a team that hasn’t enjoyed a winning season since 1978, simply making the playoffs seems like a more reasonable goal. Even that is no guarantee. Spanish Fork and Delta are tough as always, while Juab is expected to have another strong season. Even Carbon and North Sanpete are both expected to be improved from last year.
Aug. 17 — at Granger, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — SALEM HILLS, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — at Maple Mountain, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — LEHI, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — at Union, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — at Delta, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — at North Sanpete, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — JUAB, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 — at Carbon, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — SPANISH FORK, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Payson High School
All-time record: 373-411-39 (101 years)
Region championships: 15 (1909, 1919, 1921, 1925, 1928, 1932, 1943, 1949, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976 co)
Playoff appearances: 24
All-time playoff record: 15-20-2
State championships: 4 (1925, 1943, 1969, 1971)
State championship record: 2-4-1 * Payson and South Sevier tied in the semifinals in 1925, but no state championship was held. Both were awarded state titles.
Most played rivalry: 92 meetings with Springville dating back to 1909. Springville leads 54-31-7. Last met in 2010.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Payson holds the state record for the fewest passing yards allowed in a game: minus-20 in 1976 against Carbon. ... Payson played the most tie games in a single season with five in 1937.
Payson coaching history
2009-present — Jeremy Chapman (12-18)
2007-2008 — Jared Woolstenhulme (6-15)
2003-2006 — Colby Knight (8-33)
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