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Note: American Fork finished with a 5-5 regular season record in 2011 and a 2-3 record in Region 4. It lost to Viewmont, 21-0, in the first round of the 5A playoffs
AMERICAN FORK — After a rough first season in 2010, third-year American Fork head coach Aaron Behm feels his program is moving in the right direction. His team improved by two wins last season — finishing with a 5-5 record — and could easily have gone 8-2.
A couple of one-point loses to Riverton and Cottonwood were tough to take, but the narrow defeats are something Behm hopes his players have learned from.
“A couple of plays made here and there and we win those games,” said Behm. “I think that’s one of the big steps for us now. We need to make those plays toward the end of the game when it counts. I’m confident that we’ll be able to do that better this year.”
In order to make key plays during key situations you need playmakers, and Behm feels he’ll have some good ones.
“We’re going to have a lot of speedy guys on the edge,” said Behm. “Shayden Luker, Jade Lucker, Jonah Trinnamman and Chris Boone are all guys we’re going to count on to make plays out on the edge. Blake Harman is a tough downhill runner and we have some good, solid tight ends.”
Although the group of playmakers is potent, those guys are largely inexperienced at the varsity level. Many of Behm’s expected contributors come from a junior varsity team that went 7-2 last year.
“We have a lot of good guys coming up from our JV team and from a sophomore team that went undefeated,” said Behm. “We’re young, but I feel those guys are ready to do some great things for us this year.”
Another strength offensively looks to be at offensive line where three returning starters will be catalysts. Cohesion is an important factor with any offensive line and senior tackle McKay Rasmussen feels a great sense of unity with this year’s group.
“I feel that we’ve made some serious improvements on this year,” said Rasmussen. “I feel that we’ve worked very hard in the offseason and I think we’ll be unstoppable in a lot of areas. I know that sounds cocky, but it’s how we feel. It’s the same thing on the defensive line too, and I think our line play on both sides of the ball will be the big difference this year.”
At quarterback, Riley Smith is competing with Jeremy Evans for the starting spot.
“He started for us at Lone Peak and stayed composed and confident and I couldn't imagine a tougher situation for a first start,” said Behm. “He’s someone we have a lot of confidence in going into this season as a leader and as someone who will be able to get the ball effectively to our playmakers.”
American Fork Cavemen at a glance
Coach: Aaron Behm is entering his third year as American Fork's head coach. He's amassed an 8-12 record in his first two seasons. He's a graduate of Grant Community High in Illinois.
(4 returning starters, triple-option)
Although American Fork presents a triple-option attack, it'll look to open it up a bit more this year due to its expected strength on the edges.
"We won't be a spread offense, but we'll be changing up our offense from our traditional triple-option attack a bit," said Behm. "We'll look to take advantage of the strength we feel we'll have on the outside and will open it up a lot more to get the ball to our playmakers."
(3 returning starters, 3-4)
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