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Note: Sky View High finished with a 5-6 overall record and tied for second in Region 5 with a 3-2 in 2011. It lost to Skyline in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
SMITHFIELD — Over the last decade or so, two Cache Valley schools have made plenty of noise in the Utah prep football playoffs, as Logan and Mountain Crest have won six state championships between them since 2000.
This year, though, it could be Sky View's turn to taste some of that sweet postseason success.
The Bobcats, who have reached the state playoffs in six of the last seven seasons under head coach Craig Anhder, are hoping to take the next step toward making a big name for themselves with a solid lineup featuring experienced performers and promising newcomers.
"I feel really good about things this year," said Anhder, who's beginning his eighth season at the Sky View helm. "I think our greatest asset for this team is their attitude. They have got just an incredible attitude. We don't have selfish kids. They want to do well as a team, probably more so than we've had here for the last three or four years.
"We have good team unity and a real good buy-in to the program. They're hard workers, the kind of kids that would go through a brick wall for you. It's fun to coach them and be around them."
Leading the way for the Bobcats' offense this season will be junior quarterback Braxton Godderidge, whose leadership entrusted the team to select him as one of its co-captains.
"He started two games for us last year and he played substantial time in some other games," Anhder said. "He's a great leader; I think that's his greatest asset. The team buys into him and he finds a way to be successful. They noticed he's a great leader, recognized that and voted him in as one of our team co-captains."
At tailback, senior Skyler Hunt, who saw substantial playing time last year, returns. "He's strong and he's running very well," the Bobcats' coach said. Dane Anderson, a junior, will also see playing time at tailback.
At the H-back position, senior Nathan Payne, who also played quite a bit last year and came down with several touchdown catches to his credit, gives them another a solid receiver.
The tight end job belongs to Ethan Dursteller, a good athlete who earned all-state honors at defensive end last year and is one of Sky View's few two-way starters.
Daniel Lemon, a 6-foot-3 senior wide receiver, is "tearing it up," Anhder says. "With that 6-3 body, his routes are great and he's catching the ball well. I think he's gonna have a real impact for us this year."
Mitch Larson, another senior who started most of last year, is "just a solid, possession-type receiver. He runs great routes and gets open," Anhder said.
"I feel good about our whole offense. Our offensive line is good and strong coming back."
On the O-line, tackle Kody Willmore and center Jarin Loveday are both returning starters, and they'll be joined by promising junior guards Kaden Diderickson and Seth White, along with senior offensive tackle Kristian Larson, who moves very well for a big man.
Over on defense, the starting tackles are senior Joe Humphries, who started much of last year, and sophomore Tyler Downs, who also saw starting duty last year as a freshman.
Dursteller and senior Kacey Shaw will man the defensive end spots, with sophomore Ben Wattyne providing depth on the D-line.
The Bobcats will have three new starters — seniors Kyle Johnson and Kyle Jorgensen and junior Robert Ercanbrack — at the linebacker positions.
The secondary includes seniors McKay Milne and Nick Haynie at cornerback, with Brad Weaver — who sat all of last season after sustaining a serious concussion playing basketball — at free safety and Kyle Standing at strong safety.
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