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Note: Davis High finished with a 5-4-1 overall record and was third in Region 1 with a 3-2 record in 2011. It lost to Jordan in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
KAYSVILLE — They don't have a ton of returning starters on Davis High School's football team this year.
Nor do they have players who possess overwhelming physical size and strength.
Nor do they have a bunch of guys with eye-popping athletic ability.
What the Darts do have, however, is a program steeped with a rich winning tradition and made up of a determined group of hard-working, competitive young men, a savvy and enthusiastic coaching staff and tremendous community support. Together, those things should make for another solid season in the land of those ages-old Brown and Gold uniforms.
"I like how we're competing every day in practice," said Davis High head coach Ryan Bishop, who begins his 12th season of running the Darts' ship. "... We've asked the kids to compete hard ... and I like the way they've battled through things. I like the way they've responded. I like the way they compete against each other.
"Where we don't have a lot of returning starters but we have a group of kids that we feel like has put themselves in a position to make the most of their opportunities, my No. 1 thing is just trying to get them to understand what a high level they have to prepare for right out of the chutes.
"I can't talk enough about Region 1 and the competitive balance in Region 1," he said. "Our four nonregion games to begin the schedule are with Brighton, Viewmont, Cottonwood and Hunter. It doesn't get more physical than that. So while I feel good about how we're competing and trying to get the kids to understand and preparing them to be at a high level right out of the chutes, the bottom line is I'm as curious as anyone to see how we're going to respond and especially respond with that four-game preseason schedule and see where we're at."
Only two starters return on offense for a Davis program that has grown accustomed to winning for decades.
Senior quarterback Gage Cook steps in as the team's top signal-caller.
"He's been working hard; he's put himself in a position to start the season for us," Bishop said, "and we're really looking forward to seeing how he responds. He's had a good offseason, and we've got a little depth at quarterback, so we're really curious to see how he responds."
Cook will be backed up by junior Colton Chronister.
Along the offensive line, seniors Sam Matina and Carlyle Findley will see playing time at center; seniors Cooper Brown and Ben Bracken and junior Sam Christensen are the team's top offensive guards, and seniors Wyatt Anderson and Jake Sessions and junior Zach Wright take over at the offensive tackle spots.