Snow Canyon had a pretty solid defense last year considering the poor field position it often found itself in, and the potential is there to be better this year.
Snow Canyon Warriors at a glance
Coach: This is Jay Graft’s fourth year in his second stint as Snow Canyon’s head coach. He has an 8-19 record in the past three years. He was previously the coach at Snow Canyon from 2002-2004 with a 19-13 record. Including one year at Bear River in 2001, his all-time coaching record in seven seasons is 32-36. He is a graduate of Woodridge High in Virginia.
(7 returning starters; I-backs offense)
Snow Canyon was an average passing team and an average rushing team last year, but this year it’s hoping to establish an identity as a strong running team. It starts on the line with a returning starter at center, right guard and right tackle. RB Mitchell Phillips is much more suited to capitalize on that experience this year. After sitting out his sophomore year, he still led Snow Canyon in rushing last year as a junior. He’s capable of going over 1,000 yards this year with an experienced line in front of him. Last year Snow Canyon’s quarterback threw 15 TDs against 14 interceptions. Newcomer Mason Smith will be counted on to improve that ratio.
(4 returning starters)
Coach Graft expects that all 11 defensive starters this year will be assets instead of liabilities. Jake Lindsey is a great pass rusher at defensive end, and he’s also very quick laterally, which makes it tough for teams to get outside him. Nakoin Slivers is a newcomer at defensive end who should complement him. Cade Bunting, Taylor Johanson and Corbin Moffitt will all be solid contributors at linebacker. Shandon Esplin is a returning starter at cornerback, while Jace Graft saw some playing time at safety.
Coaches preseason Region 9 straw poll: Sixth
Deseret News Region 9 prediction: Sixth
Bottom line: There’s no room for error in Region 9, and Snow Canyon made a ton of errors last season. Odds are good that Snow Canyon wins a few more games this year, but whether or not those extra wins come in region play hinges on cutting down on turnovers and winning a few close games in the fourth quarter. Snow Canyon’s playoff fortunes will likely still be up in the air heading into the regular season finale at Pine View.
Aug. 17 — at San Juan, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — SHADOW RIDGE, NEV., 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — at Park City, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — NORTH SANPETE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — CANYON VIEW, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — HURRICANE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — at Cedar, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 — DIXIE, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — at Pine View, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Snow Canyon High School
All-time record: 114-73 (18 years)
Region championships: 5 (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2003 co)
Playoff appearances: 11
All-time playoff record: 19-9
State championships: 2 (1996, 1999)
State championship record: 2-2
Most played rivalry: 21 meetings with Dixie dating back to 1994. Snow Canyon leads 12-9. Meet on Oct. 12.
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