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Note: Mountain View finished with a 3-6 record overall and was sixth in Region 8 with a 2-5 record in 2011. It did not qualify for the 4A playoffs.
OREM — Twenty-eleven was a tough year for Mountain View. Although they were young and inexperienced, the Bruins found themselves just short of knocking off some top region teams, including Timpview.
That’s all in the past now, however, and this year the Bruins hope to be a much different team — one that's experienced and poised to make a run at both the playoffs and the Region 8 title.
“With what we went through last year — the lessons we learned and the experience we have back — we’re feeling good about things,” said coach Jon Snyder. “We’re deeper at most positions and won’t have as many players playing both ways, so we think that will help us.”
Snyder believes the big lesson learned from 2011 was consistency in the Bruins' approach.
“We really put it all out for Timpview early in the year and put so much of our focus on just beating them,” explained Snyder. “When it didn’t happen, after we dominated them for most of the game, we had a tough time recovering from it and I think it really affected us being such a young team. I think it was a big lesson not only for the players, but for us as coaches.”
Snyder is entering his third year as head coach, which is typically when coaches feel their systems are completely in place. That feeling exists at Mountain View with players being optimistic as a result.
“We feel great about this coming season,” said senior Atunaisa Palu. “We’re a smaller team, but we’re quicker and we’re faster than we were last year. ... A lot of people are looking down on us because we’re a small team, but I always tell them that it’s like David and Goliath — you just have to have faith and push forward.”
Palu is expected to do a lot for the team this season at running back, slot and maybe even on defense.
“Naisa (Palu) is a great team leader and just a great kid who does his work on and off the field,” said Snyder. “He rushed for a lot of yards for us last year and he’s just the type of kid you want back to lead the team. He’s going to have a great year.”
At quarterback, Snyder may opt to go with two quarterbacks this season.
“We have George Beaton, who I brought in some last year because he runs the options so well,” said Snyder. “Then there’s Jacob Bingham, who is a better thrower. So we have some good confidence in (both), so we may be using both of them.”
The key receivers are expected to be Kalin Curran and Pupunu Sitake. “I like our receivers a lot and so we may be throwing a lot more this season,” said Snyder.
Along the offensive front Snyder is leaving it up to Mike Empey, whom he has a load of confidence in.
“We lost a couple of big guys, but I don’t worry about what goes on there with coach Empey,” said Snyder. “He coaches up guys so well that I’m not at all concerned that he’ll have them going good again.”
On defense Snyder feels strong at almost every position — starting with his linebackers.
“Our linebackers should be phenomenal,” said Snyder. “We have Brooks Benson and Delu Cruser as our inside guys and they’re both great players. At line we’re going to have a lot of guys play just defense when there were a lot of guys who played both ways last season.”
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