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Note: Hurricane finished with a 13-0 overall record and was first in Region 9 with a 6-0 record in 2011. It beat Desert Hills, 21-0, in the 3A championship game.
HURRICANE — Not that anyone is complaining, but Hurricane lost a bit of its identity when it finally broke through by winning last year’s 3A state championship.
Losing on the final play of three straight title games had come to define the program until last year’s undefeated season.
As far as Hurricane is concerned, it’s a new year and it’s just as hungry to go out and win another state championship.
“We’ve heard a lot of rumors saying that we’re going to live off last year’s (success) and we don’t even care, but that’s not true. We’re going to work hard every day, get in the weight room, do our sprints and hopefully come back next year with another title,” said senior Adam Thompson.
Coach Chris Homer hasn’t sensed any complacency from his players throughout the summer, and he’s confident in the leadership of his senior class that it won’t become a problem either.
Coming off a 13-0 season, and with a fair amount of starters returning, Hurricane not surprisingly was the overwhelming choice by the rest of coaches as the preseason No. 1 in 3A. One Region 9 coach went so far as to say Hurricane might even be better this year.
Homer isn’t ready to make such a bold prediction.
“I said last year I wasn’t sure how good our team was until we played Desert Hills, and that was Week 8. It might take a little while to fill out this team. It takes time to really get a feel for how good a team can be,” said Homer.
Outside of Thompson, who is one of the fastest players in the state, Homer said this year’s team doesn’t have the same type of star power it did a year ago. But there’s still plenty of talent across the board to expect another great season.
Last year Hurricane averaged 39 ppg, and with the explosive Thompson back another dominant season is possible.
As a junior last year, Thompson had 81 carries for 827 yards and 12 TDs. His 10.2 yard per carry average is proof he’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
“That’s one guy I think I may even overlook how good he is. He’s so fast. You can throw him into kick return situations, punt return situations. He’s got good hands he can catch the ball,” said Homer.
“Adam has special speed, and I don’t think it mattered what classification that kid was in. By next year he’ll be running under 11 in the 100 in track, but the good thing is he has football speed too. It translate into pads, plus he has agility and moves laterally.”
Thompson was part of a three-headed running back monster last year that included 3A MVP Brian Scott and first team all-stater Weston Yardley. Without the other two, defenses will inevitably key more on Thompson. That’s risky according to Homer.
Even though Homer’s unsure who will emerge as his second starting wingback alongside Thompson, he has complete faith in Jared Edwards taking over for Scott at fullback
Edwards led Hurricane in tackles last season as a junior linebacker. He’ll bring that same tenacity to the offense.
“Jared’s a quality fullback — people have no idea. He’s just overshadowed. He’s just a different style and different kid,” said Homer.
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