“He’s one of the top receivers in the state, I think,” said Higginson. “He was only a sophomore last year and I think he’s going to be tremendous. We have some good seniors and when we we’re able to solidify a quarterback to get those guys the ball, then we could be really good.”
Along the offensive front Higginson will start a lot of underclassmen, including three sophomores.
“All of them are big guys, but we’re going to be inexperienced there,” said Higginson. “I like our young sophomores though, and in a few years they’re all going to be tremendous players. I love the kids I’ve been able to work with and really believe we’ll turn this thing around and be competitive here soon.”
Salem Hills Skyhawks at a glance
Coach: Joel Higginson starred at receiver for Spanish Fork and then for Utah State at the collegiate level. He was an assistant coach at both Spanish Fork and Salem Hills before taking his current post.
Gone is the triple-option at Salem Hills in favor of a spread offense that should fit right in with pass-happy Region 8.
“It’s the offense I know and what I’m comfortable running here,” said Higginson. “It’s also the offense that best suits our current talent, so yeah, we plan on throwing the ball around and hopefully we can be successful with it.”
(Base 4-3 defense)
Not as much will change on the defensive end with Higginson holding over largely the same defense the coaches have run in the past.
“It’s not a complicated system and it’s looked really good for us in practices so far,” said Higginson. “We’ll be very conservative, but we have a coach who really knows when to take his shots, so I think our base is going to be really strong. I’m excited about the direction of our defense.”
Coach’s preseason Region 8 straw poll: Eighth
Deseret News Region 8 prediction: Eighth
Bottom line: It’s not going to be easy for Salem Hills to have a Maple Mountain-like breakthrough in 2012. There are too many question marks at key positions — such as offensive line and at quarterback — to prognosticate much success. Coach Higginson brings a lot of enthusiasm and promise, however, so don’t be surprised if the Skyhawks pull some upsets and find themselves out of the Region 8 cellar.
Fri. Aug. 17 — Juan Diego, 7 p.m.
Fri. Aug. 24 — at Payson, 7 p.m.
Fri. Aug. 31 — at Juab, 7 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 7 — Timpanogos, 7 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 14 — at Orem, 7 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 21 — at Provo, 7 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 28 — Springville, 7 p.m.
Thu. Oct. 4 — Timpview, 7 p.m.
Wed. Oct. 10 — at Mountain View, 7 p.m.
Wed. Oct. 17 — at Maple Mountain, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Salem Hills High School
All-time record: 11-30 (4 years)
Region championships: 0
Playoff appearances: 2
All-time playoff record: 0-2
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-0
Most played rivalry: 4 meetings with two schools, Springville and Uintah, both dating back to 2008. Springville leads 4-0 and Uintah leads 3-1. Meets Springville on Sept. 28; last met Uintah in 2010.
Felt’s Factoid(s): SH is one of just 11 schools to qualify for the playoffs in its first year of football.
Salem Hills coaching history
2012 — Joel Higginson
2008-2011 — Monte Morgan (11-30)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
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