“I feel pretty good about things,” said Croshaw. “I’m still having to adjust to the high school level.”
He’s learned that the key to success in prep sports is depth. If a program has numbers, it can withstand injuries and other problems.
“In college, if you don’t have someone at a position, you can go out and recruit one,” he said. “But in high school, you’re at the mercy of who lives in your boundaries, who decides to come out as a freshman or who moves in. We scrimmaged Timpview, and they had 190 kids out for football. That’s the key to success.”
Like his players, he feels the chemistry between players and coaches has improved.
“The final goal is to get as far as you can in state,” he said.
The players know some may doubt their ability to contend for a region or state title, but they relish the chance to surprise some people.
"I hope we’re known for coming out as an underdog, and I hope they understand after we play them that we don’t just play to play — we play to win," said Pututau.
Cottonwood Colts at a glance
Coach: Greg Croshaw is entering his second season as head coach of the Colts. He has a 3-8 record as a prep coach after 26 years as a junior college coach. He attended Chief Seattle, Washington High, Weber and BYU.
(4 returning starters; spread offense)
The offense has to find a new identity after losing most of it's key starters, including the state's top recruit in quarterback Cooper Bateman. Junior Tevita Gerber is an outstanding athlete and he's expected to take over running the Colt offense. He has some promising help in sophomore running back Vita Havili, fullback T.J. Fehoko, senior tight end Howard Pututau and senior wide receiver Charles Hosea.
(7 returning starters)
When asked what they want to be known for this season, the players nearly all responded, "Defense." With a new defensive coordinator, the schemes have changed, but the Colts return seven quick, athletic players who are very versatile. Senior S.J. Fehoko, safety, junior Malu Hosea, defenisve back, Fehoko, who also plays defensive end, and senior Aleni Aiono, a defensive back, give the Colts a lot of toughness and speed when defending the ball.
Coaches preseason Region 2 poll: 3
Deseret News preseason prediction: 3
Bottom line: The Colts will be much improved if for no other reason than the chemistry of this team is greatly improved. Last year's coaching changes and the bad feelings that remained made it difficult for Croshaw, or anyone for that matter, to lead effectively. The players have embraced the new coaching staff, and they've moved on. The Colts have the talent to compete with the top teams in the region, but they may not have the depth to compete with the state's top programs, if they suffer many injuries.
Felt’s Facts for Cottonwood High School
All-time record: 174-260-3 (43 years)
Region championships: 6 (1984, 2005 co, 2007 co, 2008, 2009 co, 2010)
Playoff appearances: 22
All-time playoff record: 16-22
State championships: 0
State championship record:0-2
Most played rivalry: 36 meetings with Skyline dating back to 1972. Skyline leads 30-6. Last met 2010.
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