Note: Mountain View finished with a 4-7 record overall and was fifth in Region 8 with a 2-5 record in 2011. It lost in a play-in game to East 49-0 to end the season.
OREM — For three years Mountain View coach Jon Snyder has fielded solid, competitive teams that qualified for the state playoffs in two of those years.
It’s not good enough, and Snyder knows it.
Although the Bruins made the playoffs in both 2010 and 2012 they were promptly bounced from the playoffs in the first round by Spanish Fork and East, respectively.
“We need to be better than we’ve been,” Snyder said. “Just getting to the playoffs isn’t enough for this program and we needed to do the things to make us better after last season, so we made some tough decisions that I believe will help this program take it to the next level.”
Mountain View snuck into a play-in game last season against East following a 30-29 overtime win over then-region foe Springville. It was then routed by the Leopards 49-0 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.
Snyder was left with a lot of uneasiness concerning the direction of the program following the game and immediately went to work to change things.
First and foremost was an overhaul of his coaching staff.
“I had to make some tough choices, but we needed to do something different,” Snyder said. “We brought in a new offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator in order to be more competitive, and I believe that will happen.”
On offense, Mountain View is overhauling its entire flex-bone offense in favor of the type of spread option a lot of Utah County programs have turned to.
“The option was very successful when we started running it back when I took the job, but that’s changed,” Snyder said. “Back then we had the horses to do it, but the dynamics have changed for us and a spread fits our personnel better. We‘re a smaller team, so we need to get guys out of the box.”
Snyder’s personnel on offense is largely inexperienced, but willing to learn and execute the new offense. Ashton Domingo and Caden Gomez return at running back and will likely be the strength of this year’s team, along with quarterback Jaren Flaker and wideout Parker Hunsaker.
“We really like our skill guys and will depend on them a lot,” Snyder said.
The offensive line is relatively inexperienced, but will be coached by former BYU lineman Eli Herring.
“Eli always gets the most out of his players, and I think we’re going to be OK there,” Snyder said. “McKay Norton is our center and he started last year, so he should be really good there for us in the middle. Overall we have some good potential on our offensive line.”
On defense the team will be led by middle linebacker Micah Ngatuvai, but is largely inexperienced otherwise.
“We’re rebuilding just about everything this year,” Snyder said. “Both the offense and defense are different than what we’ve run — especially the offense, but the kids have responded. I think we can surprise some people this year and make a run at the playoffs again.”
"I love the changes we've made," added Ngatuvai. "Coaches are great, we're working hard and I think we're going to surprise some people for sure."
To make the playoffs the Bruins will have to play well in their new region, which features some of the same old rivalries coupled with some new and relatively unfamiliar opponents.
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