2013 high school football preview: Millard Eagles looking for balance offensively
“It’s exciting to see what they can do. We feel they can be pretty good, but they’re not tested,” said Sheriff.
That doesn’t change the expectations one bit, though.
“We never go into a season we don’t have a shot to win it. We realize things have to play out for us, and sometimes you’ve got to be lucky a bit. But we have our eye on the prize, and we want to win a championship,” said Sheriff.
Millard Eagles at a glance
Coach: Marshall Sheriff is entering his 14th season as Millard’s head coach, and he’s amassed a 110-39 record along the way. The Delta High graduate led Millard to the 2A state title in 2001.
(4 returning starters; Inverted wishbone offense)
Millard was the second-highest scoring team in 2A last year at 35 ppg, but it became predictable in the big games and wasn’t nearly as efficient. The coaching staff is hoping new quarterback Skyler Cranney can help increase that efficiency with the passing game. Returning offensive linemen Nathaniel Wade and Erick Alcala will help with the transition, and ironically enough the seniors might be the two smallest players on the line. Running backs Rudy Alcala and Dayton Komarek are the front-runners to carry much of the load offensively, but the coaching staff is excited about a couple of big sophomores waiting in the wings.
(4 returning starters)
Millard is traditionally strong against the run, but last year the secondary really struggled against the pass. That’s been an area of focus this summer, particularly with a few teams in region expected to throw the ball more. Erick Alcala and Wade are both returning starters at linebacker, while Komarek is a returning starter at defensive end and Jeffrey Robison is back at safety. Alcala and Wade were the third- and fourth-leading tacklers on the team a year ago, but even bigger things are expected this season. Robison had seven interceptions to go along with his 41 tackles in 2012
Coaches preseason 2A North straw poll: Second
Deseret News 2A North prediction: Second
Bottom line: Size is critical, and for the first time in several years Millard has the size necessary to win a 2A championship. That size is unproven, however, and realistically so is the entire team with only four returning starters. The youthful Eagles might take some lumps the first two weeks against Juab and Delta, but they’ll be big favorites in every game until Week 9 when they host South Summit. That’s the game that will ultimately define this team. With a victory, it will be clear that Millard has what it takes to win its first state title in 11 years. A loss, and it will likely face another semifinal exit from the playoffs.
Millard coaching history
2000-current — Marshall Sheriff (119-39)
1999 — Dennis Alldredge (7-4)
1995-1998 — Franklin Bramall (36-9)
1992-1994 — Al Marshall (12-17)
1984-1991 — Dennis Alldredge (50-32)
1973-1983 — Lew Monsen (99-27)
1967-1972 — Nyle Norris (40-22)
1965-1966 — Lynn Foxley (10-7-1)
1964 — Rex Lilly (3-5)
1943-1963 — Taft Watts (149-33-10)
1942 — Sam Gordon (1-3-1)
1941 — Meldon Walker (2-3)
1938-1940 — Stan Watts (8-6-1)
1936-1937 — "Riff" Kimball (6-4)
1935 — unknown (1-3-1)
1934 — F.G. Richards (0-2-1)
1933 — Dunn Taylor (6-2)
1931-1932 — Leo Probert (0-6)
1930 — Phil Baker (0-4)
1927-1929 — Royal Chamberlain (2-8)
1926 — Eddie Kimball (0-3-1)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2012 — Jesse Rhodes, RB/DB
2011 —Pancho Alcala, RB/DB
2011 — Jesse Rhodes, RB/DB
2011 — Keith Kesler, OL/DL
2010 — Nate Robison, QB/DB
2010 — Jesse Rhodes, RB/DL
2010 — Pancho Alcala, RB/DB
2009 — Rendon Shields, RB/LB
2009 — Thomas Kesler, OL/DL
2009 — Kade Wilcox, RB/DE
2008 — Clancy Mortensen, RB/LB
2007 — Freddy Alcala, OL/LB
2007 — Grant Barber, QB/DB
2007 — Clancy Mortensen, RB/DB
2007 — Josh Robinson, WR/DB
2007 — Zack Wilcox, RB/LB
2006 — Tyrel Beckstrand, WR/DE
2006 — Daniel Freeman, OL/DL
2006 — T.J. Robbins, RB/LB
2006 — Kyle Tuttle, QB
2006 — Scott Whitaker, OL/LB
2005 — John Monsen, WR/DB
2005 — Ty Ashton, OL/DL
2004 — Maben Larsen, QB
2004 — Slade Turner, DL
2003 — Clint Monsen, RB
2003 — Ethan Stephenson, RB
2003 — Daniel Anderson, OL
2003 — Devan Shields, DB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
Follow Deseret News prep editor James Edward on Twitter @DNewsPreps
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