2013 high school football preview: Hillcrest Huskies hope to adjust to 5A, make playoffs
“Last year I was nervous sometimes, but this year, I’m just excited,” he said.
Miller hope that translates into confidence that will allow the Huskies to grind out some late-game wins.
Thompson is a talented athlete and can do “just about everything,” said Miller. “He’s athletic with a strong arm, and he can run or pass. He’s gotten out of some real jams.” Thompson said it would be a thrill for the entire community to make the playoffs.
“It’s nice being in the big leagues,” he said of moving to 5A. “We’re the underdogs for sure, but if we can surprise some critics it would be ridiculous. I dream about it — about being that little school that takes down the big powerhouse.”
Hillcrest Huskies at a glance
Coach: Casey Miller is in his third season as head coach of the Hillcrest Huskies. The Cyprus and Utah State graduate owns a 6-14 record. He hopes this will be the year that the team earns a winning record.
(7 returning starters)
Junior Tanner Thompson will lead the shotgun spread offense again this season. He will look to throw to new receiver Sam Melo, as well as Keaton Dallimore. Running back Dillon Nordhoff returns, as does junior lineman Cade Roemmich. The Huskies have athletic skill players and an experienced offensive line, so they should be able to score points this season.
(7 returning starters)
If the Hillcrest defense comes together, the Huskies should achieve their goal of making the playoffs. They’re led by strong safety Cameron Jenson, a junior who started last season as a sophomore. All of the team’s defensive backs, as well as linebackers, are back this season.
Coaches preseason Region 6 straw poll: 6th place
Deseret News Region 6 prediction: 6th place
Bottom line: Hillcrest has the athletes to compete in Region 2, but it remains to be seen if they have the mindset. Miller is battling a history of satisfaction with middle-of-the-road results, and it is difficult to change the expectations and commitment level without first having some success. This year’s players believe they will be the ones to turn that corner, and Miller believes the timing has never been better. The team has numbers, experience and incredible support from the school and community.
Hillcrest coaching history
2011-current — Casey Miller (6-14)
2005-2010 — Kirk Merhish (15-44)
2000-2004 — Bruce Takeno (29-33)
1993-1999 — Lee Leslie (34-34)
1986-1992 — Jerry Haslam (25-38)
1978-1985 — Jerry Simonson (49-33)
1975-1977 — Robert Burns (12-16)
1967-1974 — Raynor Pearce (44-32)
1964-1966 — Tom Lovat (11-14-3)
1962-1963 — Mickey Culletson (1-14-3)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2004 — Zane Beadles, OL
2004 — Robert Takeno, LB
2003 — John Eastman, QB
2003 — Fesi Sitake, DB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
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