High school football: Clearfield Falcons 2013 preview
Note: Clearfield finished with a 3-7 overall record in 2012 and was last in Region 6 with a 1-4 record. It did not qualify for the 4A playoffs.
CLEARFIELD — When it comes to playing in Region 6, Clearfield second-year coach Will Hawes delivered a message to his players that he learned at the University of Missouri.
“You’re playing in a (region) where there’s monsters — they’re huge,” Hawes explained. “But a guy's bench press, squat, power clean — all those power exercises — are irrelevant if he can’t put his hands on you. He can be as big and strong as he wants to be — if he can’t utilize it against you it’s irrelevant.”
The Falcons are undersized against virtually every team in the region known for powerful rushing schemes. To combat the disadvantage, Hawes has implemented a new law of the land:
Run to daylight.
“We’re going to push forward with trying to go faster than everyone else that we’re playing,” Hawes said. “We’re not little — we have some size — but I want our guys to move fast and play efficient.
“Last year we had some bigger backs that were really good players, so we tried to go with a power set and just a little touch of spread,” Hawes continued. “This year we’re going to spread them out and most of our sets will be shotgun. We’re going to try and create space and race people to the end zone.”
Last season Clearfield was shut out in four games and managed to only score 92 points the entire season. In region play the Falcons were outscored 216-20, and their lone victory was an awarded forfeiture. This year, the offense will emulate college offenses such as “Oregon, Boise State and Arizona,” but Hawes explained it isn’t about getting off as many snaps as possible.
“We’re just going to make sure we get the ball off fast, but we’re not going to try to progress in the direction of how many snaps we get per quarter,” Hawes said. “We just want a good tempo that guys that aren’t in great shape against us — we want to catch them off-guard and run right past them.”
Changing schemes to fit personnel is part of the Falcons' attempt to make their theme — “returning to excellence” — a reality.
“Last year we had to find out who could play. (We) had a couple studs last year that were notable players, but we had to come in and find out who was dedicated,” Hawes said. “Once we found out who our guys were and started moving forward we played a lot of underclassmen so they could get the experience.
“The main thing is to come in and turn over and change a culture, and that doesn’t happen overnight,” Hawes continued. “That’s one of those things that’s a slow progressing process, but we’re headed in the right direction and we’ve got a lot of good kids. This year I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”
Clearfield Falcons at a glance
Coach: Will Hawes posted a 3-7 record with Clearfield in his first season. In six previous years of coaching he’s tallied an overall record of 24-36. He’s a graduate of Locke High in California and Weber State University.
(6 returning starters; spread offense)
With the new schematics, Clearfield hopes to be competitive on offense.
Quarterback Tyler Mackelprang will voice the huddle this season, but he won’t be the only signal-caller behind center this season.