(7 returning starters; Spread offense)
With four returning starting offensive linemen, and the return of a healthy Braxton Coonis at quarterback after he was limited to just three games last season, there’s no shortage of optimism in Vernal this season. Realistically, the Utes have no place to go but up after finishing in the bottom five in 3A last year with 15 points per game. The team is counting on a quartet of skill position players to help with those improvements. Dylan Hanks will see plenty of carries at running back, while Corben Evans, Patrick Massey and Hunter Conelly will be the top receiving threats.
(6 returning starters)
Depth on the defensive line and a strong linebacking corps should help Uintah be much more competitive than a year ago. It starts with Hanks, an awesome middle linebacker who has a knack for making plays instinctively. He led the team with 83 tackles last season. Rylee Domichel is a strong outside linebacker. Massey is a very good cornerback for the Utes, while Brenden Ryan and Conelly are quality safeties.
Coaches preseason 3AA North straw poll: Fifth
Deseret News 3AA North prediction: Fifth
Bottom line: After back-to-back one-win seasons, it can’t get much worse for the Utes. For all the optimism surrounding the program right now, it doesn’t mean much unless the team backs it up with some wins. If year two of the coach Reutzel era progresses as everyone hopes, there’s no reason the Utes can’t win at least four or five games. They want to win playoff games though, something the program hasn’t experienced in a decade. Considering its recent track record, that might not be realistic.
Uintah coaching history
2012-current — Cody Reutzel (1-8)
2007-2011 — Doug Harding (14-34)
2006 — Kevin Dickson (2-7)
2005 — Mike Petersen (5-5)
2003-2004 — Kevin Dickson (9-13)
1990-2002 — Curg Belcher (72-52)
1988-1989 — Jeff Gustin (2-16)
1985 -1987 — Hank Nawahine (9-19)
1977- 1984 — Curg Belcher (17-46)
1975-1976 — Phil Johnson (4-13)
1972-1974 — Gordon Olsen (4-22)
1968-1971 — Unknown (0-38)
1965-1967 — Ted Taylor (9-15)
1960-1964 — Louis Mele (18-25-2)
1955-1959 — Leo Conk (25-15)
1954 — Unknown (2-2-1)
1951-1953 — Jack Woodbury (6-10-1)
1946-1950 — Frank W. Wright
1942-1945 — LeGrand Tea
1940-1941 — Unknown
1939 — Frank W. Wright
1932-1938 — Unknown (1-4-1)
1931 — Carl Davis (4-1-1)
1929-1930 — Unknown (8-2)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
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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