High school football: Tough play expected to continue in rough-and-tumble Region 6
1. EAST: East is stacked to the moon and back with next-level talent, but two of its best players are currently unnoticed in the recruiting world. Isaac Valles, once again, will be at the helm of the offense. Preston Curtis, a touchdown machine at wingback, joins him; Ula Tolutau is a bruising 240-pound back committed to Wisconsin. Malakai Solovi is a viable situational back. Defensively, Korey Rush, Christian Folau and Joe Tukuafu, all of whom have committed to Division I colleges, highlight a stingy group. 2012 RECORD: 5-8. PLAYOFFS: Lost 32-14 to Timpview in the semifinals.
2. HIGHLAND: The Rams feature perhaps the best defensive front in the state. In addition to Bryan Mone, Pita Tonga, Sulias Brown, Josh Keele and Cody Hilborn will all pester quarterbacks at some point in time. Viliami Sekona, Pisinga Vaenuku and Dewey Clark create a formidable backfield, while Adam Webber leads an experienced defense. 2012 RECORD: 8-5. PLAYOFFS: Lost 14-6 to Mountain Crest in the semifinals.
3. BOUNTIFUL: Bountiful returns both of its quarterbacks that suffered through injures last season in Trevor Lloyd and Jordan Hayes. Both will likely see action in one way or another offensively. Tanner Redding, Sam Merrill and Ryan Curtis have been advertised as the best trio of receivers the program has ever produced. 2012 RECORD: 9-3. PLAYOFFS: Lost 41-0 to Mountain Crest in the quarterfinals.
4. KEARNS: Colton Grossaint ushers one of the best classes Kearns has showcased in many years. The Cougars will be thin offensively with only Grossaint and Utah commit Amone Finau, but quarterback Jordan Floyd, running back Daniel Tapusoa and receiver Sherwin Lavaka appear to be promising contributors. Defensively, Kearns returns all of its secondary and linebackers. Those two positions should be the strength of the team. 2012 RECORD: 5-6. PLAYOFFS: Lost 38-0 to Davis in the 5A first round.
5. WOODS CROSS: In certain packages the Wildcats will have up to nine underclassmen playing at one time. Several, however, received significant playing time last year, including Mason Newton, Tomasi Giles, Siale Mausia and Deion Saumalu. The main objective offensively is to get playmaker Xequille Harry the ball in open space. Braxton Gunther appears to be a difference maker on the rise. 2012 RECORD: 9-3. PLAYOFFS: Lost 35-14 to Timpview in the quarterfinals.
6. CYPRUS: The Pirates feel they’re in position to compete with some of the top programs in the state with a host of returning skill players — specifically Dennis Kamakana and Albert and A.J. Semeatu. In total Cyprus has six returning starters for its zone-read offense and eight on its defense. The offensive and defensive lines are completely unproven, and ultimately the success of the season hinges on the acclimation of the Pirates' new players. 2012 RECORD: 5-5. PLAYOFFS: Did not qualify.
7. CLEARFIELD: The Falcons are fully invested in the spread offense this season, but the strong suit of the team resides in the backfield. Four seniors — Kelly Thorpe, Blake Wilcox, Andrew Sisk and Jacques Carter — will all see significant time in the backfield. Tyler Mackelprang will run the show at quarterback, but several other quarterbacks will take snaps in certain packages. 2012 RECORD: 3-7. PLAYOFFS: Did not qualify.
CONTRIBUTING: Amy Donaldson