Note: Canyon View finished with a 1-9 overall record in 2012 and was last in Region 9 with an 0-6 record. It did not qualify for the playoffs.
CEDAR CITY — Through the years, no matter how optimistic Canyon View’s football team has been, the black cloud that is the St. George schools always hung over the program.
Regardless of how hard the kids worked throughout the offseason, there was always a defeatist attitude within the team that it couldn’t beat the bigger St. George schools — or even crosstown rival Cedar for that matter.
In fact, Canyon View has lost 42 straight games against Region 9 foes dating back to a 14-6 win over Cedar in 2005.
Just like every other year, the start of the new high school football season brings newfound optimism, but in 2013 the optimism doesn’t come with an asterisk.
A new region, a new coach and a new offense have everyone inside Canyon View's program believing this year could be different.
For those who’ve endured years of suffering, including three-year starting QB Koy Huxford, the new 3A South region is at the heart of the excitement.
“I’m looking forward to playing some new schools. But we played a couple of them last year, and they’re tough teams so we’ve got to get ready for the competition. Should be a fun year,” said Huxford.
Even though Canyon View still plays Cedar and Dixie in the preseason, its region slate now features Delta, Juab, North Sanpete, Richfield and Manti — teams the program is much more in line with skill-wise.
The Falcons actually faced three of those team last season, beating Richfield 23-13 and losing to Juab 40-25 and North Sanpete 13-7.
First-year coach Robby Robinson, 61, brings an impressive coaching resume with him to Canyon View, which includes turning struggling programs around in the past.
He attributes the success to making football fun and playing a lot of kids, as well as his unique unbalanced dive attack on offense.
“The philosophy behind it is to play basketball out on the football field,” said Robinson. “You either have to have better athletes or you have to do something unique.”
Robinson likens the offense to what North Dakota State runs. Basically, “we’re going to run it down your throat all night long.”
At his previous coaching stops, Robinson said his teams have averaged 8 to 12 yards per carry, but he’s the first to acknowledge it takes time for the kids to pick it up. In fact, it might take a whole season. Canyon View had been running the spread offense the past four years, and Robinson’s offense couldn’t be more different in philosophy.
It’s also different because Robinson said he runs a crazy up-tempo offense like the Oregon Ducks.
“We have to run two units if your intent is to wear the other team out,” said Robinson. “That’s the neat thing about it: You play a lot of kids, and that helps build a program.”
Leading those two units at quarterback will be senior Huxford and sophomore Mike Musto.
Robinson has been very impressed with how Huxford has picked up the new offense and handled the coaching change after the departure of his father Alex Huxford as the previous head coach.
“He looks like he’s been running this option stuff for years. It’s a credit to him and his dad. His dad has raised him the right way. He sees leadership in the proper perspective. He’s been an overachiever in the offense. He’s been studying it and watching film,” said Robinson.