Note: Sky View finished with a 5-6 overall record in 2012 and was fourth in Region 5 with a 2-3 record. The Bobcats lost to Orem 41-31 in the first round of the 4A playoffs.
SMITHFIELD — Cache Valley has been a hotbed for high school football for many years.
Logan High and Mountain Crest High have each established themselves among the state's elite prep programs for the past decade or more. And Sky View hasn't been too shabby, either, reaching the state playoffs seven times in the last eight years.
But just reaching the postseason isn't enough for Bobcats head coach Craig Anhder. Once he gets his team there, he wants to make some noise.
"I felt like we fell short of our abilities last year," he said of 2012, when his team finished fourth in Region 5 and had an early postseason exit, falling to Orem in the first round. "We had such high expectations, and we hope to progress a little further this year."
The expectation level for the Bobcats' program is running pretty high this year, with a couple of the league's coaches picking Sky View to take home the Region 5 title.
Coach Anhder, though, says those expectations mean nothing now — they must be earned on the field.
"I hate those kinds of things," he said. "I think you've got to earn the respect. I don't like preseason polls; I don't like predictions; I don't think they mean anything. I think you have to earn what you receive.
"I want us to earn it; I like things to be earned. I've learned in life that if you don't earn it, you don't appreciate it."
And he feels like he's got a good enough ballclub this year that the Bobcats could earn plenty of respect by season's end.
"You look at our league and a team in our league has played for the state championship almost every year, eight out of the last nine years, something like that," Anhder said. "We haven't always won it, but Mountain Crest has been there a few times and Logan has been there a few times.
"It's our turn, absolutely. I'm excited to see if we can make that run. We've got a lot of work to do. We'll see. We've got to test ourselves and see what we're all about."
This year's team will again by led by Braxton Godderidge, a senior who's the returning starter at quarterback and has displayed tremendous leadership qualities. He was voted as a team captain last year as a junior and has only gotten better in every way since then.
He'll be backed up by sophomore Garrison Beach, who Anhder says is an up-and-coming star.
Senior running back Dane Anderson is a big, strong runner who's well more than than 200 pounds with good speed and will carry the load for the Bobcats' ground game.
"Our sophomores are scared to death to play against him in practice," Anhder said with a chuckle.
Senior center Chandler Beutler is the man in the middle of the Bobcats' offensive line, and he'll be flanked by senior guard Seth White, a returning starter who's had offers from Navy and Army, and senior returning starter Caden Didericksen. The offensive tackles will be sophomore Colton Durrant and junior Tyler Downs.
On the defensive line, the tackle positions are up in the air, with Durrant and Downs both in the mix. At defensive end, sophomore Max Christensen and junior Ben Wattyne will be the starters.
- College football predictions: How will 2014...
- Ranking the best season by a quarterback in...
- NFL cuts tracker: Former Cougars So'oto,...
- Peavler: Why the UConn game won't be a repeat...
- BYU Cougars video: Jeff Call tells us what to...
- The good, the bad and the most likely:...
- Dick Harmon: BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall,...
- Hollis column: How well will 'Big Five'...
- College football predictions: How will... 73
- NFL cuts tracker: Former Cougars... 50
- The good, the bad and the most likely:... 48
- Utah football: Utes eye successful start 39
- True freshman Brad Kaaya beats out... 36
- Brad Rock: Five reasons Utes think... 35
- UCLA defensive end Kylie Fitts... 31
- BYU football: Taysom Hill's experience,... 30