A year after fullback Dalton Harmon rushed for 998 yards to keep defenses from exclusively keying on the pass, Brandon Smith is anxious to step into that role after getting just four varsity carries in 2013.
Last year Juab averaged 32.8 ppg, and with Robins back it should easily reach that productivity again. To truly compete for the 3A state championship, however, the Wasps need to shave a touchdown or so off their 22.3 ppg scoring defense.
Bowring is hoping a more focused purpose in the weight room this offseason helps his team take that next step.
“There’s some things we’ve changed up this year because when we looked at what we were doing I’m not sure we were doing enough to get to that level that we need to,” he said.
“When you play a team like Judge and some of those teams that are big, physical, fast, you’ve got to get stronger, faster and bigger. So we’re trying to focus on those things we can control and try and put these kids in a better situation.”
Juab Wasps at a glance
Coach: Mike Bowring is entering his 11th season at Juab with a 77-37 record. Prior to moving to Juab, Bowring was the head coach at Monticello for seven years and he won a state championship in 2001. His career coaching record is 123-67. Bowring is a graduate of San Juan High.
(6 returning starters; Spread offense)
Returning all-state quarterback Nick Robins has four returning starters on the offensive line protecting him — Nick Wohlforth, Jake Hatfield, Ethan Phillips and Brandon Aagard. Juab hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher in over a decade, but Dalton Harmon came very close last season with 998 yards. That experienced offensive line would love to help new fullback Brandon Smith approach that productivity. The receiving corps is solid with slot backs Dedric Davidson and Kayden Whiting returning, but discovering the most productive wideouts has been a focus this summer.
(4 returning starters)
In last year’s semifinal loss, Judge plowed through Juab’s run defense for 350 yards and five touchdowns. That will never be good enough in November. The Wasps have worked hard in the offseason to get tougher for those big games, and a year of experience for three defensive front contributors will no doubt help too. Wohlforth and Hatfield were both starters a year ago, while Phillips rotated in at defensive tackle. The return of a healthy Whiting at linebacker will definitely help the run defense, while newcomers Tyse Ostler and Talon Jennings have impressed at linebacker this summer. Davidson is one of the top returning cornerbacks in 3A with eight interceptions the past two seasons.
Coaches preseason 3A South straw poll: First
Deseret News 3A South prediction: First
Bottom line: Juab hasn’t won a region championship since 2008, but the rest of the 3A North coaches have pegged it as the team to beat in 2014. It will be very interesting to see how Bowring’s team handles the favorite label. Over the years the Wasps have drawn motivation from being the underdog and have been pretty successful. Now, everyone will be gunning for them. With a very strong contingent of offensive starters returning, anything less than another semifinal appearance will be a disappointment.
Juab coaching history
2003-current — Mike Bowring (76-38)
1999-2002 — Will Biesinger (18-25)
1992-1998 — Paul Messersmith (48-26)
1991 — Alan Sperry (3-6)
1988-1990 — Raymond Nielsen (4-21)
1985-1987 — Fenton Broadhead (8-18)
1976-1984 — Lee Scott (35-54)
1971-1975 — unknown (24-25-2)
1967-1970 — Dennis Hansen (18-19)
1964-1966 — LeRoy Davis (1-23)
1962-1963 — Verl Shell (2-14)
1960-1961 — unknown (1-15-1)
1959 — Cary LaComb (3-4)
1957-1958 — unknown(4-11)
1956 — Marcus Garrett (2-6)
1955 — unknown (0-6)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2013 — Nick Robins, QB
2013 — Brandon Morgan, WR
2010 — Elias Brooks, LB
2008 — Jordan Bainter, OL/DL
2008 — Jameson Izatt, OL/DL
2008 — Cody Keisel, FB/LB
2008 — Chandler Street, RB/DB
2007 — Kade Brough, OL/DL
2007 — Jordan Jones, QB/DB
2006 — Tyler Davidson, WR/LB
2006 — Landon Nielson, WR/DB
2006 — Todd Watts, OL/LB
2005 — Shane Blackett, QB/DB
2005 — Kyle Callaway, OL/DL
2005 — Trent Stowell, OL/DL
2004 — Trevor Jones, RB
2004 — Matt Howard, RB
2004 — Kellen Nielson, WR
2004 — Jordan Guillory, OL
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
High school football: Juab Wasps 2014 preview
Juab's Nick Robins