Note: Bingham finished with a 14-0 overall record in 2013 and was first in Region 3 with a 5-0 record. Bingham defeated Brighton 38-13 in the 5A championship.
SOUTH JORDAN — Undefeated.
The Bingham football team accomplished a lot in 2013. And en route to a multitude of postseason accolades, the Miners averaged 41.1 points per game and gave up just 13.8 during challenging region and playoff runs.
Fast forward a year and the 2014 Bingham team is stepping into a brand-new season with a brand-new group while still maintaining those same high expectations.
"We might struggle a little bit offensively early while we get some things figured out," said coach Dave Peck, whose offense returns just two starters. The defense, on the other hand, returns six starters.
"But defensively, it's going to keep us in games against even a Bishop Gorman (Nevada) or Brighton or whoever," Peck said. "We should be right there (among the top teams in the state)."
Of the Miners' two returners on offensive, one of them is in a leadership role that should help ease the team's drastic transition, which includes replacing the entire offensive line.
"It's always nice to have that returning quarterback," Peck said of senior Kyle Gearig, who led the Miners to the 5A championship game last season before being sidelined with a concussion in the final play before halftime of that title match.
Prior to that injury, Gearig passed for 1,876 yards and 29 touchdowns along with another 648 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Those statistics were accumulated after initially winning the varsity spot against four other preseason contenders. This year, there is no question who Peck wants on the field.
"I think he's the best quarterback in the state coming back," Peck said. "I know there are some other great QBs in the state, but I think Kyle is the best of them all."
Protecting Gearig will be an entirely new cast, including at least two sophomore starters on the offensive line. Those underclassmen are Cole Clemens, who stands at 6 foot 5 and 310 pounds, and Tavian Myers, who is 6 foot 3 and 300 pounds.
"You don't see that happen around here very often, but they are potential D-I guys. They're really good," Peck said. "Offensively, I feel like we're going to be OK, but there are a lot of unknowns because we don't have any experience on the O-line."
To continue the youth movement, yet another sophomore will take the field on the defensive side, and he even brings game experience to the table. Peck said Langi Tuifua, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive lineman, has already made an impact on the Bingham team. He runs a 4.8 40-yard dash and led the team in blocked kicks as a freshman with four.
"He is going to be a big-time D-I guy that everyone is going to want," Peck said. "He played quite a bit as a freshman. ... He is a special kid."
Tuifua will join a young defensive line, which Peck said will not include a senior. Instead, the defense will be anchored by returning senior linebacker Daniel Langi and senior defensive backs Kade Cloward, Dominieke Jones and Chase Messervy.
"Defensively, it all starts with Daniel Langi in the middle," Peck said of the player who had 103 tackles and six sacks for the Miners last year.
"The strength of the defense is in the secondary," the coach said. "Kade is just a kid that gets it. He's got great instincts. He gets us in and out of our coverages."
Cloward, Jones and Messervy combined for 157 tackles and seven interceptions a year ago.