High school football: Timpview T-Birds 2014 preview
Note: Timpview finished with a 13-1 record in 2013 and was first in Region 8 with a 6-0 record. It beat East 33-28 in the 4A title game.
PROVO — Timpview’s record over the years speaks for itself.
Other teams may talk about establishing a winning culture and winning state championships, but few walk the walk like the Thunderbirds.
“It’s a credit to all the great players we’ve had here, the coaches and really the community,” said Timpview coach Cary Whittingham, who enters his third year as head coach. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of it.”
Whittingham took on the seemingly arduous task of replacing long-time coach Louis Wong in 2012 and simply responded by leading Timpview to two straight state championships.
The term "simply" is a word Whittingham feels is a misnomer, however.
“You get used to high expectations here, but it’s never as easy as I think a lot of people think,” Whittingham said. “We lose guys every year, like everyone else, and this year — well, we lost a lot of guys off of last year’s team and we’re now working to find guys who can play.”
One guy who can certainly play is quarterback Britain Covey.
Covey began last season splitting time between receiver and quarterback before taking snaps under center exclusively. He responded with 1,890 yards and 26 touchdowns passing along with 1,264 yards and 18 touchdowns rushing.
He's Timpview's lone returning starter on the offensive side, but as Whittingham states, he's no typical returning starter.
“Having Britain Covey back is like having five starters back on offense,” he said. “He’s obviously a great playmaker and he’s a very good start on offense.”
On defense, senior Gabe Reid leads what was a dominant group a year ago. He'll play at one defensive end position for a group that returns some decent talent from last season.
"He's a captain and will be a good leader for us," Whittingham said. "He's a good example for the younger guys and we'll be fine on defense once we figure out guys who need to step up, guys who are capable of doing it."
Timpview returns just three starters on defense.
"We lost some really good guys, but we're going to be OK," added Reid. "For me, I'm more of a leader and I'm ready for it. I'm doing my best teaching the young guys how things are done around here."
As for any catchy slogans or themes entering the year, don't expect any. Doing as much isn't Whittingham's way.
"I just take a day-by-day approach because it's really the only way I know how to do things," he said. "I've always believed if you lose a day you'll never get it back. So that's how I approach things — just focus on the day that's ahead and trying to impart that on the kids."
As always, the goal and the expectation will be to win yet another state championship. With a host of players to replace on both sides of the ball, doing as much could prove a challenge.
"It really is a rebuilding year for us, but even in those type of years you're still expected to win here," Whittingham said. "But I'm OK with it because I know that's what people are used to around here. I like the pressure. I believe you reach your best when the pressure is on and it's always on here."
Timpview Thunderbirds at a glance