High school football: Viewmont Vikings 2014 preview

Published: Monday, Aug. 18 2014 1:45 p.m. MDT

Note: Viewmont finished with a 1-9 overall record in 2013 and was seventh in Region 1 with an 0-6 record. It did not qualify for the 5A playoffs.

BOUNTIFUL — Viewmont High's football program hit rock-bottom in 2013 and, when you've struggled as much as the Vikings did last season, there's only one way to go.

Yep, thattaway. That's right, up. And in first-year head coach Scott Ditty, they feel like they've got the right guy to take 'em there.

Ditty comes to the Viewmont program after serving as the defensive coordinator at Alta for the past three years, and as an assistant coach at Timpview for two years before that. He's got 18 previous years of coaching experience in all, including a stint as defensive coordinator at Moorepark College in Southern California.

And he finally decided to take the leap into the head coaching pool because he feels optimistic that things are already in place here at Viewmont to help build a solid program and start turning their football fortunes around.

"I've had other opportunities and have interviewed in other places, but just haven't really been interested and didn't really feel very passionate about taking any of those jobs," Ditty said. "I think it was time to get serious about it and, to be honest, I didn't think it was time for the first little while, and I kinda tried to talk myself out of it. I loved my job at Alta, I Iove the people at Alta, and (head coach) Bob Stephens is a close friend of mine.

"But I got here and I interviewed for it, and I always said that when I take a head coaching job, there's two things that are requirements — I've got to have a great administration and a great community. And I found both of those in spades at this school. The administration here is beyond supportive; they're hungry for success. And the same with the community. The boosters and the parents here are amazing. They're beyond supportive; they're really hungry and desirous for success.

"You need the administration; you need the community, and once you have those two things, you can begin to build," he said. "And we're rebuilding a lot of things here. We're rebuilding the infrastructure of the program. And in order to do that, you need that support."

The Vikings have sputtered to a combined 3-18 record over the last two seasons, but Ditty was not fazed or worried about the Vikings' recent struggles on the football field.

"Taking over a team that hasn't been winning, that doesn't bother me at all," he said. "I'm not afraid of that. I've been in that situation before as a D-coordinator. The fact that the program has struggled was not any kind of a deterrent to me, especially when I met a lot of the people, because it's about people, it's about relationships.

"I met some of the players the day I interviewed, and as we went on in the interview process, I started to do a lot of investigating, and everything I heard was just unbelievably positive about the community, about the school, about the tradition here."

Indeed, he liked what he found out about the history of the Viewmont program.

"What everybody told me is that Viewmont has always been known for playing hard and giving great effort," Ditty said. "And even though they've had one state title, and that was back in 1971, I think, and even though they haven't gone all the way and had a bunch of titles, they have a reputation of really playing hard and being able to beat anybody on a given day.

"So that's one of the things that we leaned on was to try and bring that mentality back with how hard we play, and that's pretty much what I've always preached everywhere I've been. I'm a defensive guy and everywhere I've gone, the defenses have always been known for running at the ball hard and getting in a bad mood, so that was proven to me."