I think if we come into it and say, ‘This is a building year,’ then you kind of set yourself up for defeat. We expect to win in the very beginning and to build that habit and that taste and a program like that. —Parowan coach Carter Miller
Note: Parowan finished with a 3-6 overall record in 2016 and fifth in 1A South with a 0-4 record. It did not qualify for the playoffs.
PAROWAN — For 18 years, Carter Miller has served as an assistant coach, first as a graduate at Dixie State, then as the offensive coordinator at Dixie High and most recently as the defensive coordinator at Canyon View.
Now he’ll finally get his shot at being a head coach, as he’ll enter the 2017 season as the first-year leader of the Parowan Rams.
“I’ve always kind of been a bridesmaid and never a bride, so we’re pretty excited to finally have a chance,” he said. “That’s always been the dream, to be a head coach. It’s just never quite worked out. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of some great staffs under some great head coaches I learned a lot from. I’ve just always wanted to run my own team.”
Miller enters a program that isn’t known for its prowess on the field, but he’s hoping to help change that.
“I think it’s kind of a mindset,” Miller said of winning. “I think if we come into it and say, ‘This is a building year,’ then you kind of set yourself up for defeat. We expect to win in the very beginning and to build that habit and that taste and a program like that.”
Despite the challenge of winning in Parowan and the fact that he’s still getting to know his personnel, Miller feels ready to take on the task.
“I’ve been planning on this for a long time,” he said. “I feel like that’s one of my strengths, is getting the best out of kids. I work well with kids, and I can see where they’re going to best help us. I’m not nervous about going into it cold that way. I’m actually excited. We have a lot of great athletes out there. There’s a lot of good kids.”
Parowan Rams at a glance
Coach: Carter Miller is entering his first year as head coach of the Rams. He is a graduate of Pine View High School and attended Dixie State.
Parowan Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Carter Miller
2016 offensive production: 14.3 ppg (8th in 1A)
-- 5 returning starters
-- Option offense
Jake Matheson (TE/WR)
Ethan Guymon (RB)
Trevor Bassett (WR)
Wade Howard (OL)
Taylor Howard (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
Porter Wood (QB)
Porter Miller (RB)
Ethan Murphy (OL)
Daniel Horton (OL)
Dixon Jones (OL)
Miller’s thoughts on Wood winning the quarterback job during camp over Matheson:
“He’s big and athletic and perfect for the veer offense we run. I’ve known Jake for a long time, and he was more willing to step down because he knew that’s what’s best for the team.”
Keys for offensive success in 2017
Given that there will be plenty of running, the fact that the offensive line has some experience should be a bonus, and the addition of Miller’s son Porter at running back will be as well. Starting a new quarterback almost always brings a level of uncertainty. Can Wood rise to the challenge? The Rams were decent offensively in 2016 against middle-tier teams. Can they close the gap on some of the top 1A offenses in 2017?
Parowan Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Kyle Johnson
2016 defensive production: 24.2 ppg (7th in 1A)
-- 5 returning starters
-- 3-4 defense
Miller’s thoughts on the number of players he has to use this season:
“I think we have a lot more depth than I thought I would have coming into it.”
Keys for defensive success in 2017
While Porter Miller will be a boon to the offense, he’s certainly known more for his defensive prowess, having led 3A in tackles in 2016. His presence alone should be a huge lift for the Rams. Overall, the group has some good experience and it stands to reason they should improve in 2017. Like with the offense, can the Rams' defense just make progress in 2017 toward limiting some of the better offenses?
Coaches preseason 1A South straw poll: Fourth
Deseret News 1A South projection: Fourth
Bottom line: This year marks another reset on a program that has struggled for a number of years. Miller has indicated he’s ready to be with the Rams for the long haul to try to build them into a solid team. That probably won’t happen overnight, but can Parowan's 2017 team beat a few more opponents than just the bottom-feeders of 1A like it did in 2016? That would be a good start.
Aug. 18 — at Altamont, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 — MILLARD, 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 — at White Pine, Nev., 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 — LAYTON CHRISTIAN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 — BYE
Sept. 22 — at Rich, 4 p.m.
Sept. 29 — WAYNE, 4 p.m.
Oct. 6 — at Monticello, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 — KANAB, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 — at Milford, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Parowan High School
All-time record: 156-425-7 (68 years)
Region championships: 1 (1989)
Playoff appearances: 19
Current playoff appearance streak: 0
All-time playoff record: 7-19
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-1
Most played rivalry: 84 meetings with Milford dating back to 1949. Milford leads 44-37-3.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Ram David Bettridge returned a missed field goal 99 yards in 1993 to set a record for the longest missed field goal return. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Cody Bradley booted a 60-yard field goal in 2008 to become one of just three kickers to make a field goal of at least 60 yards.
2016 — 3-6 (0-4 in 1A South – Missed playoffs)
2015 — 2-7 (0-4 in 1A South – Missed playoffs)
2014 — 3-7 (1-5 in 2A South – Missed playoffs)
2013 — 6-5 (2-4 in 2A South – 2A Quarterfinals)
2012 — 1-8 (0-7 in 2A South – Missed playoffs)
Parowan coaching history
2017 — Carter Miller (0-0)
2016 — Anthony Chidester (3-6)
2012-2015 — Brigham Nielsen (12-27)
2007-2011 — Matt Labrum (17-35)
1999-2006 — Rod Murphy (21-50)
1997-1998 — Joe Hays (7-12)
1994-1996 — Danny Lewis (5-22)
1987-1993 — Scott Henderson (24-44)
1986 — Bob August (1-8)
1985 — Unknown (3-6)
1984 — Kevin Singleton (2-6)
1978-1983 — Scott Doubek (7-44)
1977 — Jerry Dyer (1-8)
1976 — Tom Baltzer (1-7)
1972-1975 — Dave Jenson (17-23)
1970-1971 — Don Olson (5-13)
1967-1969 – Unknown (7-16-1)
1962-1966 — Lowell Caldwell (10-30)
1959-1961 — Unknown (2-18-1)
1958 — John Wood (0-7)
1956-1957 — Richard Jones (3-11)
1954-1955 — Bruce Decker (4-8-2)
1952-1953 — William "Twist" Jones (1-10-2)
1950-1951 — Unknown (1-10-1)
1949 — Ray Watters (2-4)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2013 — Justice Walker, WR/LB
2010 — Zach Wood QB/SS
2009 — Corie Blackham, RB, DB
2008 — Cody Bradley, K
2008 — Nick Wood, QB/DB
2007 — Taggert Smith, OL/DL
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.