High school football: Monticello Buckaroos 2012 preview

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

Scroll down to see Monticello Felt's Facts

Note: Monticello finished with a 9-3 overall record and a 7-1 record in the 1A South Division in 2011. It lost to Layton Christian, 35-6, in the 1A semifinals.

The Monticello football team’s mantra might as well be this saying: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

At the Class 1A school located in southeastern Utah, Buckaroo coaches and players remind themselves of that notion frequently.

“I am uncomfortable talking about individuals,” said head coach Lee Chadwick, “because when I name one kid, I am leaving 20 deserving kids out.”

Chadwick, who is entering his third season at Monticello, expanded on his team’s all-for-one approach, saying, “These kids are eager and willing to work hard for a common goal; they’re a very selfless group. That’s pretty unique to this group of kids, and I think it will help us out this season.”

While the Buckaroos performed well throughout last season, their run ended with a decided loss in the 1A semifinals to Layton Christian, a team they had defeated just weeks before. A handful of seniors have since graduated, but Monticello returns many of its contributors from a year ago.

“We have many kids coming back with a familiarity of our system,” the coach said, referring to the Wing-T offense he implemented upon his arrival three summers ago. “Kids coming in now all know what to expect in our program, and consistency is a big key to success.”

An additional key to the Buckaroos’ success is the play of juniors Austin Wilcox and Austin Maloy.

“Our junior class is really strong. There is a lot of great leadership among them,” Chadwick said, specifically highlighting Wilcox and Maloy.

Wilcox, at 5-foot-10, was the team’s leading running back last season, finishing with 1,031 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore. He is expected to step back into that role this season.

Maloy, on the other hand, has somewhat of a learning curve in front of him after being moved from running back to starting quarterback for the 2012 season, replacing senior Brian Robinson.

“When one or two kids graduate, everyone moves a little,” Chadwick said of the quarterback shuffle, adding that the team is down in numbers with only about 30 kids compared to last year’s roster of 40 players.

To help with the change in signal-callers, the offensive line returns with many of the same kids. Chadwick stated that it, along with the experience of the defensive line, is one of the greatest strengths the Buckaroos having going for them.

“Zach Johnson is back to anchor both lines,” Chadwick said of the senior. “Look for good things from him this year; he has done well in the offseason.”

The Monticello senior class also includes standouts Jake Duncan, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver and defensive back, and PJ Leiataua, a 6-foot tight end and linebacker.

“Jake (Duncan) and Maloy are both tremendous cornerbacks who I think can cover about anyone we’ll play,” Chadwick said. “PJ is someone we will look to for leadership. He has really worked hard this summer, and he has great hands so we’ll be looking to get the ball to him.”

Monticello Buckaroos at a glance

Coach: Lee Chadwick is entering his third season with the Buckaroos, building an overall record of 13-10. Prior to moving to Monticello, he coached football in Alaska for eight years. Chadwick is a graduate of Filer High School in Filer, Idaho.


(7 returning starters; Wing-T offense)

Junior Austin Wilcox returns after leading the team in rushing yards with 1,031 a year ago, and senior Jake Duncan returns as the leading receiver. Junior Austin Maloy has been moved to quarterback, and he is aided by the return of senior Zach Johnson and the rest of the offensive line. In the third year of running the Wing-T, the team has had some continuity with the offense, and that should be very helpful this fall.


(7 returning starters)

Johnson also anchors the defensive line, and Duncan, Maloy, and PJ Leiataua will be crucial in shutting down opposing offenses. Now that the Monticello offense has settled in and become comfortable with its scheme, the focus shifts to tightening up on the defensive end. The Buckaroos feel they have the athletes to put together a more experienced and strong backfield this season.

Coaches preseason 1A South straw poll: First

Deseret News 1A South prediction: First

Bottom line: As is true with most small schools, a main key to success is maintaining healthy athletes throughout the season. The Buckaroos improved greatly last year, and certainly hope to continue in that direction this year. Monticello will hope that shuffling players into new positions will be seamless. The team’s experience in other positions and its effort toward a common goal should be crucial.

2012 schedule

Aug. 17 — WHITEHORSE, 7 p.m.

Aug. 24 — SAN JUAN, 7 p.m.

Aug. 31 — at Layton Christian, 4 p.m.

Sept. 7 — at Monument Valley, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 — RICH, 7 p.m.

Sept. 21 — SUMMIT, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 — at Altamont, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5 — DIAMOND RANCH, 7 p.m.

Oct. 12 — DUCHESNE, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 — at Milford, 7 p.m.


Felt’s Facts for Monticello High School

All-time record: 322-236-9 (59 years)

Region championships: 18 (1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 co, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 co, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2005, 2009, 2010)

Playoff appearances: 40

All-time playoff record: 32-36

State championships: 4 (1969, 1992, 2001, 2004)

State championship record: 4-4

Most played rivalry: 63 meetings with San Juan dating back to 1956. San Juan leads 40-21-2. Meet on Aug. 24.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Buckaroo Antonio Mustache set a state record for season interceptions with 26 in 2004. ... The last time a first-year coach won a state championship came when Seth Giddings directed Monticello to the Class 1A title in 2004.

Monticello coaching history

2010-current — Lee Chadwick (13-10)

2009 — Jake Downard (4-5)

2005-2008 — J.C. Hall (20-25)

2004 — Seth Giddings (11-1)

1997-2003 — Mike Bowring (46-30)

1994-1996 — Matt Torrens (13-16)

1991-1993 — Bill Manzanares (25-6)

1989-1990 — Joe Davis (11-11)

1979-1988 — John Dowell (63-37)

1976-1978 — Joe Davis (23-12)

1972-1975 — Nyle McFarlane (26-13-1)

1971 — Harold Georrge (8-3)

1966-1970 — Ray Odette (30-13-3)

1961-1965 — Tom Burr (15-26-1)

1955-1960 — Dale Maughan (12-25-4)

1934-1935 — Unknown (0-3)


Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years

2004 — Scott Toomey, WR

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

2011 — Adam Black, OL/DL

2010 — Kendal Maughan, RB/LB

2010 — Devin Wright, RB/FS

2009 — Kendal Maugham, RB/LB

2009 — Devin Wright, QB/S

2008 — Chase Randall, RB/LB

2006 — Kedric Curtis, RB/LB

2005 — Wes Hawkins, RB/DB

2005 — Wade Eldredge, RB/DB

2005 — Justin Keyes, QB/DL

2004 — Reed Anderson, QB

2004 — Wade Eldredge, LB

2004 — Lelo Garcia, LB

2004 — Anotnio Mustache, DB

2003 — Casen Eldredge, RB/LB

2003 — Zack Higgins, OL/DL

2003 — Matt Torres, QB/FS

2002 — Quin Dowell, WR

2002 — Zack Higgins, OL/DL

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.

Contributing: Jessica Wilde, Conner Johnson, Steve Mundee and prep football historian George Felt.

Email: sthomas@desnews.com, Twitter: @DNewsPreps

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