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High school football: Summit Academy Bears 2013 preview

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013 9:23 p.m. MDT

 (James Edward) (James Edward)

Note: Summit Academy finished with a 5-5 overall record in 2012 and was third in 1A North with a 2-3 record. It lost 41-6 to Monticello in the 1A quarterfinals.

BLUFFDALE— Summit Academy’s 2012 season was worthy of a cameo appearance in an Alec Baldwin Venture Card commercial.

The Bears traveled close to 3,300 miles across the state in their first year in 1A. Now, with a move to the 2A classification, the exhausting bus trips are no longer an issue.

“Our longest road trip is two hours, whereas last year we made two trips of eight hours and two trips of six hours,” Summit Academy coach Scott Gorringe said. “I know last year we traveled close to 3,300 miles on a school bus. This year is much better.

 (James Edward) (James Edward)

“We go Gunnison to Millard and to Emery. Those are our longest trips, which will be a huge factor for us. I believe by the end of the year, and I’m not making excuses for what happened to us in the playoffs, but we were dead. We were mentally exhausted and I think that showed in the playoff game.”

Unlike last season, the Bears will have a home field available on Friday nights this fall.

“I have spent the whole summer trying to get that thing ready,” Gorringe explained. “We’ve got bleachers, a press box and we haven’t let anybody on the field. It’s close to being ready.”

With the first year of the program in the books, players and coaches alike are feeling more comfortable heading into 2A.

“After last year I said to my dad, who has been coaching a long time, I said, ‘Dude, the speed of the game is much faster in high school.’ I think as a coaching staff we’re going to be much better,” Gorringe said. “One of the things we’re going to do this year is we’re not going to use headsets. It was just so much confusion. Everybody is talking over everybody. We’re going to do something different. We need to be better coaches.”

The unfamiliarity of the competition lurking in 2A can serve as both an advantage and disadvantage moving forward.

“They’re not going to know early in the year what we’re going to do,” Gorringe said. “I would imagine that most of the 2A teams are going to run the same stuff that they already ran. We’re going to be a little bit different, but after two or three games everyone is going to know what we’re going to run.”

Overall, the unknown remains the constant question heading into the 2013 campaign.

“I think they’re excited; I don’t know if they’re confident,” Gorringe said of his players. “We’re going to work on that, and let them know that we can go in and compete. They’re certainly not scared about this, but I think there’s a little bit of that unknown about what’s going to happen in 2A.”

Summit Academy Bears at a glance

Coach: Scott Gorringe posted a 5-5 record in his first year with the program. He's a graduate of Brighton High and the University of Utah.

Offense

(8 returning starters; balanced offense)

Last season the Bears often were caught in sticky situations because of a focus on the passing game. In 2013, they’re looking to set up the pass from the ground.

“We’re going to make some changes and try and be more balanced,” Gorringe said. “Last year I thought we tried to get too fancy and throw the ball too much, and probably didn’t establish the run game like we should.”

Dylan Bagley and Joe Denos will be the featured backs. “We’re going to count on them to carry the load and hopefully not get tired,” Gorringe noted.

Hagan Hines is slated to start at quarterback, while the offensive line — although larger than last year — still is potentially undersized.

“I’m not sure how big the 2A schools are going to be,” Gorringe said. “I’d imagine that we’re still going to be fairly on the smaller side of most of the 2A schools. I don’t know if we’ll use size to our advantage, but maybe that one year of experience and athleticism I think will help us.”

Defense

(8 returning starters)

Similar to the offense, the defense will hinge its success on quickness to get off the field.

“We’re not going to be big and we’re going to have to rely on our athleticism and get off blocks,” Gorringe said. “We’re going to be a little big bigger up front and we’re going to be able to play gap control a little better than we did last year. I think we’ll be OK and we’re going to find out in 2A.”

Drew Barnes and Colby Beard, who both started as sophomores at linebacker, were tabbed as “huge parts” of the defense.

Coaches preseason 2A North straw poll: Fourth

Deseret News 2A North prediction: Fifth

Bottom line: The Bears are notably bigger than they were last season, but with the upgrade into 2A and a decrease in numbers, they’ll still be one of the smaller teams every Friday. This isn’t a team that’s going to be blown out of too many games, but the adjustment into a tough, deep classification might be rough.

Felt’s Facts for Summit Academy High School

All-time record: 5-5 (1 year)

Region championships: 0

Playoff appearances: 1

All-time playoff record: 0-1

State championships: 0

State championship record: 0-0

Summit Academy coaching history

2012-current — Scott Gorringe (5-5)

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Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

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

Email: tphibbs@deseretnews.com Twitter: @TPhibbsDNews

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