Some good reasons why the balance of 4A prep basketball power might be tipping toward northern Utah's Region 1 - Bonneville's big frontline returns intact from last year, Davis finds its new run-and-gun style to its liking, Viewmont benefits from a good inside-outside combination, and Weber realizes that it will have to "speed" its way to success.
Meanwhile, Roy finds itself smaller and more inexperienced than past seasons; Clearfield enjoys some senior leadership while its sizeable players are still somewhat young; and Layton returns will another underclass-laden team that is still quite unproven for a second year.Bonneville: For starters, the Lakers return their front line intact - 6-8 senior center Jonathan Hall (10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks a game last year), 6-6 junior forward Mike Porter (11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks), and 6-6 junior forward Mike DeGroot (10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks). Add newcomer Dave Sivulich, a 5-8 sophomore guard already earning respect during the preseason.
The key with Coach Gary Alverson's team this year is pedigree. First, Alverson's own boys - Kyle and Brandon - are part of the varsity team. Then there's hope that bloodlines translate into titles, since the older brothers of both Hall and Sivulich - Mike and Rich, respectively - started at center and point guard for the 1987 4A state championship Laker team.
Clearfield: The tandem of 5-10 guards Jasen Dowdy (a returning starter) and Joe Barrerra (a part-time player last year) highlight the quintet of senior Falcons this season; the upperclass group includes 6-4 Weston Fisher, 6-4 David Larsen, and 6-2 James Saunders.
Coach Ray Meibos has a double-digit collection of juniors, featuring 6-4 Cory Johnson and 6-3 Shay Taggart.
Davis: Gone from last year's league-titlist Dart team that took fifth-place honors in the 4A state tournament are former coach John Robison and the top seven players. However, matters aren't bleak for Coach Jay Welk (who moved over from Weber) and the no-returning-starters squad that took the Utah Summer Games gold medal in the scholastic division.
Welk's full-court, fast-pace system is a 180-degree turn for Davis from previous seasons, which compliments the current Darts players quite well. The backcourt includes 5-11 senior Todd Heath and 6-3 junior Travis Homer, while 6-1 senior forward Brett Barton leads a frontline that also involves 6-4 senior forward Matt Peterson and 6-6 junior center David Isaacson.
Layton: After struggling with a team laden with sophomores and juniors last year, the Lancers are still pretty fresh this season again. That includes first-year Coach Scott Applegate and his staff, as well as a predominantly underclass team - fairly young, but with some experience.
Much of the varsity experience lies with the likes of 5-9 senior guard Antone Freeland, 6-5 junior center Lance Dunkley, and 6-2 junior swingman Matt Drake. Moving up to see more varsity minutes are players such as 6-0 junior guard Tony Anderson, 6-3 senior guard-forward Dave Hernandez, and 6-6 sophomore center-forward Blaine Smith.
Roy: After finishing second in Region 1 competition last year, the Royals dropped a first-round loss in the 4A state playoffs and then rebounded to win three consecutive tournament contests to claim the consolation championship and sixth-place honors.
However, this year's Roy team is somewhat short - short on both size as well as experience. Phil Durbano, a 6-2 center-forward, is only one of five seniors this season, while Eric Shiffman, a 6-2 junior forward, is one of a number of new faces.
Viewmont: Coach Clyde Nelson has a good collection of experience, size and quickness. "We've got 10 kids who play and play well; if everybody accepts their roles, we'll be all right," he said.
The inside experience starts with 6-5 senior Steve Edgley and 6-6 junior Andy Jensen, while the outside experience is found with 5-11 junior John Robison and 5-11 senior Jason Hynek. The Vikings are enjoying a couple of 6-5 senior move-ins - Brad Bodily from Davis and Kyle Hoffman from California. And Tyler Gledhill and Jerem Pitts, a pair of 6-2 seniors, also figure in prominently in Viewmont's rotation.
Weber: Athletic Director Lee Dickemore didn't have to look far to fill the head coach's vacancy resulting with the aforementioned departure of Jay Welk to Davis - Dickemore took over the reins of the Warrior program himself. And it didn't take Dickemore long to realize that Weber's strength is its quickness, which will hopefully compensate for limited size and experience.
Chris Andrews, a 6-0 senior point guard, started every region game last year, while 5-10 senior guard Ryan Jones started every preseason contest - and those two carry most of the varsity experience. Another 6-0 senior guard, Chad Howe, is a key cog for the backcourt-heavy Warriors, while 6-3 senior forward Brett Coleman leads the smallish frontline.