With 14 starters back, South Sevier football coach Travis McAllister says experience will be a strength this year for the Rams.
Even with the wealth of returners in Monroe, the Rams are picked to finish only fifth in the region.
Defensively, the Rams have four of their top tacklers back, including leading tackler Scott Mathie, who will head up the defense at middle linebacker. He is also the Ram's best offensive lineman. McAllister has nothing but praise for him.
"He is a hard worker and good team leader and just has good character," he said.
Landon Leavitt is another solid linebacker. Last year he also filled in on the offensive line but will be switched this year to running back, which is his natural position.
"He is fast," the coach said. "We just needed offensive linemen last year."
Teaming with him in the backfield will be Zach Dustin, last year's best running back.
"Together they will be a good 1-2 punch," McAllister said.
The best all-around athlete on the team is Dillon Bishoff. He is a junior and will handle the kicking chores in addition to playing safety and wide receiver.
"Last year, he kicked a couple of 30-yard field goals," McAllister said, "and we need to get him the ball more on offense."
At quarterback is newcomer Orion Wilson. a junior.
"He is a good athlete," McAllister said. "He plays shortstop on the baseball team, but he has no (football) experience."
One concern is depth. McAllister says he has a few linemen, but "we are very thin in the skill positions."A year ago, the Rams lost in the first round of the playoffs, and McAllister hopes to see them go further this year. It may depend on how quickly Wilson develops and how effectively the team gels.
South Sevier Rams prep football preview
COACH: Travis McAllister has five years experience as a head coach and holds a 19-29 record.
KEY PLAYERS: Orion Wilson needs to mature quickly at quarterback. Watch to see if Landon Leavitt can return to his running back position and be successful.
QUESTION MARKS: Depth. The slightest injury in a skill position could halt any progress the Rams hope to make.
LAST YEAR: 3-7, lost in first round of playoffs.
PREDICTED 2A NORTH FINISH: Fifth.
POSTSEASON POSSIBILITIES: It doesn't necessarily look good for the Rams this year, but if their new quarterback can provide a spark maybe more wins are in store.
Aug. 22 GUNNISON, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29 at North Summit, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 PAROWAN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 at North Sevier, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Grand, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 RICHFIELD, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Millard, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 BEAVER, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 at San Juan, 7 p.m.
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