SOUTH JORDAN One of the core principals of Bingham High football is that the Miners want to be the best at "it", whatever "it" is.
Heading into the 2008 season, in which the Miners are expected to continue their reign near the top of Utah's prep football landscape, coach Dave Peck and his program are adding another piece to the puzzle.
On top of having one of the state's top football programs Peck said he couldn't be happier with the state of his program right now the Miners have added something to augment it this fall a dazzling stadium.
Besides installing an artificial surface, which is unquestionably all the rage these days in Utah, Bingham will add a 25-foot-by-27 scoreboard in the south endzone, complete with a video board, the first of its kind at a prep stadium in Utah.
It's still not clear whether the field will be ready for use in Week 1 against Skyline Peck said Tuesday afternoon he thinks it's 50-50 and that a final decision might not be made until Friday but clearly Ron Thorne Stadium, as it will be renamed, will stand as further empirical evidence of the strength of Bingham's football program.
"This is just another step. It's funny, I feel as every senior class has gone out, we've added things that's been unique to that class. I think this program's gotten stronger and stronger every year that I've been here, and obviously this is pretty amazing," said Peck, gazing out at his soon-to-be-completed diggs.
"I'm even going, 'Wow, this is everything I've ever hoped for.'"
Well, maybe not everything, but it's close. Originally, plans included the addition of more seating on the north side of the field. That got nixed for now, though Peck said he expects more seating to be added by next year.
Because the school board came in late and requested that lacrosse lines be added, according to Peck, the start of the project was delayed by 2-3 weeks, meaning it's touch-and-go over whether it will be ready for Bingham's endowment game against Skyline on August 22nd. If it's not, Bingham will play at Skyline and the first home game on the new field will be pushed to Week 4 when Jordan visits.
The field and scoreboard are complete, but the hold-up is an 8-lane track, which couldn't be completed until the field was finished and is currently being installed.
Whatever field they play on, however, expectations will be extremely high for Bingham this fall.
L.T. Filiaga is one of the top linebackers in the state, and he's surrounded by a host of talented stars like Mike Edmunds, Remington Peck and Talai Livai.
Oh, and if you're tired of hearing about Bingham, you may want to stop following high school football for the next three years. That's because Peck has a hugely, hugely talented sophomore group at his disposal.
Peck said that nine of them have been brought up to the varsity team, and there's huge expectations surrounding a class of players that has only lost once since the kids were eight or nine.
"I've been criticized (by ex-players and ex-teams) for saying I think this sophomore group is probably the most talented group I've ever coached," said Peck. "I'll just say that because I've never brought up so many sophomores to a varsity team that was already good . . . There's athletes, there's good size and there's an attitude."For example, sophomore-to-be Harvey Langi has already received a scholarship offer from the University of Utah and BYU is also heavily interested, Peck said. He'll likely contribute heavily this fall, as will a number of other youngsters.
Bingham Miners prep football preview
COACH: Coach Dave Peck has amassed an overall head-coaching record of 98-58 and has enjoyed tremendous success at Bingham.
KEY PLAYERS: Senior middle linebacker L.T. Filiaga, who has numerous collegiate offers, will lead the way on a team that's blessed with tremendous talent up and down the roster. TE/DE Remington Peck, WR/DB Mike Edmunds, RB Harvey Langi and QB Jake Soffe should all make big splashes at the skill positions, while Tuni Kanuch, Vince Giron, Talai Livai and Tame Fangupo will help the lead the way in the trenches.
QUESTION MARK: Probably the biggest question mark surrounding this team right now is whether Bingham will be able to open the 2008 season inside its remodeled stadium, or whether it will shift its game against Skyline to Skyline High. (As of Tuesday afternoon, Peck said it's still 50-50.) That the situation is perhaps the biggest question mark for Bingham speaks volumes about the state of its program and in the quality of its players.
LAST YEAR: 11-2.
PREDICTED REGION 3 FINISH: First.
POSTSEASON POSSIBILITIES: As Peck pointed out, the Miners have been one of Class 5A's top teams in over the past four years, and could've won titles in each of those seasons had bounces gone their way. Bingham will undoubtedly again contend in 2008 and will be one of the teams, if not the team, to beat.
Aug. 22 SKYLINE, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29 at Alta, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Fremont, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 JORDAN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Lone Peak, 7 p.m.
Sept. 25 WEST JORDAN, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 KEARNS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 at Riverton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 HUNTER, 4 p.m.Oct. 23 at Copper Hills, 7 p.m.