LEHI In his second season at Lehi, head coach Derrick Peyton is looking forward to the upcoming season and hoping to see his team progress in competitive Region 4.
Last year, the Pioneers finished with a 1-9 record, which was one game better than 2006's 0-10 nightmare. Despite the difficulties that lay ahead, Peyton has no lack of enthusiasm for his young team's future.
"I think there is a big buy-in to what we are doing," Peyton said. "We live in an instant gratification world, where we want everything right now, but it takes time. I have got to remind myself of that too at times, but we just need to keep trying to get better every day."
Last year's team was senior laden, working with a rookie head coach and things didn't go their way. But Peyton, who says he learned a lot in his first year calling the shots, says that this team has a different feel to it.
"We have had some success with these younger kids, they have won some sophomore and JV games, so they have a different attitude than some in year's past," he said. "They know they can compete and they know they can win games and that is important."
On defense, the Pioneers switched from last year's 3-4 to a 4-2-5 scheme, which plays more to their strength on the defensive line. But Peyton feels his team is very versatile and will switch things around frequently to give different looks to opposing offenses.
On the other side of the ball, the Pioneers have two quarterback's they are excited about and both will find themselves on the field in one role or another. Senior Jordan Smith will get his time at quarterback but he is also valuable to Lehi at wide receiver when sophomore Kayden Jones is running the offense. Peyton says that both guys are capable of running their offense which is centered around team speed."We are going to be up-tempo," Peyton said. "We like to spread it out, but that doesn't mean we are going to drop back and throw bombs all the time. We just want to spread it out and give us a chance to be successful in one-on-one situations."
LEHI PIONEERS 2008 PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW
COACH: After graduating from Granite High in 1997, Derrick Peyton walked on at Eastern Washington where he played receiver and linebacker. After graduating from college, Peyton moved to Ohio to take an assistant position at Ohio University. He also spent two years as an assistant at Hunter High in Salt Lake, before taking his first head coaching position at Lehi last season.
KEY PLAYERS: The Pioneers have two quarterbacks that they are high on. Senior Jordan Smith will anchor the offense, but he is also a talented wide receiver and could see some time at that position as well, along with Josh Miller, Jordan Dew and tight-end David Thompson. The other quarterback vying for time is Kayden Jones. Glenn Baker is a talented tackle on the offensive line and Dylan Stadel and J..J Galandio will both be key on the defensive line. The defense will also feature Justin Holland and Ben Savio at linebacker, and Steven Lew, Cole Munger and Colby Haderlie in the defensive backfield. Five players will share the ball-carrying duties Calvin Gray, C. J. Fredrickson, Tyler Duclos, Tre Ofahengave and Cooper Smith.
STRENGTHS: While their team size is not tremendous, Peyton is excited about the speed of this Pioneers team. They will spread the field and use their quickness as much as possible in this upcoming season. They have several talented people in skill positions and two quarterbacks who they feel are nearly interchangeable.
QUESTION MARK: Playing against teams that have size could pose a problem for Lehi. Their biggest question mark has to be the depth of the team. Peyton said that numbers wise they have enough kids to not play many both ways, but he felt that most likely there will have to be several kids playing both ways. While Peyton is high on his defensive line, the defense will probably struggle against bigger teams that excel at running between the tackles.
LAST YEAR: 1-9, sixth in Region 4.
PREDICTED REGION 4 FINISH: Sixth.
POSTSEASON POSSIBILITIES: Winning just one game last year, and losing all of their region games, the Pioneers will most likely find themselves at the bottom of Region 4. However, a group of younger kids could help Peyton's efforts to revive Lehi and they should see a little more success than they did a year ago, but making the playoffs looks a few years away.
Aug. 22 WEST JORDAN, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29 SPRINGVILLE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 PROVO, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 KEARNS, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Lone Peak, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 AMERICAN FORK, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 TIMPANOGOS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 at Spanish Fork, 7 p.m.
Oct. 23 PLEASANT GROVE, 7 p.m.