BOUNTIFUL There are certain things the Viewmont Vikings have become known for during Robbie Gunter's tenure as head coach.
They are going to scrap, execute, be disciplined and bring it for 48 minutes every Friday night.
The 2008 team will be no different.
"That's what we try and do," Gunter said. "We don't always have the biggest, fastest guys, but we have guys who will commit, and try and execute and be disciplined. The kids are trying to be great."
Not all will be familiar with the Vikings this season. Viewmont is experienced and returns some playmakers. The team can still be counted on to play with its usual characteristics, but with the amount of returning talent and size it is bringing back, Viewmont has a real shot at making some noise in Region 1 and in the state.
"We're going to be a really explosive and fast team this year," said running back Kolby McCloyn. "We got a lot of fast guys, a lot of really good talent. It should be an exciting season."
The Vikings are mostly excited about the season because they are stocked with returning players on the offensive and defensive lines. Powerhouse Mason Boddy, Ron Wyman and Hayden White lead a group that is among the best in Region 1. Not only are they good, but they're also more experienced than most lines in the tough region.
Viewmont usually has to compete with undersized and athletic lines. The linemen this year can move, but they aren't tiny.
"We're as big as we've ever been at Viewmont," Boddy said. "It (the size of Viewmont's line) might be average for other schools. For us, we're big."
The Vikings' offense will be led at quarterback by either senior Ryan Workman or junior Dustin Grigg. Both are solid athletes and threats to run and pass. Grigg started at cornerback last season and held his own against some of the state's top receivers.
Viewmont may throw the ball more than usual this season, but it can still rely on running backs such as McCloyn, Kyle Bilbrey and Anthony Tuli to balance the offense. Receiver Travis Frey will be a big factor in the team's passing game.
Boddy and White will anchor the team's defensive line. The secondary should be solid with returning players Workman, Grigg and Iuni Tuli leading the way.
"We got the whole package this year, I think," Boddy said.
The offseason was much simpler for the Vikings than the previous one. Last summer, they were stunned by the tragic death of star player Seth Fraughton. They dedicated the 2007 season to him, and they performed better than anyone outside of the program could have ever imagined.
Viewmont also had its new turf field installed prior to the 2007 season, and had it ready to go just minutes before the kickoff of its opener against Orem. The field hasn't been a distraction for the Vikings this offseason.
Viewmont is thankful it could just focus on football this offseason. And that focus is one of a few reasons why the Vikings should be considered a contender in Region 1 and in the state."We go into every year with high expectations, and this year is no different," Boddy said. "Our main goal is region, and we want to go deep in the playoffs and make a run at the state championship. That's what we're shooting for this year."
Viewmont Vikings 2008 prep football preview
COACH: Robbie Gunter is entering his sixth season at Viewmont. Under his guidance, Viewmont has become a consistent winner and a thorn in the side of other Region 1 teams. He has helped the Vikings become a respected program.
KEY PLAYERS: It all starts up front for the Vikings with returning players (DT) Mason Boddy, (C) Ron Wyman and (DE) Hayden White. The team has some playmakers in (QB/DB) Ryan Workman, (QB/DB) Dustin Grigg, (RB) Kolby McCloyn, (WR) Travis Frey, (RB/P) Kyle Bilbrey, (RB) Anthony Tuli and (DB) Iuni Tuli.
QUESTION MARK: Everything seems to be in place for the Vikings to have a successful season and to make a nice run in the playoffs. Success in the playoffs is the one hump Viewmont needs to get over. So the question is, can this team win a big game or two?
LAST YEAR: 6-5, lost in first round of playoffs
PREDICTED REGION 1 FINISH: Third
POSTSEASON POSSIBILITIES: It would take a rash of injuries to keep the Vikings out of the playoffs. The team has the experience and talent to finish in the top two in the region and get the chance to host a playoff game. Viewmont should get past the first round of the playoffs, and reaching the Rice-Eccles Stadium turf is a possibility.
Aug. 22 at Orem, 7 p.m.
Aug. 29 at Lone Peak, 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 BOUNTIFUL, 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 SYRACUSE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Clearfield, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 FREMONT, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 DAVIS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 at Weber, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 LAYTON, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 at Northridge, 7 p.m.