We have a lot of good returning talent on defense and on offense, even though we're not as experienced there, we have good talent as well. —Timpview coach Cary Whittingham
Note: Timpview finished with a 9-3 overall record in 2016 and second in Region 7 with a 5-2 record. It lost to East 47-34 in 4A quarterfinals.
PROVO — Coming in second isn't something Timpview is used to, and it's providing the program with a lot of motivation for the 2017 season.
Timpview coach Cary Whittingham described the feeling as, "really a shock" for players and those involved with a program that finished second in region play — something that simply doesn't happen to the Thunderbirds.
"We've had so much success here that none of us were used to it," Whittingham said. "But the players remember the feeling and don't want to feel it again — that's for sure. They've worked hard, and are working hard to make sure it doesn't happen again this year."
Finishing second in state is considered a disappointment for a Timpview program that has achieved great success over the last 15-20 years, but second in region? Absolutely unheard of, until last season's bridesmaid spot to Alta in Region 7 play.
Taking back a region championship won't be easy, considering the existing strength within Region 7, although Timpview appears to have the horses necessary to take back its spot on top of the heap.
"We've got some good talent here," Whittingham said. "We have a lot of good returning talent on defense and on offense, even though we're not as experienced there, we have good talent as well."
That talent will have to come together quickly, considering what the Thunderbirds have on tap to start the season. First up is two-time defending 4A champion East, followed by a game with 6A's American Fork before heading to California to play Del Oro High.
"Oh yeah, these kids will get a baptism by fire," Whittingham said. "We're going to learn real fast about where we're at and hopefully we can meet the first few challenges and be playing well when region play starts.
Timpview Thunderbirds at a glance
Coach: Head coach Cary Whittingham enters his sixth year as the T-birds' head coach. The Provo High and BYU alum owns a 56-11 record.
Timpview Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Deven McCann
2016 offensive production: 39.4 ppg (3rd in 4A)
-- 2 returning starters
-- Spread offense
Key offensive returning starters
-- Jake Biggs (WR)
Biggs played quarterback last season but will be asked to play receiver this year. Coaches like his versatility and he's expected to be a leader on what is a relatively inexperienced offensive unit.
Returning offensive starters
Canaan Yarro (OL)
Jacob Jeffries (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
Jake Biggs (WR)
Rowan Reay (WR)
Hunter Erickson (WR)
Isaiah Ramos (QB)
Amoni Tuha (RB)
Whittingham's comments on his receivers:
“None of our receivers has started a varsity game, and a lot of those haven’t even played in one. But they’re talented and a group we feel can become a good one for us. You have guys like Hunter Erickson, who hasn't played football for a while, but he's obviously a great athlete who has Pac-12 offers to play basketball.”
Whittingham's comments on new quarterback Isaiah Ramos:
“He’s new to us, but he started at his high school in California, so we like what we’ve seen from him so far, but he’s only been with us for a short time.”
Whittingham's comments on new offensive coordinator Deven McCann
“He does a good job and he knows his stuff. He has a lot of work with all our new guys, but I have a lot of confidence in him and his system. Him doing a great job for us isn’t something I’m concerned with on offense. It’s about the kids and their ability to get up to speed and operate the system effectively.”
Keys for Offensive Success in 2017:
The athletes are there, but the experience is not, as stated plainly by Whittingham. The key will be how quickly and effectively the inexperience can acclimate to McCann's new system and make plays.
Timpview Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Josh Arnold
2016 defensive production: 17.1 ppg (2nd in 4A)
-- 7 returning starters
-- 4-3 defense
Key defensive returning starters
Whittingham will rely heavily on what appears to be a very formidable front four. The T-birds have put together stout defensive fronts most years and 2017 looks to be no different.
Returning defensive starters
Jackson Cravens (DT)
Terrence Faumui (DE)
Kolby Enosa (DT)
Jacob Bosco (DE)
Karene Reid (LB)
Braxton Whitney (LB)
Beau Tu'ua (DB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
Vou Fitisemanu (LB)
Tevita Foketi (DB)
Payton Madsen (DB)
Oliver Peters (DB)
Whittingham's comments on the strength of the defense:
“We’ll have to rely heavily on the defense until the offense figures it out. It’s going to take time for the offense to get going, we believe, so hopefully our defense can step up and perform like we think they’re capable.”
Keys for Defensive Success in 2017:
Finding good leaders out of the secondary is a question mark, yet Whittingham believes he has the players to step up and provide great leadership and play. The front seven looks solid, with every reason to believe Timpvierw will form one of the top defenses in the state.
Coaches preseason Region 7 straw poll: First
Deseret News Region 7 prediction: First
Key Region Game: vs. Alta (Sept. 29)
Bottom line: Timpview is hungry and will be playing with a chip on its shoulder after last season's second-place region finish. This isn't good news for the rest of Region 7, considering the T-birds' overall talent, tradition and quality of coaches. Timpview's defense should keep it in games most times out, but it will be the success of the offense which determines how far the team can go in 2017.
Aug. 17 — EAST, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 — at American Fork, 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 — at Del Oro, Calif., 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 — PROVO, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 — BYE
Sept. 21 — at Corner Canyon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 — ALTA, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 — BRIGHTON, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 — at Jordan, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — COTTONWOOD, 7 p.m.
Felt's Facts for Timpview High School
All-time record: 328-114 (39 years)
Region championships: 19 (1977 co, 1986 co, 1991, 1992, 1993 co, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 co, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Playoff appearances: 36
Current playoff appearance streak: 27 (1990-2016)
All-time playoff record: 72-25
State championships: 11 (1986, 1991, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014)
State championship record: 11-2
Most played rivalry: 41 meetings with Provo dating back to 1977. Timpview leads 31-10.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Timpview owns the second-longest winning streak in state history at 36, dating from Sept. 15, 2006 to Nov. 21, 2008. ... The T-birds have the longest current winning streak, 26 games, since Sept. 6, 2013. That’s tied for the fifth longest streak all-time. The Thunderbirds hold the record for total yards in a championship game, 611 in the 4A final in 2007. ... Timpview’s Andrew Badger holds the state record for yards gained per reception during a season with 35.8 in 2003. The Timpview defense set a championship game record with eight sacks in 2012. Jake Lloyd tied the state record for season TD passes (53, with Logan’s Riley Nelson), in 2012.
2016 — 9-3 (5-2 in Region 7 – 4A Quarterfinals)
2015 — 11-2 (6-0 in Region 7 – 4A Runner-up)
2014 — 14-0 (6-0 in Region 8 – 4A Champions)
2013 — 13-1 (6-0 in Region 8 – 4A Champions)
2012 — 9-5 (5-2 in Region 8 – 4A Champions)
Timpview coaching history
2012-current — Cary Whittingham (56-11)
2005-2011 — Louis Wong (77-10)
1990-2004 — Chad Van Orden (134-38)
1985-1989 — Garry Walker (30-24)
1982-1984 — Sam Hard (15-13)
1977-1981 — Paul Gillespie (25-23)
Deseret News Mr. Football recipients
2014 — Britain Covey, QB
2008 — Craig Bills, DB
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
2013 — Britain Covey, QB
2012 — Jake Lloyd, QB
2009 — Ofa Latu, LB
2008 — Xavier Su'a-Filo
2007 — Dominique Moe, LB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2016 — Jackson Cravens, DT
2016 — Chaz Ah You, S
2015 — Samson Nacua, WR
2015 — Andrew Owensby, OL
2015 — Nate Richardson, LB
2015 — Will Watanabe, DB
2014 — Jordan Espinoza, WR
2014 — Gabe Reid, DL
2014 — Devin Kaufusi, DL
2014 — Kainoa Tu’ua, LB
2014 — Isaiah Holloway, DB
2013 — Gabe Reid, DL
2013 — Isaiah Nacua, DL
2013 — Pio Stowers, LB
2012 — Dax Raymond, WR
2012 — Pita Taumoepenu, DL
2011 — Rickey Shumway, WR
2011 — Josh Burr, LB
2010 — Christian Covey, QB
2010 — Kalvin Cusick, OL
2010 — Colby Jorgensen, DL
2009 — Trevor Brown, QB
2009 — Tyson Tiatia, OL7 comments on this story
2009 — Chris Badger, DB
2008 — Casey Rumsey, QB
2008 — Travis VanLeeuwen, WR
2008 — Bronson Kaufusi, DL
2008 — Jason Whittingham, LB
2008 — Chris Badger, DB
2007 — Quinn Mecham
2007 — Mark Ercanbrack, WR
2007 — Tui Crighton, OL
2007 — Craig Bills, DB
2007 — Xavier Su'a-Filo, OL
2007 — Kevin Bills, LB
2007 — Bronson Kaufusi, DL
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.