Anyone who has been through going 0-10 can appreciate what it means to be where we're at currently. —Lehi coach Ed Larson
LEHI — Some Lehi football fans would sooner forget a brutal 0-10 season in 2014, but, for Lehi coach Ed Larson, the memory is still fresh in his mind. It serves as a reminder of where the program was and how far it's come since Larson first took the job.
The Pioneers have improved every year since Larson took over, just prior to that 0-10 year in 2014, to the point where they're on the cusp of winning an outright region championship on Wednesday, when taking on visiting Skyline.
"Anyone who has been through going 0-10 can appreciate what it means to be where we're at currently," said Larson, whose team is 4-0 in Region 6 play. "Winning state is the ultimate goal, but to be able to win region outright — it would be big. It would mean a lot."
Larson immediately points to others, when talking about the accomplishments over the past four years.
"The administration has been great, the community of supporters, certainly the players, and absolutely my great assistant coaches. Those are the people that have allowed us to improve like we have," Larson said. "We've all gone through it together and that's what makes everything we've done special."
Lehi's season hasn't been perfect. After taking a thrilling 72-66 shootout over Alta in the opening week of the season, the Pioneers received a lot of press and perhaps some of it went to their heads.
Sure, Lehi went on to defeat Pine View 21-14 in week two, but then incurred a 40-7 beatdown at the hands of Lone Peak and an 18-15 defeat to Springville.
"I think our guys started to read their own press clippings too much," Larson said. "Sure, we had some injuries that hurt us, but it was more than that. Fortunately we got humbled enough, and the kids re-gathered in time for region play."
Lehi won its first four Region 6 contests by an average of 33 points, but should face its toughest test with visiting Skyline and its 3-1 Region 6 record.
"Most of the teams in our region run it a lot, but that's not Skyline," Larson said. "They'll be throwing it around and it will be a big test for us. There's something on the line and hopefully we'll be up for it."
Throwing it around for Lehi will be Washington State commit Cammon Cooper, who, like Larson and the rest of the team, has endured a rough initial season to arrive to the point where the program is now.
"You look at Cammon, and he could have gone a lot of different places, but he chose to stick it out here," Larson said. "He went through all the frustrations we've had, along with a lot of others. So it's great and no matter what happens on Wednesday or for the rest of the year, we've made good progress. Hopefully, we can keep it going and build upon the good things we've already accomplished."
Lehi kicks off against Skyline at 7 p.m. MDT.