Note: Park City finished with a 4-7 overall record in 2017 and was tied for fourth in Region 11 with a 2-3 record. It lost to Dixie 30-6 in 4A first round.
PARK CITY — The second half was Park City’s downfall in 2017, specifically the fourth quarter.
The program finished fourth in Region 11 a year ago with a 2-3 record, and all three of those losses weren’t decided until the fourth quarter. Against the three teams that finished ahead of the Miners in the standings — Stansbury, Bonneville and Tooele — Park City was either tied or led at the half in all three games.
In the second half of those three games, it was outscored 51-13.
The program was close to achieving great things a year ago, but taking the next step in 2018 is the goal for coach Josh Montzingo.
“You can’t be competitive for the majority of the game, it needs to be all the way through. Even when adversity happens, instead of letting that get you down for a drive or two, you’ve got to rise above that and overcome it. Outcompeting them all the way to the final whistle,” said Montzingo.
That fight wasn’t always there a year ago, but Park City’s coaching staff is trying to push this year’s team over the hump by stressing competitiveness every day in practice. Whether it’s in the weight room, 7-on-7 camp or conditioning, Montzingo is trying to stress its importance.
Building off of last year’s partial success won’t be easy as Park City graduated most of its offensive and defensive starters from a year ago.
Montzingo is tweaking things a bit offensively and defensively to adjust to the changing personnel within the program, all of which he hopes leads to success.
Park City’s spread offense will begin under center a lot more in 2018, which Montzingo believes should help his undersized offensive line capitalize on misdirection and angles a lot more.
That same quandary with the lack of big bodies played a role in a switch to a base 3-5 defense.
Park City Miners at a glance
Coach: Josh Montzingo is entering his third season as Park City’s head coach after guiding the program to a 10-13 record the past two seasons. He’s a graduate of Edmonds Woodway High School in Washington.
Park City Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Josh Montzingo
2017 offensive production: 18.7 ppg (18th in 4A)
- 3 returning starters
- Spread offense
Key offensive returning starters
- Mark McCurdy (QB): Started at quarterback last year for the Miners and completed 46 percent of his passes for 1,319 yards and 15 TDs. He also rushed for 527 yards and three TDs. He might make the switch to receiver this year.
- Jimmy Williams (OL): Is the lone returning starter on the offensive line, so the offense will really rely on his toughness and athleticism again this season.
Returning offensive starters
- Mark McCurdy (QB)
- Jimmy Williams (OL)
- Jet Reed (WR)
Offensive newcomers to watch
- Grant Warner (RB)
- Dylan Bauer (RB)
- Chase Johansen (TE)
- Andrew Pederson (TE)
- John Lanigan (OL)
- Penn Komisar (OL)
- Brady Baumann (RB/WR)
Coach Montzingo comments on lone returning O-lineman Jimmy Williams:
“We need his toughness. Our thing is effort, toughness and competition, three things that are kind of our core beliefs and he embodies every single one of them. He has a motor, he never stops, he’s relentless. While he’s undersized he’s going to make up for that with his fight. He’s mentality and physically as tough as they come. I don’t think I saw him get banged up last year when he was outmatched by a 100 pounds on some guys. He’ll compete at anything. If I give him a little rock paper scissors he’s going to beat the dickens out of you because he just wants to win. Him bringing that to the other guys, that fight, I think it’s going to be infectious to the rest of them.”
“Mark obviously can play probably anywhere on the field I put him, such a good athlete for us and has so many avenues of success. Him at quarterback I could do it in a heartbeat, but he gives us some other dimensions defensively and offensively if he’s not at quarterback. Right now I have a couple of kids who both bring something to the table either with their feet or arm, and right now I’m looking for a leader who can execute the offense who brings the guys along mentally as much as physical.”
Keys for Offensive Success in 2018:
Park City’s offense ranked near the bottom of 4A last year, a big reason it couldn’t keep up with teams in the second half. Quarterback Mark McCurdy has a year of growth and maturity under his belt, which could help the Miners take that next step. Will that be enough? Coach Montzingo has hinted that Park City may benefit more from McCurdy’s explosiveness at a variety of other positions on both sides of the ball. That’s all predicated on another quarterback filling those shoes, and perhaps raising the bar. If that happens, Park City could find itself in a lot of games in the fourth quarter again.
Park City Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Cody Gardner
2017 defensive production: 21.8 ppg (9th in 4A)
- 4 returning starters
- 3-5 defense
Key defensive returning starters
- Penn Komisar (LB): Started at linebacker last season and finished fifth on the team with 52 tackles.
- Chase Johansen (DL/LB): Was sixth on the team last year with 51 tackles from his defensive line position, but this year he’ll move to middle linebacker and will be an asset with his size and speed.
Returning defensive starters
- Penn Komisar (LB)
- Mark McCurdy (S)
- Chase Johansen (DL/LB)
- Paul Baynes (CB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
- Grant Warner (LB)
- Jimmy Williams (DL)
- Kam Sinnott (DL)
- Brady Baumann (LB)
- Andrew Pederson (DE)
Coach Montzingo comments on 3-5 defensive switch:
“We just don’t have a lot of linemen and we need to get athletes on the field. It’s one less lineman which can help us to get a rotation going. We need five for offense so that starts to thin you out on defense when you’re using four, so three tends to keep us a little fresher, and I think we can get another athlete on the field.”
Coach Montzingo comments on LB Penn Komisar:
“There will be some responsibility because he is the returner, he is used to it, he’s comfortable out there. He’ll be the guy we communicate with and signal to, and the guy who can get multiple guys in position besides himself. Having that as a coach is a pretty good luxury. His confidence will carry over to the team.”
Coach Montzingo comments on new lineman Kam Sinnott:
“Kam Sinnott transferred from Texas last year, but was hurt all year. I think he’ll contribute this year and play some nose. He had a bum ankle, just kind of nagged all year. He’s been rehabbing all year and finally starting to look healthy. He’s good getting off the ball and played some nose down in a three-man front in Texas, so he’s comfortable. We’re looking for him to step in and do some things.”
Keys for Defensive Success in 2018:
For a team that only won four games last year, Park City’s defense was actually pretty good a year ago. Montzingo said a big part of the problem was the offense didn’t move the ball during long stretches, so the defense was on the field quite a lot and eventually wore down. This year’s defense has some experience question marks, but there are a lot of talented athletes and the switch to a 3-5 defense will get more of those game-changing athletes on the field.
Coaches preseason Region 11 straw poll: Third
Deseret News Region 11 prediction: Third
Key Region Game: vs. Tooele, Oct. 11 (Week 9)
Bottom line: Success was so close that Park City could almost taste it last year, but it never realized those dreams. Many of this year’s starters were back-ups a year ago, and while most don’t have full-blown varsity experience, they saw first hand how close the Miners were to several more victories in 2017, and the desire to take the next step has been present throughout the summer.
- Aug. 17 — at Wasatch, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 24 — LOGAN, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 31 — at South Summit, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 7 — PAYSON, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — BEN LOMOND, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at Bonneville, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — at Stansbury, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — OGDEN, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 11 — TOOELE, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 17 — at Ridgeline, 7 p.m.
All-time record: 416-442-23 (110 years)
Region championships: 23 (1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1941, 1945, 1961, 1969 co, 1980, 1981, 1982 co, 1983 co, 1987, 1988, 1991 co, 2001 co, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Playoff appearances: 42
Current playoff appearance streak: 3 (2015-2017)
All-time playoff record: 28-42
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-5
Most played rivalry: 92 meetings with North Summit dating back to 1926. North Summit leads 47-42-3. Last met in 2004.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Park City, which began its football program in 1901, is the third-oldest in Utah following West (1893) and Ogden (1898). ... Park City holds the season rushing yards record of 4,923 set in 2009.
- 2017 — 4-7 (2-3 in Region 11 – 4A First round)
- 2016 — 6-6 (3-4 in 3AA North – 3A Quarterfinals)
- 2015 — 5-6 (2-4 in 3AA North – 3A First round)
- 2014 — 2-9 (1-5 in 3AA North - Missed playoffs)
- 2013 — 3-8 (3-3 in 3AA North - Missed playoffs)
Park City coaching history
- 2016-current — Josh Montzingo (10-13)
- 2013-2015 — Mike Shepherd (10-22)
- 2010-2012 — Kai Smalley (10-21)
- 2005-2009 — Brandon Matich (39-18)
- 1998-2004 — Mike Shepherd (53-28)
- 1995-1997 — Paul Tomkiewicz (6-22)
- 1994 — Gary Anderson (3-7)
- 1993 — Randy Schreiter (0-8)
- 1978-1992 — Robert Burns (101-53)
- 1977 — Rich Groth (1-7)
- 1976 — Steve Leatham (0-8)
- 1972-1975 — Unknown (8-30)
- 1971 — Wayne Carlson (3-2-4)
- 1968-1970 — Unknown (12-14-1)
- 1967 — Ed Severance (3-5)
- 1966 — Elliott Jordan (4-4)
- 1962-1965 — Gary Knudsen (6-25-1)
- 1958-1961 — Jack Woodbury (11-17-1)
- 1957 — Bill Bell (1-5)
- 1956 — Dave Germann (0-6-1)
- 1953-1955 — Jack Adamson (4-18-1)
- 1951-1952 — Ralph Peterson (4-11)
- 1946 -1950 — Unknown (21-15-4)
- 1945 — Mark Reeves (6-3-1)
- 1943-1944 — Unknown (9-6)
- 1937-1942 — Max Warner (27-14-1)
- 1935 -1936 — Pete Carltson (9-2)
- 1934 — Grey M. Lusty (4-1-2)
- 1933 — Robert Bailey (5-1)
- 1932 — Bob Birbeck (5-0-1)
- 1925-1931 — Unknown (15-22-4)
- 1924 — Floyd Romney (3-2)
- 1901-1923 — Unknown (23-28-2)
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
- 2009 — Dylan Chynoweth, RB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
- 2016 — Collin Zur, WR
- 2016 — Tyler Shea, TE
- 2014 — Ian Moritz, DB
- 2011 — Jono Schettler, WR
- 2010 — Paul Flake, QB
- 2010 — Jake Adams, DL
- 2010 — Jono Schettler, WR
- 2009 — Scott Adams, OL/DL
- 2009 — Erik Walker, QB/FS
- 2009 — Cash Knight, OL
- 2008 — Dylan Chynoweth, RB
- 2008 — Tony Epperson, DB
- 2008 — Ben Portwood, K
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.