The days may be gone where Alta is consistently listed among the favorites in 5A football, but coach Bob Stephens is doing what he can to keep the Hawks competitive.
"I'm trying to instill this mentality of, because our numbers are low, we've got to work harder than anybody in the state in order to be able to win," Stephens said.
No matter the odds they face and this year's schedule is challenging their aspirations will always remain the same: win region, go deep in the playoffs, and win state.
"That's a goal of Alta," Stephens said. "It will constantly be a goal of Alta, no matter how [hard the path] may look, but that's our goal."
The Hawks boast some elite talent led by Quinn Fabrizio and some young talent waiting in the wings.
"I'm excited as heck," Stephens said. "We've got some great players returning in key spots and great young talent that's going to be filling in. I'm excited to see what they can do at this level, as well."
The key issue for the Hawks will be overcoming a lack of depth. This means avoiding the season-ending injuries that plagued them last year.
"It should be a fun and exciting year, and I hope we compete well. In fact, I know we'll compete well. I just look forward to seeing how things roll," Stephens said.
Last year • 5-6
Key returner • Safety/linebacker Quinn Fabrizio one of the state's top players is a three-year starter that brings quality leadership, and has a great work ethic and a lot of ability.
Player to watch • The Hawks will look to Josh Souifua (300-plus pounds) and Donald Wilkinson (6-foot-7, 300-plus pounds) to anchor their offensive line.
Biggest hole • Alta lost a lot of talent in its secondary from 2013. The top returner, Fabrizio, has grown into linebacker body.
Need to know • The Hawks were so snake-bitten by injuries in 2013, they lost two key contributors in the first three games to season-ending broken legs.