There's something about stepping onto the turf at Diamond Ranch that gets Robbie Dias' players ready to compete. The yellow-and-black diamondback markings are as unique as the students at the 1A school outside Hurricane. And nobody at Diamond Ranch is as unique as quarterback Noah Courtney.
A 6-foot-7 wide receiver and pitcher has made the transition to playing under center, and Dias believes Courtney's physical and mental domination will be a game-changer in 1A.
"He's a gamer hard-nosed, tough, and can stay in the pocket even when it is collapsing around him," Dias said. "He's got a huge arm and knows how to make a good decision."
If Courtney has to run, Dias warned that he runs a 4.6-second 40 and can drive through defensive backs.
Strong safety Trevor Alverez will anchor the defense. Described as pugnacious, Alverez led the team in tackles last year.
"Just tough real tough and mean," Dias said. "Trevor is definitely ready for the challenge. He hits really hard."
Brothers Steve and Luke Hoffman will help in the corner spots. Both 6-foot-4, the Hoffman brothers will contribute with taking away the pass from opponents.
"I believe we have a really hungry group. This is a group that loves football and are very passionate about it," Dias said. "We might have fallen short in the past, but we're ready to get over that hump."
Last season • 6-6 (lost to Duchesne in semifinals)
Key returner • Strong safety Trevor Alverez will lead the Diamondbacks on the defensive side. Tough and physical, expect the senior to lead the team in tackles.
Player to watch • Quarterback Noah Courtney is a 6-foot-7 beast in the pocket. He boasts good decision-making and can air the ball out. He also has excellent speed when he needs to run.
Biggest hole • Confidence. Coach Robbie Dias is working to convince the players they are as good as he believes they are.
Need to know • The Diamondbacks have the Monticello game circled. Regional rivals, the bad blood between the schools will make for a good game Oct. 10.