The beginning of the 2013 campaign went just swimmingly for Richfield, as the Wildcasts won their first six games. The streak was capped by back-to-back shutouts of Canyon View and Manti to start the region slate.
But a loss to Manti started a slide where Richfield only claimed one win in its last four games. The 'Cats were then quickly swept aside by Morgan (32-13) in the playoffs.
New coach Eric Thorson believes that the early-season version of Richfield is the one that will resurface.
"These guys have had a lot of success growing up; a lot of success in youth leagues," Thorson said. "And they can be successful here too if they can keep other teams out of their heads."
One strength for the Wildcats should be on the offensive line, where senior center Michael Torgerson (6 feet, 200 pounds) and senior guard Nate Woolsey (6-1, 225) return. They'll try to open up holes for senior running back Ryder Rippstein and keepß defenders away from big quarterback Brandon Willardson (6-7, 210).
"He's got a strong forward basketball player build," said Thorson of his senior signal caller. "We're gonna let him loose a little bit."
One of Willardson's targets figures to be junior Greyson Miller (6-0, 190), who will also play linebacker. Defensively, Miller will be joined by fellow two-way starters like Torgerson and Rippstein at linebacker as well Woolsey at defensive tackle.
It's the first head coaching job for Thorson, who was previously an assistant at Sky View.
"We've got the players here," he said. "We just haven't solidified things yet."
Last year • 7-4 overall (2-3 in 3A South)
Key returner • Ryder Rippstein, RB/LB (Sr., 6-1 200)
Player to watch • Jason Geppelt, OL/DL (Jr., 6-2 230)
Biggest hole • Defensive secondary, where the starters at corners and safeties are yet to be determined.
Need to know • The offensive scheme may vary anywhere from a spread to wing-T formations at times.