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North Sanpete coach Matt Roberts does not have to read minds to know what the other coaches in Class 3A are thinking.
This is a team that will be picked to finish at or near the bottom of 3A South.
With just two returning starters back on a team that finished 5-6 overall and made the playoffs, North Sanpete is well aware that it won't be on anyone's list to win the region. Roberts is hoping that works to his team's advantage.
"If we don't go at least 5-5 and compete for a region championship, we will be disappointed," he said. "Once you get in the playoffs and get hot, anything can happen. I know that we're going to be picked at the bottom because of our inexperience, but I like that. We're not going to get respect. We're going to have to earn it."
The optimism at North Sanpete centers around quarterback Brady Wheeler, a left-handed junior who has two years of varsity experience under his belt.
The only other returning starter also is a good one offensive lineman Ryan Milne, who will play right tackle. Easing some of Roberts' concerns on offense has been the emergence of Colton Barkdull, who has emerged as a leader in the work ethic and in the weight room. He will take over the center spot on the line.
When Wheeler goes to the air, he will have a couple of good options to choose from. Bob Serrano should see a lot of action at tight end and its likely that wide receiver Joey Raymond will lead the team in receptions. He's got the best hands on the team and runs precision routes.
The defense got a boost with the addition of Garrett Turpin, a move-in, who will play one of the spots on defensive end. Turpin and the rest of the defense will have to get up to speed quickly if North Sanpete hopes to compete for a playoff spot.
North Sanpete Hawks
ASSIGNMENT • Class 3A South
LAST YEAR • 5-6 overall, 3-2 Region 12
KEY RETURNER • Brady Wheeler, a junior quarterback who has started since he was a freshman and is now poised to have a big year
PLAYER TO WATCH • Joey Raymond is a wide receiver with great hands and adept at picking up yards after the catch.
BIGGEST HOLE • Inexperience. The Hawks must build their defense around a group that doesn't return a single starter from last season.
NEED TO KNOW • The success of this team will depend on how quickly a group of rookies can adjust to the varsity level.