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Cedar City football coach Todd Peacock chalks up last season's 1-8 campaign to just one of those things.
"It seems like we're always competitive, but just once every seven or eight years we seem not to connect or whatever with the players," said Peacock, who has been on the job for more than 20 years. "It was a real drop off, and we're not used to that."
The potential upside for the team is that several sophomores worked their way into the starting lineup in the last half of the campaign and are more seasoned than a usual class of juniors might be.
A pair of Dallins are a prime example. Dallin Grover played regularly at running back and linebacker, as did Dallin Brooks at defensive end. Both are juniors now and are joined by classmate Brecken Lewis at middle linebacker.
Lewis also may see plenty of time at quarterback, along with fellow junior Austin Obering.
Offensively, Cedar has some important senior leadership in lineman Cole Dotson as well as running backs Bubba Allred and Dusty Hone. Allred is a state rodeo champ in steer wrestling, while Hone also wrestles. He won state titles against human opponents the last three years.
Defensively, look for solid play from Dylan Tripp at defensive tackle after he transferred from Enterprise. Jaren Forsyth and Brock Esplin return on the defensive line.
"We don't have a lot of seniors returning, but we have a lot of hard-working players back," Peackock said.
ASSIGNMENT • Class 3AA South
LAST YEAR • 1-8 overall, 1-5 Region 9
KEY RETURNER • Cole Dotson, sr., OT/DT
PLAYER TO WATCH • Dallin Grover, jr., FB/LB
BIGGEST HOLE • Cedar City may decide to tackle the quarterback slot by alternating between juniors Austin Obering and Brecken Lewis.
NEED TO KNOW • Cedar City is replacing nearly all of its offense, and most of the slated starters are underclassmen.