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James Cordova has enjoyed the view from the mountain top as a coach, having guided his Bulldogs to three state titles during his tenure at Judge Memorial.
It's fair to say that he hasn't often seen the bottom, like last season.
Judge hit the nadir in 2016 with an 0-10 campaign. And Cordova has the experience to tell you why.
"Depth was the big issue we were dealing with," he said. "We were good for about three quarters. All my kids went both ways and they would just tire out."
Struggles on the offensive end eventually would translate to trouble for the defense as fatique set in late in the game. Cordova thinks his offense will be improved enough this season to alleviate that problem.
But what will help even more is competing in a Class 3A region with Carbon, Emery, Grantsville, Morgan and Union schools Cordova likens to his own. All of the seven schools Judge played in region last year are now in 4A.
"I think they're in the same situation as we're in small team, low in numbers and can't compete with the schools we were in [region] with," Cordova said about his new region rivals. "They [the Judge players] feel like they can play at this level and succeed at this level."
Behind center • In an otherwise forgettable thumping at Tooele to close the year, Judge fans got to see what the future may hold with quarterback Parker Edgington (5 foot 10, 150 pounds). He started the last three games of the season, and his best showing was in the 51-0 loss. He can run and has the ability to throw quick screens. Senior Zach Thomas (6-0, 190) got 30 carries at running back, the most for any returning player aside from Edgington. Also look for Kayden Milburn (5-8, 165) to run the ball from a wing position.
Ball hawks • The Bulldogs lost their leading receiver in 2016, but Sam Cassel's total catch count was only 24, so there's plenty of room for improvement. Cordova thinks he has several candidates for starting jobs at wideout. That includes senior Casey Bouillon (6-0, 170), senior Andrew Cotter (6-1, 170) and a pair of newcomers. Tray Sidberry (6-2, 195) is a senior who has been playing basketball at Judge the past two years, and junior Noah Taylor (5-9, 165) came to town when father Troy Taylor became the University of Utah offensive coordinator. Taylor and Milburn also will be on the prowl for interceptions because both will double as defensive backs.
In the trenches • "Short and stocky," is how Cordova likes to describe his offensive linemen. Seniors like Casey Randazzo (5-10, 190) and Tanner Jones (5-9, 185) fit the build at center and tackle. "That's what we get, that's our standard," Cordova joked. But the Judge coach thinks that'll be a good starting spot as he builds the line around those two. Randazzo is expected to line up at nose guard as well.
Hit men • Thomas moves forward a little, from strong safety to linebacker, in the Bulldogs' defensive scheme. His responsibility will remain the same, and then some: Making the tackle. Edgington also will be in the linebacking corps as the team's quarterback will continue the recent traditon of players lining up both offensively and defensively.
Key returners • Parker Edgington, Sr. (QB/LB); Zach Thomas, Sr. (RB/LB); Casey Randazzo, Sr. (C/NG); Kayden Milburn, Sr. (RB/DB)
Key losses • Jack Boomer, QB/SS; Sam Cassel, WR/CB; Andreas Cordova, LB; Josh Ballard, LB
The next wave • Tray Sidberry, Sr. (WR); Noah Taylor, Jr. (WR/DB); Casey Bouillon, Sr. (WR/DB); Tanner Jones, Sr. (OT/LB)
Judge Memorial Bulldogs
Coach • James Cordova, 15th year
Last season • 0-10, 0-7 in Region 3AA North
State championships • 1970, 1972, 1973, 1981, 1983, 2013, 2014
Championship game appearances • 1959, 1964, 1969, 1971, 1975, 1993, 2007
Aug. 18 • at Ogden, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 • at Juan Diego, 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 • Summit Academy, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 • North Sanpete, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 • at Emery, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 • Morgan, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 • at Union, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 • at Grantsville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 • Carbon, 7 p.m.