Timpview's so-called "dream" has become a nightmare for competitors in the 4A boys basketball ranks. Key move-ins, including BYU-bound Nate Cooper of Mountain View, have made an already solid program even better.
Beau Archibald, son of BYU assistant Lynn Archibald, and fellow senior Ryan Davis round out the additions expected to see plenty of varsity time."We do have added strength with those kids in our program," said Timpview coach Don Chamberlain. "There are some things they do really well. The problem is we have new kids trying to learn the system."
The newcomers join returning Thunderbirds - all seniors - Daniel Brooks, Frank Afaya, Danny Crany and Trent Church in Timpview's primary rotation.
Despite having their move-ins approved by the state, the Thunderbirds have caught criticism - not everybody is pleased with the new and improved Timpview.
"I think its blown out of proportion," said Chamberlain. "We got some good players, but we had some decent players before."
Cooper, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding and assists, is the lone addition to have regularly cracked the starting five throughout the preseason.
"It's hard to say, but I think we'll be a contender," said Chamberlain. "I wouldn't call it a dream team, though."
However, an 8-0 preseason record and the top Deseret News 4A ranking, speaks volumes otherwise. Timpview already owns victories over 5A powers Brighton and Mountain View.
"We're not slaughtering people," said Chamberlain. "We just rise to the occassion."
Such will become necessary when Region 8 play begins next month. Especially with the likes of Provo, Payson and Pleasant Grove battling for top region, as well as state honors.
"We're a little prejudiced, but our league is better than last year. Most of the teams have good players back," said Chamberlain. "Some years are up and some years are down. This year is definitely an up year for our region."
Outside of Region 8, top 4A championship contenders include Mountain Crest, Box Elder, Logan and Murray.
Northern Utah placed just one team in last year's 4A state tournament - champion Sky View. However, 1995 promises to be more of a family affair with five league teams capable of achieving postseason success. Mountain Crest, Box Elder, Logan, Sky View and Ogden have proven, thus far, to be legitimate contenders. Region 5's greatest asset may be its wealth of solid teams. Bear River and Ben Lomond will likely finish well behind the pack
COACHES STRAW POLL (with current records): 1. Mountain Crest (3-5), 2. Box Elder (7-1,) 3. Logan (5-3), 4. Sky View (4-4), 5. Ogden (6-2), 6. Bear River (3-4), 7. Ben Lomond (2-5).
After securing the last three placings at state last March, league members will no doubt be seeking a reversal of fortunes this year. Tooele, Murray and Judge Memorial were sixth, seventh and eighth respectively in 1994.
A season later, Murray is considered the favorite to take league honors with Judge and Jordan expected to give chase. Tooele is a dangerous darkhorse pick, while Granite will likely occupy the cellar.
COACHES STRAW POLL (with current records): 1. Murray (4-2), 2.Judge (4-2), 3. Jordan (2-4), 4. Tooele (2-3), 5. Granite (2-5).
Olympus marched into last year's state final as this league's sole survivor. Despite falling short against Sky View, the Titans did manage to give Region 7 something to cheer about in the postseason.
Unpredictable by nature, Region 7 becomes a crapshoot thanks to heavy graduation losses with the Titans. East is considered the frontrunner with Olympus, Cyprus, West and Woods Cross expected to follow in that order.
COACHES STRAW POLL (with current records): 1. East (4-3), 2. Olympus (4-3), 3. Cyprus (4-3), 4. West (5-3), 5. Woods Cross (2-4).
Most years a team like Timpview would already have the gold trophy engraved upon. However, 1994-95 is far from being a normal year in Utah County - everybody's loaded with the state champion expected to come from Region 8.
The Thunderbirds have combined with fellow contenders Provo, Payson and Pleasant Grove for a 26-6 preseason mark. The Fab Four will likely continue their elite status in league play - thus, leaving improving Spanish Fork and Springville out in the cold.
COACHES STRAW POLL (with current records): 1. Timpview (8-0), 2. Provo (6-2), 3. Payson (5-3), 4. Pleasant Grove (7-1), 5. Spanish Fork (4-5), 6. Springville (3-5).