Success has been abundant for the folks in Region 2. Besides Skyline's 5A title run last season, the balance of the Davis/Salt Lake county league has also enjoyed exciting campaigns in recent years. In fact, Bountiful (twice) and Highland have also experienced state championship victories in the past decade.
Individually, the league boasted several of the state's top players, including Cal Beck of Cottonwood and Matt Cannon of Highland, last season - a year in which the league, Skyline and Highland in particular, remained constants in the upper echelon of the weekly rankings.Will the trend continue?
Most coaches believe so. Skyline is expected to offer a serious repeat bid, while Bountiful and Davis are looking to bounce back into contention. Meanwhile, Highland and Viewmont will likely battle for the league's final playoff spot as Cottonwood faces a rebuilding process.
Bountiful: More depth, more speed and more experience has the Braves quietly optimistic about the upcoming campaign.
"I think we'll be better," said coach Larry Wall. "We've got some key kids coming back. We've got a quality bunch."
Running back Jon Benson leads a deep senior lineup which includes defensive end/tight end Tony Dickamore, lineman Brooks Bahr and linebacker Jeff Rigby.
Bountiful survived a three-way tiebreaker with Cottonwood and Davis to earn a playoff spot in its inaugural campaign in the 5A ranks - after becoming the only 3A school in the state to make such a jump last season.
Cottonwood: The Colts begin the post-Cal Beck era looking for answers.
"This is a different year for us," said coach Mike Reardon. "We're going to have to depend on everybody."
Indeed, without Beck, Cottonwood can no longer rely on big plays to remain competitive.
And without much depth or varsity experience, the Colts will look to returning starters Don Fountaine and Ryan Taggart for leadership. The seniors man running back/defensive back and line positions respectively.
Another bright spot is at quarterback where senior Oliver Burt has excelled.
Davis: After having a string of 21 consecutive winning seasons snapped, the Darts are eager to "get back on track." Add depth and experience to the equation and Davis appears capable of returning to the winner's circle.
"This group of kids didn't care much for losing," said coach Jim Dickson. "They want to get back on winning ways."
Quarterback Kyle Olsen returns for his senior season as does tight end Steve Hunt, lineman Adam Sheffield and running back Dixon Brown.
Highland: How the Rams will fare without 1993 Deseret News MVP Matt Cannon and other graduated stars is anybody's guess according to coach Tom Kingsford.
"I guarantee we'll be ready to go every week," he said. "As to whether we'll perform, I wish I had a crystal ball."
Chad Iverson is the team's new quarterback. He is joined in the backfield by versatile running back Danny Rivera. Fellow senior David Kotter is solid at center, while lineman Scott Giles is one of the squad's top juniors.
Skyline: The defending 5A state champions, who went undefeated last season, are loaded and ready for another shot at the title.
"We know it's a rough and rocky road," said coach Roger Dupaix. "There are probably 7 or 8 teams that could win the state championship and we like to think we are one of them."
Though not as physically big as last year's team, the newest group of Eagles do have plenty of experience on their side. Quarterback Brandon Doman returns for his senior season to anchor a solid offensive effort. Other top returnees inlcude tight end Brandon Tuft, defensive end Creed Pettit, half-back Sky Grant and nose guard Shon Facer.
Viewmont: The Vikings ended years of frustration by reaching the playoffs last season. However, heavy graduation losses, especially on the line, may halt another trip.
"We're going to focus on the positives and keep going in the right direction," said coach Ross Harris. "We definitely plan on playing at least 10 games."
To capitalize on its springboard of confidence, Viewmont will look to senior veterans for guidance. Mark Larsen, who saw plenty of duty last season at quarterback, headlines a talented upper class. Other standouts include linebacker Nate Walker, wide receiver/defensive back Paul Hess, tailback Ammon Pitt and free safety Justin Nelson.
Results of the league coaches straw poll.