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Templars hope for chance at 2A title

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One year ago, Manti was anointed as the team to beat, but the Templars faltered in the Class 2A state tournament and never made it to the finals.

This year, the Templars are in the same situation they were last year, only this time they are hoping to take it one step further.

Beaver, selected to win Region 13, is the defending champion. South Summit was tabbed as the Region 14 favorite.

Here's a quick look at each region.

REGION 12 — Manti, San Juan, Gunnison and North Sevier have established themselves as contenders for the region title.

Manti returns seniors Kevin Cox, James Peterson and Kyle Crouch, while San Juan coach Derek Farr will rely on Eldon Carroll, Duncan Olsen and Dallin Adams.

Manti has only one loss and that was to Class 3A No. 1 Emery. San Juan is currently 5-2.

North Sevier is under a new head coach in Mark Bailey, and the Wolves, with Tyrell Peterson, Devin Jorgeson, Riley Wanlass and Allen Nielson are playing well.

Gunnison also has a new head coach — sort of. Longtime coach Danny Hill returns after taking the past four years off. The Bulldogs are 4-3 behind Jake Hill, Jim Neill and Kris Bartholomew.

Richfield is 3-4 but started the year without Chris Damon (surgery) and Cameron Dart. By the time region rolls around, the Wildcats could be tough.

South Sevier is hoping to rebound after winning back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.

REGION 13 — Last year Beaver walked away with the regular season region title. This year it won't be as easy. Beaver returns starters Wes Marshall and John Tobey, along with Dallen Bradshaw, Jared Gillins, Kyle Blackner and Rhett Smith.

Parowan is currently 7-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class 2A. Keith Hughes and Bronson Wilks have fueled that fine run along with Cole Lister, Ryan Tripp, Stephen Burton and Colton Ray.

Kanab could contend for the title with Mace Glazier, Colt Nieman, Clay Greenland and Blake Doss.

Enterprise returns two starters led by McKay Jones. The Wolves could sneak up and finish high with an upset or two.

Millard finished fourth in state last year but doesn't return a single starter. Monticello fared well last year in this region but could struggle this year.

REGION 14 — With one full year of coach Tory Coil's system under their belts, the Wildcats are expected to finish higher than fifth in their region.

Cole Sorensen, Jason Woolstenhulme and Todd Tapp are the Wildcats' top returning scorers and they should get considerable help from Brady Johnson, Ryan Rockhill, and Brandon Marchant.

North Summit is in a semi-rebuilding year with just one retuning starter in Andy Carlsen. Rocky Pace and Jason Kirkham will be counted on to lead the Braves, which are currently ranked fifth in Class 2A.

Juan Diego had a break-through year in football, and it could do the same in basketball with Chad Vaculin, James Rosenbury, Colin Hardy, Marquis Wilson and Andrew Goodhand.

Despite going to the finals last year, Juab is picked to finish low in the region. The Wasps boast one of the top players in the classification in senior Justin Hooper. Seniors Craig Higginson and Robert Nielson also return.

David Cooper and Steve Hirschfield will lead Grand, while first-year Rowland Hall coach Derek Bunting will count on Paul Long, Kyle Olson and Briggs Matheson.

E-mail: jhinton@desnews.com