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Tradition’s best boosts Bountiful High football

Team finishes the season in 3rd for region, 5-6 overall

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BOUNTIFUL — Tradition begets tradition for Bountiful High football.

Players and coaches are expected to give their best to honor a tradition among Utah's best.

"It's mainly the kids," said Braves head coach Larry Wall. "They have great tradition and want to be playing around Thanksgiving. That's how it should be."

Bountiful finished the 2006 season 5-6 overall and third in Region 5 at 4-2. For the third consecutive year, the Braves met Orem in the first round of the state tournament, but have now lost back-to-back to the Tigers.

In Wall's 22 years with the Braves, he's taken them to 21 consecutive state playoffs. They've won four state championships under his watch and most recently back-to-back in 2002 and 2003.

Even though the Braves didn't have much experience this season, Wall said the team had "expected big things and had high hopes at the outset. We were untested, but still expected to win every game. We battled and played hard and had a pretty good finish in the region."

"This year's team had a pretty good core of leaders," he said, including "Louie Hamilton, one of the top running backs in the state."

Defensive end Nate Pope was voted as one of the region's "top outstanding lineman," while Curry Folipo anchored the defensive line at tackle "and both did a great job." Each was a captain along with 2-way lineman Brock Wright and defensive back/wide receiver Tyler Johnson.

"These guys were our senior leaders, counseled the team and did a great job," praised Wall. While these players have received attention from various colleges, no scholarship decisions have been made.

Returning starters include quarterback Jason Maughan, wide receiver/cornerback Jamie Riley, 2-way lineman Cory Ford, kicker/linebacker Ammon Schwab and Corbin Metcalf, wide receiver. Others who contributed significantly include wide receivers Tim Forsgren and Joey Nelson.

Wall also expects a lot from Tonga Poko, a linebacker, defensive end Ben Kidd and tight end Ben Aird. As always, Wall's hopes are high for 2007.

"We go in thinking we'll win every game. That's our goal and realistic. With our underclassmen coming back and sophomore class, we have good expectations."

Players and fans can also expect the Braves to "al-

ways" front-load their pre-season schedule with 5A teams, the coach said. That schedule will include three-time Region 6 champion Lone Peak, which was formerly 4A and "a good program."

Bountiful beat their rival in both runs to the Braves' last two state championships. Wall anticipates his team will work hard during the offseason in running and conditioning. High school athletic restrictions only allow coaches to supervise players during workout and weightlifting sessions.

"We take pride in our conditioning," he said. "We're in as good a shape as anybody in the state."

The coach also encourages players to participate in other sports, such as basketball, track and wrestling.

Season recap

Record: 5-6

League: 4-2, third place in Region 5

State: Lost to Orem in opening round

Season results

Aug. 18 — Lone Peak 34, Bountiful 14

Aug. 25 — Clearfield 14, Bountiful 7

Sept. 1 — Viewmont 21, Bountiful 0

Sept. 8 — Bountiful 18, Copper Hills 14

Sept. 15 — Bountiful 21, Bonneville 3

Sept. 22 — Box Elder 28, Bountiful 0

Sept. 29 — Bountiful 15, Mountain Crest 14

Oct. 6 — Bountiful 10, Woods Cross 7

Oct. 11 — Sky View 46, Bountiful 21

Oct. 20 — Bountiful 28, Roy 9

4A first round

Oct. 27 — Orem 31, Bountiful 14