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Kanab set to honor legendary Hafen

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The legend is getting his due.

Arlyn Hafen turned Kanab High of southern Utah into a football powerhouse during his nearly thee-decade tenure as head coach, racking up a staggering list of achievements in the process.

Among them, Hafen won six state championships and accumulated 200-plus wins. At one point, he appeared in eight consecutive state championship games. During the 80s, he engineered back-to-back-to-back title wins.

And away from football, he led Kanab to state championships in other sports.

"There's a bio on him that's a mile long," says current Kanab coach Bucky Orton.

Over a decade after his retirement, Kanab has planned a celebration to honor its legendary coach.

On Friday night, when Kanab hosts Beaver, the Cowboys will rename their stadium in Hafen's honor. Orton helped raise more than $35,000 to overhaul what will shortly be called Arlyn Hafen Stadium, and more than 800 former players have been invited to Friday evening's festivities.

"I'm just glad we're finally honoring him," says Orton, who played quarterback and defensive back for Hafen at the end of the head coach's career. "We should've done it a while ago, to be honest. He deserves all the recognition he gets and then some."

That Kanab will play Beaver is fitting, considering the Beavers were the Cowboys' great rival during Hafen's era. (Entering Friday, Kanab and Beaver have met 78 times, with Beaver leading the series, 43-35.)

Hafen will be honored on the field Friday evening alongside Jim Ott, who served as Hafen's defensive coordinator for years.

A new 19-by-24-foot scoreboard inside Kanab's stadium will be unveiled Friday, as well as new visiting bleachers, a red paint job for the press box and a bronze plaque to honor Hafen at the concession stand.

"It got a complete face-lift," Orton says of the stadium.

THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING: Millard, the 2006 runner-up in Class 2A, opened its 2007 season with a thrilling 28-27 overtime win over 3A's Hurricane. In its history, Millard is now 6-0 in overtime games. No other Utah school has won that many overtime contests without losing.

TOP 25 WATCH: Following Week 1 — as you would expect — there were plenty of big winners and losers in the Deseret Morning News' Top 25 rankings. Bountiful (No. 13) stunned Lone Peak, 20-0, last Friday, and was the week's biggest climber, as it ascended 10 spots.

Meanwhile, Highland (No. 5), Cottonwood (No. 8), American Fork (No. 9), Layton (No. 11), Sky View (No. 17), Snow Canyon (No. 19), Weber (No. 20) and Viewmont (No. 21) each rose at least five spots.

On the other hand, Lone Peak was the week's big loser, as it dropped all the way from third to No. 18. Skyline (No. 12), East (No. 15), Box Elder (No. 22) and Hunter (No. 23) — all Week 1 losers — all dropped significantly in the rankings.

STAYING STEADY: No. 1 Bingham and No. 2 Alta held steady at the top of the Top 25 rankings. That will probably change next week, however, as the two 5A giants collide on Friday in a highly-touted nonregion meeting.

E-mail: drasmussen@desnews.com