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High School football: Layton Christian Academy 2009 preview

LAYTON — For coach Will Hawes, summer is anything but a break.

Since the Layton Christian Academy is a private school, his team continuously changes every year with players leaving and new players emerging. Take last year for example, the Eagles lost 20 of their 31 players to graduation, kids switching to public schools and some just not returning.

"We don't know our team until the first day of school," Hawes said. "It's pretty tough to put a squad together so quickly."

Although it is a difficult task, Hawes' team was able to crank out a 7-4 record last year and is hungry for the postseason.

"We have a squad with lots of players dedicated to the team," Hawes said.

Returning quarterback Andrew Griffin is the anchor of this young Eagles squad. As a sophomore, Griffin threw for 25 touchdowns and ran for three of his own.

"He's our team leader, and I'm hoping he shatters his numbers from last year," Hawes said.

Sawyer should have no problem making the passes with senior Malik Sawyer on the receiving end of the ball. Sawyer also plays cornerback.

Senior defensive tackle Donovan Wilson is also in a place to make big plays. At 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, Wilson is another threat on both sides of the ball.

"It's time for us to take it to another level," said Hawes.

LCA Eagles at a glance

Coach: Will Hawes

Key players: QB Andrew Griffin and WR Malik Sawyer have a perfect opportunity to connect for big numbers. Donovan Wilson and Denzel Gibson should be able to anchor on the defensive side of the ball.

Strengths: Conditioning and weight training are a top priority for the Eagles. Their dedication through the summer, if carried through the season, could also be a huge factor.

Concerns: Every offseason is the Eagles 'kryptonite' as coach Hawes slogans it. Losing 20 of 31 players is a big hit to a team in a tough region.

Last year: 7-4, missed playoffs.

Predicted 1A North Finish: Second

Postseason possibilities: If the Eagles make the playoffs, their attitude they kept to achieve this feat should remain the same if they hope to advance.

2009 Schedule

Aug. 21 — Milford, 4 p.m.

Aug. 28 — West Wendover, 4 p.m.

Sept. 4 — Gunnison, 4 p.m.

Sept. 11 — at White Pines, TBA

Sept. 18 — at Milford, 5 p.m.

Sept. 25 — Duchesne, 4 p.m.

Oct. 2 — Whitehorse, 4 p.m.

Oct. 9 — at Monument Valley, TBA

Oct. 16 — Rich, 4 p.m.

e-mail: cjohnson@desnews.com