Note: Parowan finished with a 2-8 overall record in 2009 and a 0-5 record in 2A West. It lost to South Sevier, 33-10, in the 2A quarterfinals.
Parowan is jumping on the spread offense bandwagon.
A year after a mostly disappointing season that produced just two victories, coach Matt Labrum has decided to transition his team to a spread offense heading into the 2010 season.
Quite simply, Labrum said, "It opens up our athletes."
With plenty of returning skill position players, and absolutely no returning starters on the offensive line, the Rams needs to pick up the spread in a timely manner to avoid another winless season in region this year.
"It is a little bit tougher, but it's simple also. There's not so many different types of blocks, it's just knowing where your doubles happen and we're starting to figure that out," said Labrum.
Wes Marshall, a former assistant at Beaver, is helping with the transition as Parowan's new offensive coordinator. It's one of several major changes to the program.
Ryan Robinson has played quarterback his entire life, but his coach doesn't believe he's a good fit for that position in the spread offense. Instead, he's handing the reigns over to Zack Wood — whose athleticism makes him the perfect fit.
"We're excited about that. He can make big plays and he's going to have the ball in his hand every possession," said Labrum.
Robinson will still be an integral part of the offense at wide receiver, and Labrum said he expects him to have a great season too. Just as important, Robinson has handled the switch very well. That positive attitude is an underated aspect to this year's team.
"These kids have a good attitude, but we don't have a lot of numbers this year. The kids are coming in and want to work," said Labrum.
The attitude on last year's team dwindled as the season wore on, but by the first round of the playoffs Parowan's roster had been whittled from high numbers to just 25. It turned out to be a good thing, because the depleted Rams played their best game of the season to beat North Sevier 36-6 to advance to the 2A quarterfinals.
"The kids who were there wanted to be there and we ended up getting that victory," said Labrum. "You're only as good as the numbers are."
This year the numbers aren't great, but Labrum will stress to his players that a good attitude will make up for a lot.
Parowan Rams at a glance
Coach: In three years at Parowan, Matt Labrum has amassed a 12-21 record. He is a graduate of Union High School in Roosevelt.
(3 returning starters; spread offense)
Zack Wood is taking over at quarterback in the spread offense, with Ryan Robinson shifting to receiver. Parowan's roster features several other quality skill position players including Caden Pickett, Luke Little and Rhett Bassett. There's plenty of uncertainty in the trenches though with zero returning starters.
(5 returning starters)
With the graduation of some quality defensive lineman and all-state linebacker Brett Cecil, Labrum is genuinely concerned about the front seven of his defense. He said the defense will have to work "a little bit harder" this year to be competitive. Caden Pickett and Trexton Lozano are a few of the players who will need to step up at linebacker. The secondary will actually be a strength for the Rams with Zack Wood, Rhett Bassett and Ryan Robinson all expected to make big contributions.
Coaches preseason 2A West straw poll: Sixth
Deseret News 2A West prediction: Sixth
Bottom line: Without a winning tradition like some of the other 2A programs, not much is expected year to year from Parowan. Labrum is trying to be proactive with his efforts to build the program by switching to a more fun offense, but the learning curve with the spread offense is very underrated. Unless the Rams really overachieve, they're likely headed to a similar disappointing finish in 2010.
Aug. 20 – at North Sevier, 7 p.m.
Aug. 27 – ALA, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4 – at South Summit, 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 – GUNNISON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 17 – at Kanab, 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 – ENTERPRISE, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 – SOUTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 – at Millard, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 – BEAVER, 7 p.m.