Note: Viewmont finished with a 3-7 overall record in 2014 and was sixth in Region 1 with a 1-5 record. It did not qualify for the 5A playoffs.


Viewmont’s 2014 Stat Recap

BOUNTIFUL — It's hard to feel good about a 3-7 season.

But while second-year Viewmont head football coach Scott Ditty acknowledges the unimpressive record, he points out that success doesn’t always show up on the scoreboard.

“We measure ourselves by the Ws, always,” he said. “But the reality is, taking very good teams down to the wire, for this program, for where it was, was a huge accomplishment. We actually lost a couple we should have won.”

Instead of looking at wins and losses, Ditty is trying to build his program on progress.

“I got them in June of last year, and they made a lot of progress in a short amount of time,” Ditty said. “Five of those seven literally came down to the last series of the game.”

Turning a program that’s languished in mediocrity into a perennial competitor begins with convincing the players that they are capable of accomplishing what they aspire to achieve.

“It’s going to be a combination of really what the boys believe combined with, obviously, physical conditioning, talent and good coaching,” he said. “You can’t escape those things. We have the talent, and I believe now we have the coaches in place. And we’ve changed things so we’re training and lifting and conditioning like an elite program should.” Ditty said the strength and conditioning programs have a number of purposes. While the obvious reason is to get stronger, more fit players, putting in offseason work gives athletes a mental boost in the uncertainty and pressure of the season.

“I remind them every day when they’re legs are burning and their heads are cloudy and their chests are burning, and they don’t feel like they can take one more step, that next step is the price they pay to cross the goal line in the fourth quarter in the fall,” Ditty said. “Last year when we came so close so many times, we hadn’t paid the price. There is a price for victory, and as much as I love those boys — and it wasn’t really even their fault, (because) the desire was there — but the price had not been paid.”

The physical sacrifices not only makes players stronger individually, but it also binds them together.

“When you’re out here paying the price, you have that burning in your heart, and you can lock eyes with your teammate and you know that, Hey, I didn’t bust my butt and bleed and sweat for the last nine months to come out here and not get this first down or whatever the situation might be.” A big key to changing the course of the program is helping the young men to understand they can triumph over the toughest moments.

“You manufacture adversity in practice,” Ditty said. “You create adversity, you create difficulty so that when they’re in that toxic moment in a game, they know they can do it. They know they will survive, that they can (prevail).”

The Vikings return only eight starters — four on each side of the ball. Many of the team’s top athletes will end up playing both offense and defense as they try to build depth.

Seniors Dustin Mathews, Hunter Burt and Jared Barnum promise to be playmakers for the Vikings.

Mathews will lead the defense as an outside linebacker and defensive end and Burt will play strong safety and wide receiver. He’s also the team’s “emergency quarterback,” Ditty said.

Barnum is one of the players coaches expect to be a difference-maker. The senior may not leave the field much as he’s slated to play running back, wide receiver and could return kicks for the Vikings. “His stats weren’t eye-popping, but his plays are,” Ditty said. “We also have a really strong group of juniors, who won a region championship as sophomores.”

Mathews said having a full offseason with their new coaching staff, as well as each other, has already made a difference in how practices and workouts feel to players.

“I think with pretty much anything, the longer you have to prepare for something, the better off you’ll be,” Mathews said. “We’re just much more prepared with the playbook and know a lot more about our scheme, and we’ve been together longer as a whole team. We’ve had all winter and spring, and we’re ready to go.”

Burt said the team has the talent and has put in the work to make this season more successful.

“The biggest difference is our mentality,” Burt said. “We’re into more of a winning mentality. Last year we weren’t used to winning. …We just have more hope. The years before, we kind of haven’t had anything to go off of. Last year, even though our record didn’t show it, we had a huge leap forward. This year, it will just keep moving forward.”

Senior center Hayden Stubbs said the biggest difference this season is that they are working as a unit.

“Last year it was just a bunch of individuals doing their thing,” Stubbs said. “This year there is a lot more of a brotherhood, a lot more team camaraderie, and I think we’re going to be ready.”

Mathews, for one, looks forward to surprising teams. “I absolutely think we have a lot to prove this year,” he said. “We made strides last year, but 3-7 isn’t acceptable to us. We have a lot of heads to turn and a lot of people to prove wrong.”

Vikings at a glance

Head Coach: Scott Ditty enters his second year as the Vikings head coach. A long-time assistant at Timpview and Alta, the California native also has experience as a junior college coach. A graduate of Weber State, Ditty's experience with successful programs could help turn the Viewmont program around.

Offense (Returning starters 4; spread)

Offensive Coordinator: Jeff Jorgensen (first year as an assistant)

Returning offensive starters:

Jared Barnum (RB/WR/KR)

Hunter Burt (WR)

Cole Huish (QB)

Hayden Stubbs (C)

Defense (4 returning starters; 3-4 defense)

Defensive coordinator: Scott Ditty (second year)

Returning defensive starters:

Dustin Mathews (OLB)

Tanner Avei (CB)

Hunter Burt (SS)

Scott Young (FS)

Coaches preseason Region 2 straw poll: Fifth

Deseret News Region 2 prediction: Sixth

Bottom line: The Vikings don’t enjoy the number of players that some 5A football programs have so the ability of the team’s core to stay healthy will be critical to earning more wins this season. That’s more of a factor as the season wears on and the best players have less and less time off the field to recover. Viewmont has the talent to compete for a region title, and the Vikings are certainly working hard on changing their mindset and expectations. If they find success on the scoreboard, their ascendance could make the Region 2 race one of the most enjoyable to watch.

Last 5

2014 — 3-7 (1-5 in Region 1 – Missed playoffs)

2013 — 1-9 (0-6 in Region 1 – Missed playoffs)

2012 — 2-9 (2-3 in Region 2 – 5A First round)

2011 — 8-4 (4-1 in Region 2 – 5A Quarterfinals)

2010 — 3-7 (2-6 in Region 1 – Missed playoffs)

Viewmont coaching history

2014-current — Scott Ditty (3-7)

2009-2013 — Brad Lloyd (20-34)

2003-2008 — Robbie Gunter (36-29)

2000-2002 — Russ Jones (20-13)

1992 -1999 — Ross Harris (24-55)

1987-1991 — Joe Yanowsky (9-37)

1983-1986 — Warren Hatch (18-21)

1981-1982 — Mark Pierce (12-9)

1980 — Wade Bender (6-7)

1976-1979 — Monte Jones (6-29)

1974-1975 — Chuck Banker (8-11)

1969-1973 — Steve Dangerfield (38-18)

1966-1968 — Bill Ostler (8-18-2)

1964-1965 — Dick Lewis (3-14)

Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years

(None) view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.

Twitter: adonsports EMAIL: adonaldson@deseretnews.com