Note: North Summit finished with a 4-7 overall record in 2016 and third in 2A North with a 3-2 record. It lost to Beaver 41-0 in 2A quarterfinals.
COALVILLE — Gary Crittenden takes over as head coach at his alma mater with no shortage of ideas about how to continue the legacy of quality football in his hometown.
Crittenden’s sticking with the wishbone offense that has worked for a long time, but he’s also hoping to change the philosophy of the offense.
“We’ve got to break out of that mentality that we’re going to run the ball at you and you stop us. I want the feel of, What the heck is coming at us.’ I want the defensive coordinators to feel like ‘Holy crap, this is nothing like what we prepared for,’” said Crittenden.
Returning starting quarterback Wade Woolstenhulme passed for just 632 yards last season, but if all goes well that productivity will go way up. The Braves aren’t suddenly going to air the ball out from the wishbone formation, but rather they’ll try and incorporate the running backs into the passing game more frequently.
Woolstenhulme is one of just three returning starters offensively for North Summit, along with offensive lineman Brian Rodriguez and running back Christian Martinez.
Defensively North Summit returns only four starters from a group that ranked near the bottom of 2A as it allowed 27.1 ppg.
One of Crittenden’s priorities within the program is what the kids get out of it.
“I had an amazing experience at North Summit High School. The relationships you build, the memories that you make. More than anything that’s what I want for these kids to have some of those experiences that I had,” he said.
The enrollment numbers have been down in recent years for North Summit, but this year’s freshman class is one of the largest in quite some time. The depth might won’t make much of a difference this year, but the experience gained could be the beginning of the uptick for the program under Crittenden.
North Summit Braves at a glance
Coach: Gary Crittenden is entering his first season as head coach at North Summit High School. He’s spent the past 12 seasons as an assistant coach at Morgan High School. He’s a graduate of North Summit
North Summit Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Aaron Preece
2016 offensive production: 24.3 ppg (5th in 2A)
-- 3 returning starters
-- Wishbone offense
Key offensive returning starters
-- Christian Martinez (RB)
A wing back in the wishbone last season, Martinez had 46 carries for 296 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll be one of the features backs this season.
-- Wade Woolstenhulme (QB)
Wasn’t asked to do too much with his legs last season as he managed the offense effectively by passing for 632 yards and four TDs. He figures to throw for close to 1,000 yards this year.
Returning offensive starters
Wade Woolstenhulme (QB)
Christian Martinez (WB)
Brian Rodriguez (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
Chikote Buckway (FB)
Taten Ringel (WB)
Jace Anderson (WB)
Chase Perry (WR)
Eddie Rodriguez (OL)
Martin Winters (OL)
Brennen Richins (OL)
Wyatt Wilde (OL)
Crittenden comments on QB Wade Woolstenhulme:
“Wade is a really heady player. He’s always willing to do what you want him to do. My biggest challenge is to communicate that to him and let him be the leader that he is. He has some experience coming back. It’s going to be fun to see him prosper and excel. He’s a really athletic kid and always willing to bust his tail.”
Crittenden comments on RB Christian Martinez:
“If the ball’s not in his hands I expect a few texts from people saying what the heck are you trying to do. He is super fast. He’s solid, very coachable. He’d try to run through that wall for you. He’s been in the weight room as faithful as anybody and always willing to put in the extra work to get to that level.”
Crittenden comments on Brian Rodriguez’s leadership on O-line:
“He’s got to bring the other guys up to him, he’s kind of been there done that. He needs to get the other guys up to that level. He’s been doing it in the weight room, and there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll get his line to where they need to be.”
Keys for Offensive Success in 2017:
There’s talent at the skill positions for North Summit to have a strong season, but who’s going to block for them is a work in progress. Only Brian Rodriguez returns with much varsity experience, and getting the group together on the same page by the start of region play will determine whether the program bounces back from last year’s 4-7 record.
North Summit Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Drew Robinson
2016 defensive production: 27.1 ppg (9th in 2A)
4 returning starters
Key defensive returning starters
-- Taten Ringel (S)
Recorded 46 tackles from his safety position last season, and the three-time state champion wrestler brings a toughness to the position that any coach would love.
-- Quaide Richins (LB)
Earned a fair amount of playing time last season for the Braves, finishing with 21 tackles. He’ll be expected to anchor down one of the outside linebacker positions.
Returning defensive starters
Taten Ringle (S)
Christian Martinez (LB)
Quaide Richins (LB)
Quinn Chappell (CB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
Wyatt Wilde (DL)
Jace Anderson (DL/LB)
Chikote Buckway (LB)
Crittenden comments on defensive line play:
“I’m hoping that our running backs can switch over and do linebacker and that will free some of these other kids up to be that D-line presence that we absolutely have to have.”
Crittenden comments on improving pass defense:
“They’ve never really passed so they don’t defend the pass well. Some of that stuff is pretty foreign, they’re looking at you while you’re talking and they’re like ‘what language are you speaking.’ Just getting them understanding coverages and where you’re supposed to be. They’re super big on trying, but if you’re in the wrong place, all the try in the world is not going to help you.”
Keys for Defensive Success in 2017:
Chikote Buckway is a move in from Oregon who Crittenden is planning on plugging right into the middle of his linebacking corps. That should allow Christian Martinez and Quaide Richins to play their more natural outside linebacker position and get the 11 best players on the field most of the time.
Coaches preseason 2A North straw poll: Third
Deseret News 2A North prediction: Third
Key Region Game: at Delta, Sept. 22 (Week 6)
Bottom line: A year ago in North Summit’s four games against upper-level 2A competition, it lost to Beaver by 35 points and 41 points, lost to Summit Academy by 7 and lost to South Summit by 28. Closing that gap against those elite teams is something first-year coach Gary Crittenden hopes to accomplish in his first season. With just one returning starter on the offensive and defensive line, that process could take a while.
Aug. 18 — at Layton Christian, 4 p.m.
Aug. 25 — DUCHESNE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 — at Enterprise, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 — SOUTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 — GUNNISON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 — at Delta, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 — MILLARD, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 — AMERICAN LEADERSHIP, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 — at South Summit, 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 — 2A PLAYOFFS, TBD
Felt’s Facts for North Summit High School
All-time record: 435-375-23 (91 years)
Region championships: 22 (1928, 1929, 1930 co, 1937, 1955, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 co, 1978, 1983 co, 1989, 1990, 1991 co, 2006, 2007, 2013 co)
Playoff appearances: 49
Current playoff appearance streak: 4 (2013-2016)
All-time playoff record: 51-42
State championships: 7 (1964, 1972, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2007, 2008)
State championship record: 7-4
Most played rivalry: 92 meetings with Park City dating back to 1926. North Summit leads 47-42-3. Last met in 2004.
Felt’s Factoid(s): North Summit is tied with two other teams for the most shutouts in one season with 10 (1974). ... Brave Andy Carlsen set the state record for season rushes with 323 in 2002.… North Summit snapped Duchesne’s state-record 48-game winning streak, which began in 2010, on Aug. 29, 2014.
2016 — 4-7 (3-2 in 2A North – 2A Quarterfinals)
2015 — 7-4 (4-1 in 2A North – 2A Semifinals)
2014 — 8-3 (4-2 in 2A North – 2A Quarterfinals)
2013 — 8-3 (5-1 in 2A North – 2A Semifinals)
2012 — 2-8 (2-5 in 2A North – Missed playoffs)
North Summit coaching history
2017 — Gary Crittenden (0-0)
2011-2016 — Devin Smith (35-30)
2000-2010 — Jerre Holmes (74-53)
1999 — Steve Carlsen (1-8)
1995-1998 — Earl Blonquist (13-27)
1994 — Travis Crittenden (3-6)
1993 — Van Hutchinson (8-3)
1987-1992 — Rick Harrison (48-20)
1985-1986 — Earl Blonquist (5-15)
1983-1984 — Bill Brown (10-11)
1982 — Scott Summers (2-7)
1969-1981 — Earl Blonquist (99-44-3)
1962-1968 — Ernest Jacklin (37-26-5)
1958-1961 — Raynor Pearce (12-18)
1957 — Bob Sanchez (5-2-1)
1953-1956 — Benny Kilpack (20-13-3)
1952 — Ken Bearden (1-6)
1951 — unknown (1-6)
1950 — Don Snow (1-5-2)
1949 — Ralph Olsen (1-7)
1948 — Floyd Biddolph (0-6)
1946-1947 — unknown (5-6-1)
1945 — Ed Jensen (5-3)
1931-1947 — unknown (41-49)
1930 — “Silky” Knudsen (4-2-1)
1926-1929 — unknown (13-14-2)
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
2008 — Deven Holmes, QB
2007 — Dallin Donaldson, RB/DB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2016 — Tristan Woolstenhulme, RB/LB
2016 — Logan Rex, OL/LB
2015 — Tristan Woolstenhulme, RB/LB
2015 — Carter Wardrop, TE/DL
2015 — Braden Richins, OL/DL
2015 — Mason Richins, OL/DL
2014 — Ryan McMichael, QB/DB
2014 — Carson Richins, RB/DB
2014 — Cason DeForest, WR/DE
2013 — Ryan McMichael, QB/DB
2013 — Josh Birk, RB/DB
2013 — Trevor Hale, RB/LB
2013 — Austin Simister, OL/DL
2012 — Ben Stephens, RB/DB
2011 — Braden Brown, RB/DB
2010 — Courtney Orgill, RB/LB
2008 — Caden Richins, TE/DE
2008 — Colby Richins, RB/DE
2008 — Wyatt Richins, OL/DL
2008 — Stevin Sommerville, RB/LB
2008 — Bryer Trussell, WR/DB
2007 — Caleb Adams, FB/DL
2007 — Deven Holmes, QB
2007 — Colby Richins, LB
2007 — Drew Robinson, TE/DE
2007 — Chandler Woolstenhulme, LB/OT
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.