Note: Park City finished with a 6-6 overall record in 2016 and fifth in 3AA North with a 3-4 record. It lost to Stansbury 54-0 in 3AA Quarterfinals.
PARK CITY — Park City’s football team experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during a two-week stretch of the 3AA playoffs last season.
The high was scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter at Cedar to rally for the 28-21 first-round win. The low came a week later when Park City was annihilated by Stansbury 54-0, when only a month and a half earlier it lost to Stansbury by just 19 points.
“They realize while it was fun to get that Cedar game and they did a great job with their focus and effort they took that week, against Stansbury they realized we’re not quite there yet and we have a lot of work still to do,” said Park City's second-year head coach Josh Montzingo.
The resiliency the team showed at Cedar was a huge step in the right direction. It was Park City’s first playoff win since Brandon Matich’s last season as head coach in 2009.
“We had to learn how to win, and we’re still kind of learning how to win,” said Montzingo. “We had to learn the mental toughness that it takes to persevere through a game and that things don’t always go your way. You can still fight back and win and you could see that down the stretch the last couple of games we had to come from behind to win.”
Park City has some talented pieces coming back with six offensive returning starters and five on defense. Several of those starters were thrust into starting roles at various times last season because of injury and gained varsity experience it otherwise wouldn’t have.
The Miners will still be young in a lot of spots, with several sophomores expected to contribute. That’s not a bad thing either.
“We had a freshman class that was undefeated last year. Very competitive, very dedicated and they love the weight room,” said Montzingo.
“We’ve told everyone this year how fast we grow up is how quickly we advance as far as wins and losses.”
One of the biggest keys to this season will be new quarterback Beau Pederson. He hauled in nearly 1,000 yards last season at wide receiver, but he’s incredibly athletic and making the move to QB this year. His arm is decent, but he’s gifted with his legs so expect Pederson to do a lot of running behind his three returning starters on the O-line.
Last year Park City quarterback Spencer Zur passed for 2,863 yards and rushed for 308 yards in the spread offense. If Park City is successful, each of those numbers figures to be closer to 1,500.
Park City Miners at a glance
Coach: Josh Montzingo is entering his second season as Park City’s head coach after guiding the program to a 6-6 record in his debut season. He’s a graduate of Edmonds Woodway High School in Washington.
Park City Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Josh Montzingo
2016 offensive production: 20.5 ppg (10th in 3AA)
-- 6 returning starters
-- Spread offense
Key offensive returning starters
-- Tyler Shea (TE)
An all-state tight end last year, Shea caught 39 passes for 569 yards and three touchdowns.
-- Beau Pederson (QB)
Was a second-team all-state wide receiver last season with 966 yards and 10 TDs and his making the shift to quarterback this season.
Returning offensive starters
Beau Pederson (WR) – moving to QB
Tyler Shea (TE)
Joey Lukrich (RB)
Joe Graf (OL)
Sage Doman (OL)
Ben Sprung (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
A.J. Adrian (RB)
Max Meza (RB)
Chris Quinlan (RB)
Chase Johansen (WR)
Evan Pointer (WR)
Billy Honey (OL)
Christian Villa (OL)
Gideon Mahlbere (OL)
Montzingo comments on experienced O-line:
“For us, we’re returning more on the line than I think we’ve returned in a few years. From a consistency standpoint that’s going to be nice. We had a lot of kids that had to step up on the line last year, got a lot of experience due to injuries, unfortunately, but the positive side of that is some young kids had to grow up a little bit."
Montzingo comments on QB Beau Pederson:
“For us (running) a spread option this year you need your best athlete at that trigger position. The quarterback has to be someone who can mark smart decisions and lead in the right ways, and at the same time has no fear and the confidence to execute no matter if it breaks down or if it’s going perfectly, and he’s the guy for the job. He throws the ball well enough and he’s gifted with his feet.
Montzingo comments on tight end Tyler Shea:
“Tyler’s weight room work has transitioned to the field, he’s a weight room warrior. He loves lifting. He takes care of his body. He prepares in the right ways off the field mentally and physically. We knew he could be good at that tight end position, I don’t know that he saw the year that came through. He took advantage of an opportunity that he had and ran with it. He’s special with his feet for a big man.”
Keys for Offensive Success in 2017:
Park City simply wasn’t a very good running team last year. It had a strong pocket passer, an excellent group of receivers and a young, undersized offensive line, so slinging it around was the best chance to win every Friday night. This year the offensive line is a year stronger and more experienced, the QB has a run-first mentality and the receivers are an unknown quantity, so expect the opposite approach this season. Success will ultimately come if a couple other players besides QB Beau Pederson emerge as threats with the football both as runners and receivers.
Park City Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Cody Gardner
2016 defensive production: 23.2 ppg (9th in 3AA)
5 returning starters
Key defensive returning starters
-- Conner Christoffersen (LB)
A returning starter at linebacker, big things are expected of Christoffersen after he recorded 34 tackles and two sacks last season.
-- A.J. Adrian (CB)
Recorded 38 tackles as a safety last season but this year he’s making the move to corner back.
Returning defensive starters
Tyler Shea (DL)
Ben Sprung (LB)
Conner Christoffersen (LB)
Beau Pederson (S)
A.J. Adrian (S) – moving to CB
Joey Lukrich (CB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
Chase Johansen (DE)
Carver Rodman (DE)
Luke Hatch (S)
Montzingo comments on LB Conner Christoffersen:
“Some of our strength is our linebacker spot. We return Conner Christoffersen who was a solid linebacker for us last year. He didn’t really take over the starting role until halfway through the year and when he did he was one of the best players on the field for us defensively until he injured his MCL against Tooele.
Montzingo comments on strong secondary:
“Our two safeties, Beau Pederson and Luke Hatch, they’re both big, strong, long, can move, are athletic. They’re going to be definite strengths for us. And then our two corners, both Joey Lukrich and A.J. Adrian, are going to be solid for us. And we have a couple of youngsters coming in behind. Their talent is immense; their experience is where they’re going to have to catch up.”
Keys for Defensive Success in 2017:
Tyler Shea was a terrific defensive lineman last year with 42 tackles, but after him, there’s no experience returning on the defensive line. In a region in which the two best teams — Stansbury and Tooele — are dominant running the ball, it’s imperative Park City gets its newcomers on the defensive line up to full speed quickly.
Coaches preseason Region 11 straw poll: Third
Deseret News Region 11 prediction: Third
Key Region Game: at Tooele, Oct. 12 (Week 9)
Bottom line: Park City’s six-year playoff-win drought finally came to an end last season. Taking the next step as a program and earning a first-round home playoff game will depend heavily on how quickly the underclassmen develop. Park City’s freshmen team went undefeated last season and is a class of hard-working, talented players who love the weight room. With a relatively small senior class, quite a few of those sophomores will end up playing important varsity minutes. Does that mean the Miners are a year or two away from competing or is the tandem of Beau Pederson and Tyler Shea that good offensively that they’ll flourish either way?
Aug. 18 — at Morgan, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 — at Logan, 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 — SOUTH SUMMIT, 7 p.m.
Sept. 8 — at Payson, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15 — at Ben Lomond, 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 — BONNEVILLE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 — STANSBURY, 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 — at Ogden, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 — at Tooele, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — RIDGELINE, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Park City High School
All-time record: 412-435-23 (109 years)
Region championships: 23 (1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1941, 1945, 1961, 1969 co, 1980, 1981, 1982 co, 1983 co, 1987, 1988, 1991 co, 2001 co, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Playoff appearances: 41
Current playoff appearance streak: 2 (2015-2016)
All-time playoff record: 28-41
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-5
Most played rivalry: 92 meetings with North Summit dating back to 1926. North Summit leads 47-42-3. Last met in 2004.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Park City, which began its football program in 1901, is the third-oldest in Utah following West (1893) and Ogden (1898). ... Park City holds the season rushing yards record of 4,923 set in 2009.
2016 — 6-6 (3-4 in 3AA North – 3A Quarterfinals)
2015 — 5-6 (2-4 in 3AA North – 3A First round)
2014 — 2-9 (1-5 in 3AA North – Missed playoffs)
2013 — 3-8 (3-3 in 3AA North – Missed playoffs)
2012 — 1-9 (0-5 in Region 10 – Missed playoffs)
Park City coaching history
2016-current — Josh Montzingo (6-6)
2013-2015 — Mike Shepherd (10-22)
2010-2012 — Kai Smalley (10-21)
2005-2009 — Brandon Matich (39-18)
1998-2004 — Mike Shepherd (53-28)
1995-1997 — Paul Tomasiewisz (6-22)
1994 — Gary Anderson (3-7)
1993 — Randy Schreiter (0-8)
1978-1992 — Robert Burns (101-53)
1977 — Rich Groth (1-7)
1976 — Steve Leatham (0-8)
1972-1975 — Unknown (8-30)
1971 — Wayne Carlson (3-2-4)
1968-1970 — Unknown (12-14-1)
1967 — Ed Severance (3-5)
1966 — Elliott Jordan (4-4)
1962-1965 — Gary Knudsen (6-25-1)
1958-1961 — Jack Woodbury (11-17-1)
1957 — Bill Bell (1-5)
1956 — Dave Germann (0-6-1)
1953-1955 — Jack Adamson (4-18-1)
1951-1952 — Ralph Peterson (4-11)
1946 -1950 — Unknown (21-15-4)
1945 — Mark Reeves (6-3-1)
1943-1944 — Unknown (9-6)
1937-1942 — Max Warner (27-14-1)
1935 -1936 — Pete Carltson (9-2)
1934 — Grey M. Lusty (4-1-2)
1933 — Robert Bailey (5-1)
1932 — Bob Birbeck (5-0-1)
1925-1931 — Unknown (15-22-4)
1924 — Floyd Romney (3-2)
1901-1923 — Unknown (23-28-2)
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
2009 — Dylan Chynoweth, RB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2016 — Collin Zur, WR
2016 — Tyler Shea, TE
2014 — Ian Moritz, DB
2011 — Jono Schettler, WR
2010 — Paul Flake, QB
2010 — Jake Adams, DL
2010 — Jono Schettler, WR
2009 — Scott Adams, OL/DL
2009 — Erik Walker, QB/FS
2009 — Cash Knight, OL
2008 — Dylan Chynoweth, RB
2008 — Tony Epperson, DB
2008 — Ben Portwood, K
2007 — Matt Wright, RB
2007 — ColtonNichter, OL
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.