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High school football: Enterprise Wolves 2017 preview

Note: Enterprise finished with an 8-3 overall record in 2016 and was third in 2A South with a 3-2 record. It lost to South Summit 55-23 in the 2A quarterfinals.

Enterprise 2016 Offensive and Defensive Stats

ENTERPRISE — In his first year as head football coach at Enterprise, Andy Messersmith didn’t miss a beat. The year before Messersmith took over, in 2015, the Wolves went 5-6, losing in the 2A quarterfinals. In Messersmith’s first year at the helm, Enterprise finished the season 9-3, falling in the 2A quarterfinals to South Summit.

In his second season, Messersmith wants to keep improving the team, building it into a contender in the 2A South Region. Players will be more comfortable with Messersmith’s offensive and defensive schemes in the second year of being implemented.

Messersmith’s offense will have plenty of experience at the wide receiver position, most notably Ryan Holt and Jaylon Gardner, who combined for 21 receptions for 325 yards and three touchdowns. That experience will be key for Tyler Hess, who figures to be the starting quarterback in 2017 after filling in for an injured Jayson Holt. Hess threw for 97 yards and an interception and was 5 of 10 in Enterprise’s 28-0 win over Millard in the first round of the 2016 2A playoffs.

On the defensive side, a strong defense returns five of its starters but will need Hess and safety Kyle Fenn to step up and fill in the holes left by Jesus Morales (85 tackles in 2016) and John Oswald (64 tackles last season).

Enterprise Wolves at a glance

Coach: Andy Messersmith is entering his second year at the helm of the Wolves. In his first year with Enterprise, he led it to an 8-3 record and a berth in the playoffs. Messersmith is a graduate of Juab High School and Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado, and BYU-Idaho.

Enterprise Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Andy Messersmith

2016 offensive production: 23.7 ppg (6th in 2A)

-- 6 returning starters

-- Multiple offensive schemes

Key offensive returning starters

-- Ryan Holt (WR)

In 2016, Holt caught 16 receptions for 269 yards and two touchdowns, second on the team in wide receiver production. He will be a primary target for the Wolves’ quarterbacks in 2017. Holt also rushed for 404 yards and four touchdowns a season ago.

-- Jaylon Gardner (WR)

Gardner had five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown in 2016.

Returning offensive starters

Ryan Holt (WR)

Tyler Hess (WR)

Jaylon Gardner (WR)

Kyle Fenn (WR)

Kasen Peterson (Center)

Messersmith’s comments on returning wide receivers:

“It’s good to have a good nucleus back. I feel like we’ve got good skill kids back."

Messersmith’s comments on 2017 quarterback situation:

“Last year, my quarterback (Jayson Holt) got hurt going into the playoffs, so one of my starting receivers (Tyler Hess) last year stepped in and took that role over, so he’s got some experience, he’ll be a junior this year. There’s also a couple of kids that are pushing for that spot, so I think we’re going to be pretty good at the quarterback spot, we’ve got some good competition there, so I think that will only make them better."

Messersmith’s comments on summer camp:

“I’m really excited after camp, we had a good camp. I feel like our line is coming together, our numbers are great. We’ve got so many kids coming out, so we’re excited. Camp was really good, we went to Richfield, put in a lot, learned a lot, it was just a good all-around camp.”

Keys for Offensive Success in 2017:

For Messersmith, the key to offensive success this year starts with the offensive line. New faces will dot the line this year, but Messersmith thinks the line will be good this year.

“If you’ve got a good, solid line to protect your quarterback and your running backs, then you can find some success, and I feel like we’ve got a good group of kids out and we’re going to be pretty tough up front,” Messersmith said.

Another key will be Holt and Gardner using their experience and building on last season’s performances.

Enterprise Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Jimmy Allen

2016 defensive production: 18.1 ppg (3rd in 2A)

-- 5 returning starters

-- 5-3 defense

Key defensive returning starters

-- Kyle Fenn (S)

Last season, Fenn had the third-most tackles on the 2016 team, with 57. Returning for his senior campaign, Fenn will need to be a leader on defense.

-- Tyler Hess (C)

Hess racked up 31 tackles and an interception last season.

Returning defensive starters

Ryan Holt (C)

Tyler Hess (C)

Kyle Fenn (S)

AJ Anderson (OLB)

Jaylon Gardner (DE)

Messersmith’s comments on defense:

“I feel defensively, we could be as good or even better than we were last year. Our defense kept us in games, when it came down to it, we had to rely on our defense. We have a lot of kids back, we have a lot of speed on defense and I think that’s going to help us a lot.”

Messersmith’s comments on Tyler Hess

“The good thing about Tyler is I can play him in any position I need. He’s a great coverage corner, he’s just an all-around great athlete. Anything I ask, I know he knows how to play the position and he can get done what needs to be done,” Messersmith said.

Keys for Defensive Success in 2017

Messersmith said the key to being successful on defense is “playing with emotion.”

“They have to keep us in the game, eliminate big plays, and play with a lot of emotion,” Messersmith said of his defense. Again, Messersmith extolled the virtues of having a strong line. Fenn and Hess will both be key in locking opposing receivers down in 2017.

Coaches 2A South preseason straw poll: Third

Deseret News 2A South prediction: Fourth

Key region game: vs. Beaver, October 13 (Week 8)

Bottom line: The bevy of returning wide receivers will help quarterback Tyler Hess continue to adjust, but an inexperienced offensive line may prove troublesome for Enterprise. On the defensive side, the five returning starters should provide another strong defense in 2017. If the Wolves can stay healthy and find an offensive line, they could be knocking on the door of a deep playoff run.

2017 Schedule

Aug. 18 — MILLARD, 7 p.m.

Aug. 25 — BYE

Sept. 1 — NORTH SUMMIT, 7 p.m.

Sept. 8 — at Gunnison, 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 — at North Sevier, 7 p.m.

Sept. 22 — SAN JUAN, 7 p.m.

Sept. 29 — at Grand, 7 p.m.

Oct. 6 — at South Sevier, 7 p.m.

Oct. 13 — BEAVER, 7 p.m.

Oct. 20 — 2A PLAYOFFS, TBD

Felt’s Facts for Enterprise High School

All-time record: 120-94 (20 years)

Region championships: 2 (2005, 2009 co)

Playoff appearances: 16

Current playoff appearance streak: 4 (2013-2016)

All-time playoff record: 13-15

State championships: 1 (2003)

State championship record: 1-2

Most played rivalry: 21 meetings with Parowan dating back to 1997. Enterprise leads 16-5.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Enterprise holds the single-game safety record (tied with two others) of three, set in 2005 against Whitehorse. … Kody Phelps (2000-03, 60 rushing TDs and 402 points) is one of just four Utah preps to rush for at least 60 touchdowns and score at least 400 points.

Last 5

2016 — 8-3 (3-2 in 2A South – 2A Quarterfinals)

2015 — 5-6 (2-3 in 2A South – 2A Quarterfinals)

2014 — 7-4 (4-2 in 2A South – 2A Quarterfinals)

2013 — 5-5 (3-3 in 2A South – 2A First round)

2012 — 3-6 (1-6 in 2A South – Missed playoffs)

Enterprise coaching history

2016-current — Andy Messersmith (8-3)

2012-2015 — Malin Williams (20-21)

2007-2011 — Barry Jones (30-23)

2005-2006 — Scott Robinson (15-10)

2004 — Dustin Pearce (8-4)

2000-2003 — Randy Hunter (32-13)

1999 — Chris Anderson (2-7)

1997-1998 — Spencer Moody (5-13)

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

2016 — Jayson Holt, QB/DB

2016 — Jesus Morales, OL/LB

2015 — Joey Paine, OL/DL

2015 — Wyatt Peterson, OL/LB

2014 — Kelton Hunt, RB/LB

2014 — Chad Beckstrand, OL/LB

2013 — Kelton Hunt, RB/LB

2011 — Ryan West, RB/LB

2011 — Sage Palmer, WR/DB

2010 — Slade Moyle, QB/DB

2010 — Jade Hulet, RB/LB

2009 — Robert Hunt, WR/LB

2009 — Ryan Jones, WR/LB

2009 — Travis Colf, OL/DL

2008 — Kevin Cervantes, RB/LB

2007 — Trevor Colf, WR/DB

2007 — Chance Phelps, RB/DB

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.