Note: Payson finished with a 4-7 overall record in 2017 and was tied for third in Region 10 with a 2-3 record. It lost to Salem Hills 58-13 in the Region 10 play-in-game.
PAYSON — Ending a season on the losing end of a play-in game for the state playoffs isn't how a lot of programs like to end things, but for Payson, it was a big step in the right direction.
The Lions were bounced out of the postseason by Salem Hills after accounting for as many wins in the 2017 season (four) as they had for the four prior years combined.
"It was a big thing for the program and for the kids. No question," said Payson coach Derek Campbell. "Now the next step is to not come a game short, but get in there. It's been a long time since this program was in the playoffs."
Five years without a postseason game, to be exact in what has been some thin years in Payson since the 2012 season.
But given what the team accomplished last season, coupled with his system now entering its third year, Campbell is confident heading into 2018.
"I think we're looking like we can have the best team we've had around here in a while," Campbell said. "We don't have any college-type athletes, but we believe we have enough to really make some strides here."
One stride made is the overall attitude. In the past coaches had trouble motivating the players, as loses became far too common.
"The kids believe in what we're doing and the atmosphere is one of hard work and dedication," Campbell said. "Hard work brings success and these kids are working for better success."
Payson Lions at a glance
Coach: Derek Campbell is in his third year as head coach after spending a year as defensive coordinator. He previously worked as an assistant at Snow, Southern Utah and Dixie. His combined record at Payson is 5-16.
Payson Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Lloyd Mason
2016 offensive production: 15.3 ppg (22nd in 4A)
- four returning starters
- Pro-style offense
Key returning offensive players
- Corbin Gull, Dakota Boss, and McCoy Cook (OL): All three started for the Lions last season and were mentioned by Campbell as being the strength of the offense.
- Landyn Westover (WR): Westover had just five receptions last season although three of those went for touchdowns. He'll be relied on heavily in the passing game this season, according to Campbell.
Returning offensive players
- Corbin Gull (OL)
- Dakota Boss (OL)
- McCoy Cook (OL)
- Landyn Westover (WR)
Campbell's comments on new offensive coordinator Lloyd Mason:
"We have to get better production offensively, so we overhauled the offense and brought in a new offensive coordinator. Hopefully it pays off because we have to score more and prove more productive than we were last year. I have a lot of confidence our new offensive coordinator can work to turn things around.
Campbell's comments on the quarterback battle:
"It's not settled and we'll go into two-a-day practices with what looks to be a two-quarterback battle between Hank Bowers and Logan Ride. We probably won't decide until right before the season."
Keys to offensive success in 2018
- The key will be to rely on what looks to be a solid offensive line while opening things up with a productive passing game. With questions at quarterback Payson will have to rely on a strong running attack, at least for the first part of the season.
Pine View Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Derek Campbell
2016 defensive production: 33.2 ppg allowed (19th in 4A)
- Five returning starters
Key defensive returning starters
- Brock Sorenson (DB): Sorenson had 23 tackles last season and is the leader of the defense, according to Campbell.
- Tyson Fromm (LB): Fromm had 46 tackles last season and a couple of sacks.
Returning offensive starters
- Landyn Westover (DB)
- Tyson Fromm (LB)
- Brock Sorenson (DB)
- Kayden Todd (DB)
- McCoy Cook (DL)
Campbell's comments on Sorenson:
"He's our leader and a guy players look to for an example and we're lucky to have him. We'll rely on him a lot this year."
Campbell's comments on his front seven:
"We'll have to ask our linemen to play both ways, which is never easy, but that's how it is at a school our size. At linebacker we really like Tyson Fromm and Tyler Bott as two guys who can make plays.
Keys to defensive success in 2018:
Payson needs to stay healthy and have a good enough rotation up front to help ease the load of the expected starters on both sides of the football.
Coaches preseason Region 10 straw poll: Fifth
Deseret News Region 10 prediction: Fifth
Key Region Game: at Salem Hills (Oct. 5)
Bottom line: Despite some big improvements made, Payson will still have a struggle to make the postseason. Look for the Lions to prove competitive against most region teams, but for the postseason very much in question when matching up against the Skyhawks for the final region game.
- Aug. 17 — at Ben Lomond, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 24 — CARBON, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 31 — EMERY, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 7 — at Park City, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — MOUNTAIN VIEW, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at Uintah, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — SPANISH FORK, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — at Salem Hills, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 11 — at Orem, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 17 — LOGAN, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Payson
All-time record: 384-463-39 (107 years)
Region championships: 15 (1909, 1919, 1921, 1925, 1928, 1932, 1943, 1949, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976 co)
Playoff appearances: 25
Current playoff appearance streak: 0
All-time playoff record: 15-21-2
State championships: 4 (1925, 1943, 1969, 1971)
State championship record: 2-4-1. Payson and South Sevier tied in the semifinals in 1925, but no state championship was held. Both were awarded state titles.
Most played rivalry: 94 meetings with Springville dating back to 1909. Springville leads 56-31-7. Last met in 2010.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Payson holds the top two positions for the fewest passing yards allowed in a game: minus-20 in 1976 against Carbon and minus-17 in 1985 against Delta. ... Payson played the most tie games in a single season with five in 1937.
- 2017 — 4-7 (2-3 in Region 10 – Missed playoffs)
- 2016 — 1-9 (0-6 in Region 8 - Missed playoffs)
- 2015 — 1-8 (0-6 in Region 8 – Missed playoffs)
- 2014 — 0-10 (0-6 in 3AA South - Missed playoffs)
- 2013 — 1-9 (0-6 in 3AA South - Missed playoffs)
Payson coaching history
- 2016-current — Derek Campbell (5-16)
- 2009-2015 — Jeremy Chapman (18-52)
- 2007-2008 — Jared Woolstenhulme (6-15)
- 2003-2006 — Colby Knight (8-33)
- 2001-2002 — Jamal Willis (3-17)
- 1997-2000 — Rick Robbins (11-26)
- 1988-1996 — Bart Peery (26-52)
- 1984-1987 — David McKee (13-22)
- 1981-1983 — Bob Cook (6-22)
- 1956-1980 — Jim Durrant (137-96-8)
- 1941-1955 — Don Fuller (70-44-12)
- 1940 — Unknown (1-5-1)
- 1939 — Vern Waldo (3-5)
- 1936-1938 — Unknown (6-9-7)
- 1934-1935 — Stan Wilson (3-8-1)
- 1928-1933 — Unknown (26-11-4)
- 1927 — Mr. Wooley (3-2)
- 1922-1926 — Unknown (12-8-4)
- 1921 — Hugh Sutton (4-2)
- 1920 — Unknown (0-2)
- 1919 — Dixon Kapple (5-1-1)
- 1918 — Ray Monson (1-1)
- 1916-1917 — Unknown (9-2)
- 1915 — Mr. Cole (2-2-1)
- 1909-1914 — Unknown (6-8)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.