Note: Beaver finished with a 10-2 overall record in 2017 and was first in 2A South with a 5-0 record. It lost to South Summit 38-10 in the 2A championship.
BEAVER — Coming off a runner-up finish in 2017, which came after back-to-back state titles the previous two years, is Beaver poised for a rebuilding year in 2018?
After all, the program only returns two starters from last season, might only start three seniors and half of its starters might be sophomores.
“Everyone is expecting us to have a rebuilding year, and maybe we will,” said Beaver coach Jonathan Marshall. “Obviously that’s what it looks like. We need our young kids to grow up.”
Despite the question marks, nobody would be surprised to see Beaver succeed anyway. The program has emerged as one of the best in 2A the past couple years and lately has a knack for reloading not rebuilding.
“Our thing is we have the same expectations for our team, but we just realize it’s going to be a different road than what we’ve had the last three years,” said Marshall.
At team camp earlier this summer, Beaver made great strides but in a scrimmage against a more experienced Millard team it struggled with execution and lost. Marshall said he kind of expected that, but chalks it up to youth.
“I feel like we have good younger kids. I don’t think it’s a matter of us not having good kids, it’s just a matter of youth. The question for us is how much of a jump can we make throughout the season, how much can we grow up as the season progresses,” said Marshall.
One player who Beaver will lean heavily on is quarterback Ryker Albrecht. He was a rotation player most of the season but got a few injury-resulted starts at fullback toward the end of the regular season and also got a fair amount of reps at QB.
Beaver will need to lean heavily on his experience for offensive success.
Beaver Beavers at a glance
Coach: Jonathan Marshall is entering his second season as head coach at Beaver after a 10-2 season last year. He’s a graduate of Beaver High School.
Beaver Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Jonathan Marshall
2017 offensive production: 31.8 ppg (3rd in 2A)
- 2 returning starters
- Wing-T offense
Key offensive returning starters
- Spencer Williams (WR): Caught 12 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown last year.
- Ryker Albrecht (RB): Subbed in at a variety of positions last season and finished with 82 carries for 346 yards and four TDs.
Returning offensive starters
- Spencer Williams (WR)
Offensive newcomers to watch
- Ryker Albrecht (QB)
- Kaleb Barney (FB)
- EJ Allred (FB)
- Hunter Carter (FB)
- Bryton Langston (FB)
- Crayton Hollingshead (RB)
- Porter Albrecht (RB)
- Treyson Harris (OL)
- Robert Pyles (OL)
- Cutler Edwards (OL)
- Tallon Langston (OL)
- Preston Roberts (WR)
Coach Marshall comments on Ryker Albrecht taking over at QB:
“Ryker is tough. With our offense, we ask a lot of our quarterback. We’re asking them to run and throw. I was very pleased with how threw the ball at camp. Ryker also runs hard. If he wasn’t quarterback he’d probably would be our starting middle linebacker, but we’re going to play him at safety because he’s our quarterback and we don’t want to beat him up too much. He’s really done a good job at quarterback of learning some of the finesse stuff we’re asking him to do.”
Coach Marshall comments on inexperienced ball carriers:
“A lot of our skill guys will be younger players, they will be juniors and sophomores. But that’s where we’re at. I like those kids. Some people might think we’re a year away from being really good. I’m hoping we can push that up a little bit with some experience.”
Coach Marshall comments on O-line question marks:
“I feel like if we can shore up our line and be able to execute on the line, I think we have a chance to be successful. Obviously if we don’t it doesn’t matter what we have in the backfield.”
Keys for Offensive Success in 2018:
How well Beaver’s offensive line comes together, particularly early in the season, will make or break the season. In the previous three years in which Beaver won two states and was a runner-up the other year, it rushed for 2,954, 3,765 and 3,155 yards respectively in those seasons. In the previous two years in which it only one won playoff game, the season rushing totals were more modest, 1,877 and 2,226. Beaver’s Wing-T offense needs a strong offensive line to be successful, and that uncertainty is one of the biggest storylines in 2A.
Beaver Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Steve Hutchings
2017 defensive production: 15.6 ppg (3rd in 2A)
- 2 returning starters
- 4-2-5 defense
Key defensive returning starters
- Ryker Albrecht (LB): Finished fifth on the team in tackles last season with 56.
- Spencer Williams (CB): As a junior last year, he recorded five interceptions and 40 tackles.
Returning defensive starters
- Spencer Williams (CB)
- Ryker Albrecht (LB/S)
Defensive newcomers to watch
- McCoy Smith (DE)
- Kaleb Barney (LB)
- EJ Allred (FLB)
- Hunter Carter (LB)
- Bryton Langston (LB)
Coach Marshall comments on cornerback Spencer Williams:
“I would put him up against any cornerback in 2A. He’s put a lot of work in. He’s been to a lot of camps. He actually grew up in Orem, and then the summer of his sophomore year his family moved down to Beaver. He’s played a lot of football and been to a lot of camps. He’s got great footwork. He’s very fundamental.”
Coach Marshall comments on uncertainty at linebacker:
“What’s good is it’s not a matter of we don’t have kids available, we’ve just got a lot of kids that are really close together that we’ve got to figure that out. At some areas we have quite a bit of depth, our problem is trying to figure out the best ones out there.”
Coach Marshall comments on defensive end McCoy Smith:
“He’s going to be really good. He played quite a bit of defensive end off the bench last year. He’s smart, he’s big, he’s strong and he’s fast. Some teams really ask their D-ends go hard upfield, we don’t. We’re asking our D-ends to stay on the line of scrimmage and read things a lot, and McCoy does a great job of that. Even though he’s going to be a junior, I feel he plays with a lot more maturity than his age.”
Keys for Defensive Success in 2018:
One of the things Beaver needs as the season gets closer, and then early in the season as well, is have certain players step up. Throughout the summer coach Marshall said he really liked how he had four capable younger players competing for starting spots at linebacker. Eventually though, the defense needs a couple players to emerge from that group and become the force in the middle the team needs.
Coaches preseason 2A South straw poll: First
Deseret News 2A South prediction: First
Key Region Game: at Grand, Oct. 5 (Week 8)
Bottom line: With such little experience back from this season, all indicators are that this will be a rebuilding year for Beaver. There are varying levels of rebuilding years in high school football though. Over the past three years, Beaver has won 10, 11 and 11 games respectively. The two years prior to that it won seven and nine games. Even if Beaver doesn’t dominate quite at the level it has been used to the past three years, it will likely still win around eight games and could easily reach the semifinals.
- Aug. 17 — CANYON VIEW, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 24 — at Kanab, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 31 — at Delta, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 7 — SOUTH SUMMIT, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — SAN JUAN, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at South Sevier, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — NORTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — at Grand, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 12 —ENTERPRISE, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Beaver
All-time record: 459-253-11 (78 years)
Region championships: 16 (1962, 1965 co, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1977 co, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1987, 1992 co, 1994 co, 2002 co, 2013, 2015, 2017)
Playoff appearances: 51
Current playoff appearance streak: 28 (1990-2017)
All-time playoff record: 67-40
State championships: 11 (1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1990, 2015, 2016)
State championship record: 11-10
Most played rivalry: 89 meetings with Kanab dating back to 1950. Beaver leads 51-38.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Beaver is tied with two other teams for the most shutouts in one season with 10 (1973). … Al Marshall (along with Skyline’s Roger DuPaix) won a state-high eight championship games and took the Beavers to a state-record 16 title contests. … The Beavers hold the record for most total yards gained in a game, 833, in 1965. They also have the record for fewest total yards allowed in a game, minus-56, in 1980. … Beaver Kelly Smith still holds the record for season rushing yards, 2,561, in 1979. Thane Marshall is second with 2,497 season rushing yards in 1983. … Lance White returned two blocked punts for touchdowns in one game, another state record, in 1987.
- 2017 — 10-2 (5-0 in 2A South – 2A Championship)
- 2016 — 11-1 (4-1 in 2A South – 2A Champions)
- 2015 — 11-1 (5-0 in 2A South – 2A Champions)
- 2014 — 7-4 (4-2 in 2A South – 2A Quarterfinals)
- 2013 — 9-2 (6-0 in 2A South – 2A Semifinals)
Beaver coaching history
- 2017-current — Jon Marshall (10-2)
- 2016 — Randy Hunter (11-1)
- 2005-2015 — Steve Hutchings (65-52)
- 1999-2004 — Brandon Draper (41-25)
- 1989-1998 — Alan Raddon (64-40)
- 1963-1988 — Al Marshall (218-70)
- 1955-1962 — Pat Lindsay (26-24)
- 1954 — Unknown (2-5)
- 1950-1953 — Lamont Thornock (11-14)
- 1949 — Unknown (4-3)
Deseret News MVPS the past 10 years
- 2016 — Dillon Smith, RB/LB
- 2015 — Matt Roberts, QB/FS
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
- 2017 — Tyce Raddon, LB
- 2017 — Brody Munoz, OL
- 2017 — Austin Carter, OL
- 2017 — Walter LeBaron, TE
- 2017 — Porter Hollingshead, QB
- 2016 — Jordan Hardy, QB/SS
- 2016 — Tyce Raddon, RB/LB
- 2016 — McCoy Bergstrom, LB
- 2016 — Austin Carter, OL/LB
- 2016 — Taylor Macdonald, P
- 2015 — Brennon Hutchings, WR/DB
- 2015 — Brantson Blackburn, TE/DE
- 2015 — Kord Snyder, OL/DL
- 2015 — Keaton Fails, LB/K
- 2014 — Matt Roberts, QB/LB
- 2014 — Brantson Blackburn, TE/DE
- 2013 — Kasen Hutchings, QB/LB
- 2013 — Jesse McMullin, RB/LB
- 2013 — Michael Roberts, WR/DB
- 2013 — Bailey Bradshaw, OL/LB
- 2012 — Kendall White, TE/LB
- 2012 — Tyler Terry, OL/DL
- 2011 — Jeremy Brown, RB/DB
- 2010 — Slade Edwards, FB/LB
- 2008 — Jordan McMullin, OL/LB
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.