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High school football: Spanish Fork Dons 2018 preview

Note: Spanish Fork finished with a 6-4 overall record in 2017 and was second in Region 10 with a 4-1 record. It lost to Ridgeline 25-22 in the 4A first round.

Spanish Fork 2017 Offensive and Defensive Stats

SPANISH FORK — Most coaches can identify a special group a while before its senior year, and for Spanish Fork coach Preston Parrish, he believes this year's corps of upperclassmen are capable of some very good things.

The Dons return 13 starters this season, most of them seniors to a team that saw good success a season ago, before losing a tough first-round game to Ridgeline.

"We had a lot of good things happen and made a few strides in the program," Parrish said. "We're setting a good foundation here that kids are responding to. We lost some good play-makers, but return some guys I feel can really step up."

Parrish is beginning his third year at Spanish Fork, with the team making notable strides the last two years. With regards to what he's learned about coaching, Parrish laughs, thinking of everything that's gone on since arriving in 2016.

"The biggest thing is probably now I'm able to focus more on football things rather than administrative things," Parrish said. "It's a tough thing when you start out, handling all the things other than just football. But I have a lot of trust in my assistants to handle a lot of those things now."

Parrish also trusts this year's senior group.

"They've had a lot of good things happen to them through their development," Parrish said. "There's a lot of talent within that group and I'm excited to see what they can accomplish this year, along with some of the younger guys."

Spanish Fork Dons at a glance

Coach: Preston Parrish is in his third year coaching at Spanish Fork and has a 9-10 record at the program. He previously worked as an assistant at Davis. He played at Bountiful, where he was named an all-state lineman, before playing college football for Portland State.

Spanish Fork Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Jake Brandon/JR Brandon

2017 offensive production: 31 ppg (8th in 4A)

  • 6 returning starters
  • Pistol/multiple

Key returning offensive returning starters

  • Noah Conway (WR): Conway had 43 receptions last season for 627 yards and six touchdowns. Conway's receiving total was tied for first on the team. "He's been starting since he was a sophomore and he'll definitely be one of our big-time play-makers and we're going to try and get him the ball as much as possible."
  • Kimball Morley (RB): Morley rushed for four touchdowns last season in a backup role. "He's really worked hard and he should be able to get it done for us this year," Parrish said.

Returning offensive starters

Parrish on the quarterback situation:

"Parker Swenson is the frontrunner right now. He's been the backup for the last two years, so I think he's ready. He's going to be our guy. He's a multiple-sport athlete, so we really like his ability to step into the role and to be a leader."

Parrish on the offensive strength:

"It's definitely at wideout. There's speed and they really impressed during offseason workouts. A lot of them played last year, so we're looking good there. The tough thing will be spreading the ball around to five or six guys I think we can depend on playing well for us."

Spanish Fork Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Josh Jensen

2017 defensive production: 24.4 ppg (12th in 4A)

  • Seven returning starters
  • 4-3 hybrid

Key defensive returning starter

  • Kaleb Lundquist (DB): "We really like our secondary and Kaleb is the leader there. He's been busting his tail in the offseason and I really feel he's going to have a big year for us," Parrish said.

Returning defensive starters

Parrish on the strength of his defense:

"It's definitely the secondary. Three of the four guys for us have been starting since they were sophomores. The whole defense has been together a lot and seven of our guys we have starting will have been starting since they were sophomores. So the game is really slow to them right now."

Coaches preseason Region 10 straw poll: Third

Deseret News Region 10 prediction: Third

Key Region Game: vs. Salem Hills Sept. 21

Bottom Line: The Dons lost a lot of talent on offense and will be challenged to meet last year's success on that side of the ball, although the potential is there. They should see improvement on the defensive side, however. Look for Spanish Fork to compete well for the second spot in Region 10, building off last year's success.

2018 Schedule

  • Aug. 17 — at Ridgeline, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 24 — at Springville, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 31 — MAPLE MOUNTAIN, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 7 — at Cyprus, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 21 — SALEM HILLS, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 28 — at Payson, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 5 — at Mountain View, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 12 — UINTAH, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 — OREM, 7 p.m.

Felt’s Facts for Spanish Fork

All-time record: 372-446-20 (98 years)

Region championships: 7 (1935 co, 1961, 1969, 1970 co, 1973 co 1977 co, 1991 co, 2012)

Playoff appearances: 32

Current playoff appearance streak: 1

All-time playoff record: 20-31

State championships: 0

State championship record: 0-1

Most played rivalry: 97 meetings with Payson dating back to 1917. Spanish Fork leads 50-43-4.

Felt’s Factoid(s): SF’s Hayden Nielsen is one of just five Utah high school players to accumulate more than 9,000 career yards of total offense (9,451 from 2009-11).

.....

Last 5

  • 2017 — 6-4 (4-1 in Region 10 - 4A First round)
  • 2016 — 3-6 (2-4 in Region 8 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2015 — 5-6 (3-3 in Region 8 – 4A First round)
  • 2014 — 6-6 (2-4 in Region 8 -- Missed playoffs)
  • 2013 — 5-6 (4-2 in Region 8 – 4A First round)

...

Spanish Fork coaching history

  • 2016-current — Preston Parrish (9-10)
  • 2015 — Jordan Smith (5-6)
  • 2012-2014 — Kirk Chambers (23-14)
  • 2006-2011 — Matt Christensen (41-28)
  • 2000-2005 — Scott Brumfield (29-34)
  • 1995-1999 — Everett Kelepolo (25-26)
  • 1987-1994 — Doug Snell (26-49)
  • 1981-1986 — Dave Clark (21-36)
  • 1965-1980 — DelRay "Andy" Anderson (79-74-3)
  • 1956-1964 — Don Fuller (42-38-3)
  • 1953-1955 — Thayne Stone (3-17-1)
  • 1952 — Gus Black (1-6)
  • 1949-1951 — Thayne Stone (6-14-1)
  • 1948 — Gus Black (2-3-1)
  • 1940-1947 — Unknown (16-39-1)
  • 1939 — Lloyd Jacobsen (4-2)
  • 1932-1938 — Unknown (20-20-4)
  • 1928-1931 — Fenton Reeves (12-6-3)
  • 1919-1927 — Unknown (2-15-2)
  • 1918 — Mr. Simmons (0-2)
  • 1916-1917 — Unknown (6-7-1)

.....

Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years

  • 2017 — Wei Stanton, P
  • 2016 — Wei Stanton, P
  • 2014 — Adrian Rodriguez, OL
  • 2012 — Braxton Argyle, RB
  • 2012 — Colton Olsen, Spanish Fork, WR
  • 2012 — Wyatt Groves, Spanish Fork, DL
  • 2012 — Gunnar Beus, Spanish Fork, LB
  • 2011 — Hayden Nielsen, QB
  • 2011 — Christian Taele. RB
  • 2011 — Sosiua Vaitohi, OL
  • 2011 — Colin Argyle, LB
  • 2010 — Isaac Asiata OL
  • 2009 — Chase Loftin, WR
  • 2009 — Isaac Asiata, OL
  • 2008 — Breck Lewis, QB
  • 2008 — Richard Wilson, TE

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