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High school football: Monticello Buckaroos 2018 preview

Note: Monticello finished with a 2-9 overall record in 2017 and was fourth in 1A South with a 0-3 record. It lost to Duchesne 33-8 in the 1A quarterfinals.

Monticello 2017 Offensive and Defensive Stats

MONTICELLO — There’s not a lot of teacher turnover at a small school like Monticello High, so when an opportunity to both teach and coach came up, Reed Anderson was intrigued.

After all, Anderson graduated from the high school, and the job would give the longtime assistant coach at a number of schools around the state the chance to lead his own program.

“I had thought it would maybe be fun to come back home and coach,” he said earlier this summer, “and so far it’s been great.”

Anderson is inheriting a program that has had its share of struggles in recent years. The Buckaroos last won a playoff game in 2014 and haven’t had a winning record since 2012.

They went 2-9 last year.

Entering 2018, Anderson will have a good number of starters returning on both sides of the ball, and he’s hoping experience will make the team better. Perhaps more importantly, however, he’s looking to set the foundation for turning Monticello back into a solid program over the long haul.

“We’ll be in a new, growing year and things will get more elaborate as we go on. We’re kind of in the beginning stages, and we hope to start, establish what we’re about here,” he said. “It may take a few years like it does most programs, but we’re working toward that.”

Monticello Buckaroos at a glance

Coach: Reed Anderson is entering his first season as head coach of the Buckaroos. He is a graduate of Monticello High School and has been an assistant coach at multiple schools around the state.

Monticello offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Reed Anderson

2017 offensive production: 15.6 ppg (6th in 1A)

  • 8 returning starters
  • Spread offense

Key offensive returning starter

  • Weston Nebeker (RB): Finished second on the team in rushing in 2017 with 240 yards.

Returning offensive starters

Offensive newcomers to watch

Anderson’s comments on offensive lineman Gage Wilcox:

“He could play any position on the field we needed him to. He could have been a running back. He’s big, fast and strong and will be a good anchor on that offensive line.”

Anderson’s comments on wide receiver Reed Hedglin:

“He’s been great for us this offseason in tournaments and camps in picking up (the offense) and making some great catches and getting on the run. We hope to get the ball in his hands.”

Keys for offensive success: In his first year leading the Buckaroos, Anderson wants to make sure his players get at least the basics of his spread offense down. He looks to have some potential playmakers at wide receiver and a solid returning running back in Weston Nebeker. Can the offensive line beyond Gage Wilcox be good enough, especially in pass protection, to help Beh in his first full year as the starting quarterback? If given time to throw, can Beh get the ball to his receivers?

Monticello defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Art Adair

2017 defensive production: 27.2 ppg (8th in 1A)

  • 6 returning starters
  • Multiple defensive formations

Key defensive returning starter

  • Gage Wilcox (DL): Led the team with four sacks as a junior in 2017

Returning defensive starters

Defensive newcomers to watch

  • Steven Robinson (DB)
  • Mark Beh (DB)
  • Matt Beh (DB)

Anderson’s comments on the need to be versatile on defense:

“1A has become a little more diversified than it used to be. It used to be a lot of just Wing-T and I-formation throughout, triple-option, for a lot of years…(now) it’s pretty diversified, so you’ve got to have different ways to match up with different people based on what matchup you’re getting that week.”

Anderson’s comments on the defensive line:

“Most of them were pretty young last year. We’ve got a lot of those D-linemen that were kind of getting run over as they were bright-eyed kids last year going in as sophomores and freshmen to that D-line against some experienced O-linemen...they’ve been in the weight room this summer. They’ve been getting stronger and leaner, and I think they’ll feel a little more comfortable. A year of experience at the high school level goes a long way in terms of how you feel and what you can do. I think they’ll be a lot better than they were last year. Probably not as good as some of the other teams in 1A, but as they learn and grow they’ll be just fine.”

Keys for defensive success: The Buckaroos finished last in 1A in points allowed in 2017. In reviewing film, Anderson realized that players often took big risks, and gave up big plays when those risks didn’t pan out. As such, he is hoping the unit is more disciplined in 2018 and makes a habit of playing more together. From a personnel standpoint, can the line hold up better than it did a year ago?

Coaches preseason 1A South straw poll: Third

Deseret News 1A South prediction: Third

Key region game: vs. Kanab, Oct. 18

Bottom line: The first year with a new coach often brings some growing pains, but with Monticello having struggled the past few seasons, can the program at least show signs of improvement under Anderson? The Buckaroos should have some solid playmakers, but can the players in the trenches on both sides of the ball be good enough to make it all work?

2018 Schedule

  • Aug. 17 — at Monument Valley, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 24 — SAN JUAN, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 31 — at Delores, Colo., 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 7 — RICH, 4 p.m.
  • Sept. 14 — at Altamont, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 21 — WAYNE, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 28 — LAYTON CHRISTIAN, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 5 — at Parowan, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 12 — at Milford, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 18 — KANAB, 7 p.m.

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Felt’s Facts for Monticello

All-time record: 348-277-9 (65 years)

Region championships: 18 (1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 co, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 co, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013 co)

Playoff appearances: 46

Current playoff appearance streak: 19 (1999-2017)

All-time playoff record: 34-42

State championships: 4 (1969, 1992, 2001, 2004)

State championship record: 4-4

Most played rivalry: 67 meetings with San Juan dating back to 1956. San Juan leads 44-21-2.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Buckaroo Antonio Mustache set a state record for season interceptions with 26 in 2004.

...

Last 5

  • 2017 — 2-9 (0-3 in 1A South – 1A Quarterfinals)
  • 2016 — 3-7 (1-3 in 1A South – 1A Quarterfinals)
  • 2015 — 5-6 (2-2 in 1A South – 1A Quarterfinals)
  • 2014 — 5-7 (3-1 in 1A South – 1A Semifinals)
  • 2013 — 4-7 (3-1 in 1A South – 1A Quarterfinals)

...

Monticello coaching history

  • 2018 — Reed Anderson (0-0)
  • 2014-2017 — Art Adair (15-29)
  • 2010-2013 — Lee Chadwick (24-22)
  • 2009 — Jake Downard (4-5)
  • 2005-2008 — J.C. Hall (20-25)
  • 2004 — Seth Giddings (11-1)
  • 1997-2003 — Mike Bowring (46-30)
  • 1994-1996 — Matt Torrens (13-16)
  • 1991-1993 — Bill Manzanares (25-6)
  • 1989-1990 — Joe Davis (11-11)
  • 1979-1988 — John Dowell (63-37)
  • 1976-1978 — Joe Davis (23-12)
  • 1972-1975 — Nyle McFarlane (26-13-1)
  • 1971 — Harold George (8-3)
  • 1966-1970 — Ray Odette (30-13-3)
  • 1961-1965 — Tom Burr (15-26-1)
  • 1955-1960 — Dale Maughan (12-25-4)
  • 1934-1935 — Unknown (0-3)

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Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years

  • 2017 — Thomas Anderson, RB/LB
  • 2016 — Shandon Bradford, RB/LB
  • 2015 — Andrew Torres, WR/DB
  • 2015 — Paul DeAnda, LB
  • 2014 — Makade Maloy, QB/DB
  • 2014 — Cole Eldredge, RB/LB
  • 2014 — Andrew Torres, WR/DB
  • 2013 — Austin Maloy, RB/LB
  • 2013 — Austin Wilcox, TE/LB
  • 2013 — Jake Giles, OL/DL
  • 2012 — PJ Leiataua, TE/FS
  • 2012 — Gunner Hollingsworth, OL/DL
  • 2011 — Adam Black, OL/DL
  • 2010 — Kendal Maughan, RB/LB
  • 2010 — Devin Wright, RB/FS
  • 2009 — Kendal Maugham, RB/LB
  • 2009 — Devin Wright, QB/S
  • 2008 — Chase Randall, RB/LB

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