SPANISH FORK — Spanish Fork's 38-27 win over Springville last Friday was a big one noticed by more than several around the state, considering just how good the Red Devils have been in recent years. But for Dons head coach Preston Parrish, he'd prefer not to hear about any of it.
“Everyone is going out of their way to congratulate me on the win, but I honestly feel it’s a bit patronizing,” Parrish said. “It’s because I knew we were good. That’s all. I definitely appreciate the interest and people taking interest, but we’re confident down here. We feel we’re capable of a lot more.”
Realizing a team's ability isn't an easy thing, and some may have questioned how things will go this year for the Dons due to a first week 18-10 loss to Ridgeline, the same team that bounced Parrish's team from the 4A state playoffs last season. Parrish was certainly happy with how his team responded the following week, with quarterback Parker Swenson leading the way with three touchdowns, two of which were thrown to receiver Noah Conway.
Parrish credited his players for bouncing back strong but was sure to reserve special praise for his staff.
“I have to credit my assistant coaches,” Parrish said. “In a lot of our losses recently we’ve been right there, but couldn’t do the right things in key situations to flip the outcome. Now, I think you’re seeing coaches understand those situations and how to make those situations work out for us. I think that’s what you saw in our game against Springville.”
But as mentioned, how the team uses a big bounce-back win over the Red Devils is what ultimately holds Parrish's interest.
“It’s really all about how kids approach their work from week-to-week, and I think we’ve already seen a bit of that just two games into the year,” Parrish said. “But what I think our win last week showed is that we have the potential to be a real good team that can make some noise. I’ll be interested to see how we respond next week and certainly beyond that for the rest of the year.”
Parrish is undoubtedly grateful his team was able to get a win against a program as solid as Springville and doesn't want to downplay it all that much, regardless of a desire not to rest too much on it.
“Springville represents a bar, just because they’ve been so good here recently,” Parrish said. “So it’s certainly great to reach that bar, at least for one week, but like I said, there’s a lot of football to go and we’ll find out eventually how big the win was.”
The Dons will test themselves again this week taking on 5A's Maple Mountain and the following week in a game at Cyprus before turning to Region 10 play. They'll approach every game left this season hoping to rely on a team concept to reach new heights and a possible deep run in the 4A state tournament.
“This year we’re finding we have to rely much more on the entire team instead of just a few standout players,” Parrish said. “So when we have that team concept we can be pretty good. When I took the job I knew this group coming up was going to be really good, and I think we’re seeing that early on.”