KAYSVILLE — They gather early in the morning to lift weights. They gather in the late afternoon to run sprints. The gather to watch film, learn plays, share ideas, talk trash and just navigate life.
And as the days grow shorter, the air cooler, high school football players everywhere are energized by the endless opportunities of fall.
To kick off the 2010 season, the Deseret News will feature a video countdown of the top 20 prep football teams. The rankings were determined by preseason polls, and the project offers fans a unique glimpse of the top teams.
Today's featured team is No. 3 Davis.
Sitting in the Davis High football stands, the view of the surrounding mountains is beautiful. But during fall, during football season, that view turns to a spectacular brown and gold work of art.
It is a view the community loved so much, they asked their beloved football team to wear the colors of the hillside.
Playing for Davis High means upholding decades of tradition in a community that cherishes its prep sports.
"I grew up my entire life here, had two uncles who played and other relatives," said Landon Cook, senior defensive tackle. "It's always been kind of a dream. Ever since I was little I dreamed of growing up and playing here. Living the dream."
Senior quarterback Gavin Fowler also grew up wanting to wear the Dart uniform. His favorite aspect of football is being part of a team where sacrifice is key to success.
"Just being a part of something bigger than yourself," he said. "The tradition that goes along with (football). The whole town seems to rally around it."
And while everyone loves Friday night, head coach Ryan Bishop loves all that goes into the once a week spectacle so much more.
"I love practice," he said. "I love the weight room in the offseason. I love interacting with the kids in this program. ... Friday night is fun because you get to reap the rewards of all of your hard work."
He said football is a game that people can "lose themselves in" and because it's a release, it's special even to those who've never played.
His players enjoy the fact that they have each other to rely on when the game is toughest and tightest.
"Everybody has their job, and if one person doesn't do their job, the entire play is shot," said Cook. "When you come to a Davis football game, I just feel the pride. My favorite thing in the world, just coming out here and playing."