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Top 20 football video countdown: No. 8 Pleasant Grove

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PLEASANT GROVE — They gather early in the morning to lift weights. They gather in the late afternoon to run sprints. They gather to watch films, learn plays, share ideas, talk trash and just navigate life.

And as the days grow shorter and the air will soon begin to get 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 state's 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. 8, Pleasant Grove.

The Vikings have a simple theme for the 2010 season: "no fear."

The players will have a chance to test themselves from the season's opening kickoff, as they play a tough preseason schedule.

"The idea is to compete with the best teams," said coach Dale Sampson.

The Vikings start with last year's 4A champion, Timpview, and then head to Riverton and Bingham before starting region play against Hillcrest.

Sampson, in his sixth year as head coach and 28th year as a football coach, said he hopes the challenges of football will help his players evolve into determined, hard-working young men.

"I hope each of them values this experience," he said. Setting goals and working toward them help the boys "experience success."

He said the team's theme of "no fear" will sum up how they will approach every challenge, on and off the field.

"For us to be successful, we have to be willing to play all comers," he said. "Our region is obviously pretty tough."

Asked what that theme meant to him, senior offensive tackle Ben Weese said, "It means we're not going to hold back at all. We'll give it everything we have. It's been a lot of hard work."

e-mail: adonaldson@desnews.com