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High school football: Maple Mountain Golden Eagles 2019 preview

Note: Maple Mountain finished with a 4-8 overall record in 2018 and was tied for third in Region 8 with a 2-3 record. It lost to Roy 40-0 in the 5A first round.

Maple Mountain 2018 Offensive and Defensive Stats

SPANISH FORK — The Golden Eagles don't return a lot of starters from last year's team, but return enough to have Maple Mountain coach Brad Burtenshaw optimistic heading into the season.

“I think we have some good pieces,” Burtenshaw said. “We have some good returners, especially at the skill positions, and a good foundation to build on, I feel. Now it’s about developing some of the new guys — bringing them up to speed.”

A lot of those pieces are seniors — around 25 of them, which is where you always start when assessing team leaders and the foundation to build around for any given season.

“The senior group has good experience and is a good-sized group,” Burtenshaw said. “They’re leading and what I like is that our experience is spread out pretty well at every position, even though we don’t have a ton of returning starters.”

Burtenshaw is also excited about the competition, while knowing every region game will be a challenge. But having natural longstanding rivalries built in is exciting for players with Burtenshaw believing his players can rise to become some of the more competitive in Region 8.

“We’re optimistic and really like our region and our competition,” Burtenshaw said. “We’re all excited about what we’re getting together for this year and hope we can prove to be one of the more competitive teams.”

Maple Mountain Golden Eagles at a glance

Coach: Brad Burtenshaw enters his 10th season as head coach. He's compiled a 44-67 overall record. He's a graduate of San Juan High.

Burtenshaw's thoughts on the new UHSAA RPI:

"It's interesting and we'll see how it all works out. It's hard to know right now how it exactly will work, but I think it's going to be a good thing."

Maple Mountain offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Clay Denton

2018 offensive production: 19.7 ppg (18th in 5A)

— Four returning starters

— Spread

Key returning starters

Tyler Nelson (QB): Nelson returns as a starter with Burtenshaw impressed with his ability to lead the team.

Kyson Hall (WR): Hall continues his family's tradition at Maple Mountain and should prove one of the team's better playmakers in 2019.

Returning offensive starters

Tyler Nelson (QB)

Kyson Hall (WR)

Spencer Marchant (OL)

Kalvin Smith (OL)

Offensive newcomers to watch

Ammon Hess (WR)

Brian Bess (WR)

Hayden Cook (OL)

Kyle Chidester (OL)

Peyton Breinholt (WR)

Colton Archibald (RB)

Burtenshaw on Tyler Nelson:

“He is one of the most even-keeled kids I’ve ever been around that is also a top-notch athlete. He’ll make a mistake and just move on and then come up with a great play. He just stays steady, which is great to have as a quarterback.”

Burtenshaw on what he believes will be the strength of the offense:

“The returning skill players is what I think will be the strength of our offense. I think we have some good speed and some good experience. I think we’ll be able to throw the ball down the field and do some good things.”

Keys for offensive success in 2019: The offensive line play needs to improve to allow Nelson to operative effectively in the pocket and for the receivers to finish routes and get open.

Maple Mountain defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Jake Groesbeck

2018 defensive production: 26.5 ppg (16th in 5A)

— Two returning starters

— 4-3

Key defensive returning starters

Grady Nelson (LB): Grady Nelson was one of the team's leading tacklers a year ago and who Burtenshaw expects to prove the heart of the defense.

Cameron Simons (DL): Simons returns as the team's most experienced defensive lineman.

Defensive newcomers to watch

Brett King (DL)

Ethan Davis (DB)

Teddy Wright (DB)

Colton Butterfield (DL)

Nate Myers (LB)

Burtenshaw on the strength of his defense:

“I think the linebackers are going to be our strength. That will be the heart of the defense with Grady coming back.”

Burtenshaw on his defensive backs:

“We’re going to be pretty young at defensive back, but some of those young guys are working hard to get a lot better and contribute. I think we’ll be OK there, but just need those guys to keep progressing.”

Key for defensive success in 2019: The players are going to have to develop quickly to take on top teams like Provo and Springville should the defense hope to improve on last year's overall production.

Coaches preseason Region 8 straw poll: Sixth

Deseret News Region 8 prediction: Sixth

Key region game: Sept. 27 at Spanish Fork

Bottom line

Maple Mountain could improve upon last year's performance, but a lack of returning starters leads to some hesitance in that regard. Look for the Golden Eagles to prove a tough out in Region 8, but struggle to finish near the top of the region standings.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 16 — CEDAR VALLEY, 7 p.m.

Aug. 23 — PLEASANT GROVE, 7 p.m.

Aug. 30 — at Timpanogos, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6 — SPRINGVILLE, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 — at Payson, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 — WASATCH, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 — at Spanish Fork, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 — at Cottonwood, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 — at Provo, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 — SALEM HILLS, 7 p.m.

….

Felts Facts for Maple Mountain High School

All-time record: 44-67 (10 years)

Region championships: 0

Playoff appearances: 6

Current playoff appearance streak: 1

All-time playoff record: 2-6

State championships: 0

State championship record: 0-0

Most played rivalry: 11 meetings with Salem Hills. Salem Hills leads series 7-4.

Felt’s Factoid: Eight schools have perfect records in overtime, but Maple Mountain, 3-0, has the most OT wins of that select group.

...

Last 5

  • 2018 — 4-8 (2-3 in Region 8 – 5A First round)
  • 2017 — 0-10 (0-5 in Region 8 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2016 — 7-6 (5-1 in Region 8 – 4A Semifinals)
  • 2015 — 7-4 (3-3 in Region 8 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2014 — 4-8 (2-4 in Region 8 – 4A First round)

...

Maple Mountain coaching history

  • 2009-current — Brad Burtenshaw (45-66)

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Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

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