Note: Payson finished with a 4-6 overall record in 2018 and was fifth in Region 10 with a 1-4 record. It did not qualify for the 4A playoffs.
PAYSON — It's not easy being Payson. Although the team has relatively low numbers, the Lions are making the jump from 4A to 5A in large part due to its location, which doesn't make for easy region alignment in 4A.
But Payson coach Derek Campbell accepts his team's new assignment and is optimistic moving forward.
"We're excited to be in a region with local competition," Campbell said. "It's just a stepping stone for us and a challenge to keep improving like we have because the competition in 5A is obviously tougher, but we've been working toward it."
Payson's new region assignment brings back natural rivalries with programs like Salem Hills, Spanish Fork and others, which can prove a positive thing as Campbell works to keep up his program's steady improvements.
Numbers-wise the Lions will present 75-80 players, although that number can be deceiving.
"The tough thing for us with our numbers is there aren't a lot of linemen," Campbell said. "So that's the biggest challenge. We have decent numbers, but not a lot of it includes linemen, so that's tough."
But Campbell believes his team can prove competitive despite the challenges.
"We'll need our young and inexperienced guys to develop quickly and come together and then staying healthy is always big," Campbell said. "I like our new challenges and we'll work to meet the new challenges with the new competition."
Payson Lions at a glance
Derek Campbell is in his fourth year as head coach after spending a year as defensive coordinator. He previously worked as an assistant at Snow, Southern Utah and Dixie. His combined record at Payson is 9-22.
Campbell's thoughts on the new UHSAA RPI:
"Ask me about it at the end of the year and I'll have a much better answer for you, but that's sort of the point. No one really knows how it's going to work out yet, so let's just wait and see and then go from there. Obviously the top teams love it and some of the bottom teams probably don't like it so much right now, but I'm sort of in the middle. We'll see how it plays out."
Payson offensive snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Lloyd Mason
2018 offensive production: 22.1 ppg (17th in 4A)
— 3 returning starters
— Pro-style offense
Key returning offensive player
Jeff Durant (OL): Durant is the lone returning starter on this year's team, which makes his leadership and play vital for Payson's success.
Returning offensive players
Jared Christensen (TE)
Cooper Ott (FB)
Jeff Durrant (OL)
Newcomers to watch
Logan Wride (QB)
Clay Carson (WR)
Beau Hall (WR)
Ari Sanders (WR)
Braxton Perez (RB)
Campbell on his offensive line:
"We lost four starters from a year ago, so that's the position we're probably most concerned about. Hopefully things come together there, but there's a lot to replace, although we like the guys stepping up and competing."
Campbell on his quarterback:
"Logan Wride is a good athlete who played receiver last year. He's good at rolling out, and although he's a bit undersized we're confident in what he can do back there."
Keys to offensive success in 2019:
The offensive line has to come together for Payson to see success in what looks to be tough Region 8 competition. So much of any team's success resides with offensive line play and Payson's success on offense will likely rise and fall with how capable the offensive front proves to be.
Payson defensive snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Derek Campbell
2018 defensive production: 28.2 ppg (16th in 4A)
— 3 returning starters
Key returning starter on defense
Tyler Bott (LB): Bott was the team's leading tackler last season and will be relied on heavily to lead an otherwise inexperienced defense.
Returning defensive starters
Tyler Bott (LB)
Kayden Todd (LB)
Tanner Moss (DB)
Newcomers to watch
Jarrett Christensen (DL)
Tate Siggard (DL)
Cole Carson (DL)
Jamal Worthen (DB)
Matt Mason (DB)
Campbell on his linebackers:
"That's our strongest position with both Tyler Bott and Kayden Todd returning. We now have to find a third guy, but yeah, that's the position that will lead us."
Campbell on his defensive line:
"It's largely the same story as the offense on the line. We have a lot of inexperience and not a lot of proven bodies, so we'll have to play some young guys and hopefully they can step up."
Keys for defensive success in 2019:
The key is almost identical to that of the offense, with the line play needing to solidify quickly and effectively for the Lions to have success. Having an experienced linebacking corps will help, although those linebackers could be neutralized significantly if the defensive front can't keep blockers off them.
It's going to be tough for Payson to prove competitive in its first season coming back to 5A competition. It's a program that just barely proved able to compete in 4A, so asking the same in 5A may be a bit too much initially. But Campbell is building a good program, and if things come together the Lions may be able to patch together a few wins.
Coaches Region 8 straw poll: seventh
Deseret News Region 8 prediction: seventh
Key region game: at Spanish Fork, Oct. 10
Aug. 16 — BEN LOMOND, 7 p.m.
Aug. 23 — at Manti, 7 p.m.
Aug. 30 — at Richfield, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 — at Salem Hills, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 — MAPLE MOUNTAIN, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 — SPRINGVILLE, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 — MOUNTAIN RIDGE, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 — WASATCH, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 — at Spanish Fork, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 — at Provo, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Payson High School
All-time record: 388-469-39 (108 years)
Region championships: 15 (1909, 1919, 1921, 1925, 1928, 1932, 1943, 1949, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976 co)
Playoff appearances: 25
Current playoff appearance streak: 0
All-time playoff record: 15-21-2
State championships: 4 (1925, 1943, 1969, 1971)
State championship record: 2-4-1. Payson and South Sevier tied in the semifinals in 1925, but no state championship was held. Both were awarded state titles.
Most played rivalry: 94 meetings with Springville dating back to 1909. Springville leads 56-31-7. Last met in 2010.
Felt’s Factoids: Payson holds the top two positions for the fewest passing yards allowed in a game: minus-20 in 1976 against Carbon and minus-17 in 1985 against Delta. ... Payson played the most tie games in a single season with five in 1937.
- 2018 — 4-6 (1-4 in Region 10 – Missed playoffs)
- 2017 — 4-7 (2-3 in Region 10 – Missed playoffs)
- 2016 — 1-9 (0-6 in Region 8 – Missed playoffs)
- 2015 — 1-8 (0-6 in Region 8 – Missed playoffs)
- 2014 — 0-10 (0-6 in 3AA South – Missed playoffs)
Payson coaching history
- 2016-current — Derek Campbell (9-22)
- 2009-2015 — Jeremy Chapman (18-52)
- 2007-2008 — Jared Woolstenhulme (6-15)
- 2003-2006 — Colby Knight (8-33)
- 2001-2002 — Jamal Willis (3-17)
- 1997-2000 — Rick Robbins (11-26)
- 1988-1996 — Bart Peery (26-52)
- 1984-1987 — David McKee (13-22)
- 1981-1983 — Bob Cook (6-22)
- 1956-1980 — Jim Durrant (137-96-8)
- 1941-1955 — Don Fuller (70-44-12)
- 1940 — Unknown (1-5-1)
- 1939 — Vern Waldo (3-5)
- 1936-1938 — Unknown (6-9-7)
- 1934-1935 — Stan Wilson (3-8-1)
- 1928-1933 — Unknown (26-11-4)
- 1927 — Mr. Wooley (3-2)
- 1922-1926 — Unknown (12-8-4)
- 1921 — Hugh Sutton (4-2)
- 1920 — Unknown (0-2)
- 1919 — Dixon Kapple (5-1-1)
- 1918 — Ray Monson (1-1)
- 1916-1917 — Unknown (9-2)
- 1915 — Mr. Cole (2-2-1)
- 1909-1914 — Unknown (6-8)
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.