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High school football: Gunnison Bulldogs 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the Gunnison Bulldogs football team heading into the 2020 season.

Note: Gunnison finished with a 3-7 overall record in 2019 and was fourth in 2A North with a 2-3 record. It was RPI seed No. 11 in the 2A playoffs and was eliminated by Parowan 55-14 in first round.


GUNNISON — Things didn’t go smoothly in his first year for coach Patrick King and the Gunnison Valley football program. After losing its starting quarterback Harley Hill in the opening game of the season, Gunnison’s offense struggled to get things going.

Additionally, the defense also struggled to contain many of 2A’s top offenses. These struggles were largely expected given the team’s youth and inexperience.

This year could look a little different.

With the majority of its starters returning this upcoming season, Gunnison looks to build off of the valuable foundational experience gained last season. That experience could prove to be valuable considering the hindrances the coronavirus has possibly presented to the offseason programs of other teams.

Led by All-State safety Jack Hansen and star running back and linebacker Zach Stewart, Gunnison features a strong front seven on defense and an athletic offensive core.

After a season riddled with rough patches, Gunnison appears to have better days ahead of it as it gears up for the 2020 season.


Gunnison Valley Bulldogs at a glance

King’s thoughts on how his players dealt the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“It’s day-to-day just like anything. I think everybody is just going day-to-day trying to enjoy the here and now. I think the kids are enjoying lifting with each other and spending time together and building that camaraderie in the weight room.”

Gunnison Valley offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Patrick King

2019 offense: 11.0 ppg (11th in 2A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • Seven returning starters
  • Hybrid offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Zach Stewart (RB)
  • Tyrek Hopkins (TE)
  • Will Wescott (OT)
  • Talmage Jensen (OT)
  • Bridger Stevens (C)
  • Bryant Shell (OG)
  • Jack Hansen (FB/QB)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Adrian Younger (RB)
King’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“We need continuity on our offensive line. We’ve got to get stronger and we’ve got to work out and do the things that we need to do. But we’ve got to improve our passing game too. We need to get our passing game going and we believe we’re going to be able to do that.”


Gunnison Valley defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Patrick King

2019 defense: 34.6 ppg (12th in 2A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • Eight returning starters
  • 4-4 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Zach Stewart (OLB)
  • Dylan Anderson (MLB)
  • Will Wescott (DE/NG)
  • Talmage Jensen (DT)
  • Bryson Sorenson (DE)
  • Tyrek Hopkins (DE)
  • Carson Yardley (LB)
  • Jack Hansen (FS)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Adrian Younger (LB)
King’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“I think guys need to step up (in the secondary), absolutely. We’ve got some guys who got some seasoning last year, but we’re really holding an open competition. We’ve got about six guys that we think can rise to the occasion.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

Last year, Gunnison’s roster was vastly young and inexperienced, but that isn’t the case this year. While they still have a large amount of youth, they now have the experience of a full season under their belt. With the majority of their starters returning from last year, expect Gunnison to build upon the foundation that was laid last season and potentially challenge for third place in the 2A North Region.


Felt’s Facts for Gunnison Valley

  • All-time record: 78-211 (30 years)

  • Region championships: 0

  • Playoff appearances: 15
  • All-time playoff record: 4-15
  • State championships: 0

  • State championship record: 0

  • Most played rivalry: 28 meetings with South Summit dating back to 1992. South Summit leads 23-5.


Last five seasons

  • 2019 — 3-7 (2-3 in 2A North — 2A first round)
  • 2018 — 1-9 (1-4 in 2A North — 2A first round)
  • 2017 — 0-10 (0-5 in 2A North — 2A first round)
  • 2016 — 3-7 (2-3 in 2A North — 2A first round)
  • 2015 — 1-9 (0-5 in 2A North — 2A first round)

Gunnison Valley coaching history

  • 2019-current — Patrick King (3-7)
  • 2015-2018 — Jack Pay (5-32)
  • 2014 — Trent Halliday (2-8)

  • 2010-2013 — Yori Ludvigson (12-28)

  • 1994-2009 — Rhett Jackson (63-126)

  • 1990-1993 — Ron Dalley (5-22)


Gunnison All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
  • 2016 — Kyler White, WR/LB
  • 2013 — Tyson Moosman, QB

  • 2013 — Jacob Hatch, WR/DB

  • 2012 — Braden Harris, RB/LB

  • 2011 — Braden Harris, RB/LB

  • 2010 — Jantz Jensen, TE/LB