BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS – The Woods Cross football team is going to go through some growing pains as it hits the field in 2013.
The majority of those pains will come on the offensive side of the field, as many of the key players from last year’s co-Region 6 championship team have taken their talents to the next level.
“We are going to be a young team,” said Justin Spencer, now entering his second year as football coach. “There is a good amount of senior leadership on the team, but many of the offensive positions will be unproven on the field.”
Gone from the offense are Skyler Farnes, Sean Barton, Alton Brown, and as many as five other starters. Key backup players are gone as well, leaving the offense very thin on experience.
“We will have three offensive lineman back this season,” he said. “Nick Peterson, our center, will anchor that line and is a strong player to have in the middle of the line.”
Another strong all-around player is Xequille Harry, who Spencer touted as “one of the best football players we have.” Getting him the football in as many ways as possible will be key to the team’s success moving forward.
“He’s a kid that can just do it all,” said Spencer. “He’ll take reps on offense, will play corner on defense, and will return kickoffs and probably punt too. We’re going to utilize him as much as we possibly can.”
At quarterback, there is a three-headed battle going on between seniors Luke Jowers and Clay Kidman, and junior Tanner Hammond.
Kidman is a “football kid” that has put himself in position to be a starter on the team, Spencer said, but didn’t go as far as naming him the Day 1 starter.
“They all have their own unique talents for the position,” he said. “But to name one of them the starter right now wouldn’t be fair to the others.”
The Wildcats have another three-headed monster at running back as Lawrence Brown, Caden McBride and Mausi Giles look to lead the team in the backfield.
“Brown is that scat-back kind of player, and both McBride and Giles will probably see some time on the field as well,” said Spencer. “We’ll probably run that position by committee because they all bring a different aspect of the running game to the table.”
Sean Gallagher caught four touchdowns last season and will return as a strong receiving threat.
Woods Cross may run into the biggest issues on defense. Spencer said as many as nine underclassmen will play several roles, but he will have some anchored-down positions by the opening game.
“Deion Saumalu is one of those special defensive kids,” said Spencer. “He started as a freshman and can play safety and linebacker.”
Mason Newton, Siale Mausia and Gavin Moore will also be important. Newton will likely see playing time at middle linebacker, with Mausia and Moore playing on the defensive line, the coach said.
“I’m pretty excited about a lot of our juniors too. They’ve worked hard and have tried to earn jobs just like everyone else,” he said. “I think if we can stay healthy in those key positions, we could have a successful season.”
Wildcats 2013 schedule
8-23 @ Maple Mountain
8-30 @ Judge Memorial
9-13 @ East
9-27 @ Bountiful
10-4 @ Highland
10-16 CORNER CANYON