High school football preview: Mountain Crest Mustangs

<em>This is the fourth in a series previewing the Region 12 football teams. The others can be viewed at these links: <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/local_prep/article_98f7b74e-7baf-11e7-88d7-3f5fd9d6c4f8.html” target=”_blank”>Logan</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/local_prep/article_3105ce4c-7c8a-11e7-8832-2f2f9c059b4c.html” target=”_blank”>Sky View</a>, <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/sports/local_prep/article_f2743d80-7ec8-11e7-b898-537ef330a908.html” target=”_blank”>Green Canyon</a>. The broadcast schedule for each team can be seen <a href=”http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/site/high_school_sports.html” target=”_blank”>here</a>.</em>

HYRUM – With the opening of Ridgeline High School a year ago, half of Mountain Crest’s student body – including the majority of senior football players – left for the new school. Despite its smaller enrollment and a roster full of sophomores and juniors, the Mustangs played football at the 5A level, Utah’s highest classification.

The Mustang football team finished with just three wins, but head coach Jason Lee said that Mountain Crest has always been one of the toughest teams in the state, and that the challenges last year only made his team tougher.

“We’re the only team in the state that has ever had to do anything like that,” Lee said. “We didn’t ask for it but we didn’t shy away from it either.”

This season will be different. Mountain Crest, along with the four other Cache Valley high schools, are all now a part of the 4A classification. Mountain Crest now has a close-to-equal enrollment and a roster full of seniors. Lee said the nine returning offensive starters and 10 returning defensive starters not only bring experience, they bring talent.

“We’re building off of what we did last year,” he said. “We’re deeper. Where we were one deep last year we are two and three deep this year. In almost every single position the kids are much stronger and much faster than they were last year.”

The offense, which Lee said will have multiple looks, will be led by junior quarterback Brady Hall, who started for the first time last season. Wide receivers Nick Nethercott, Cam Moser and Creedyn Foulger will be back for their senior seasons, and so will running back Beau Robinson.

“He was a highlight last year,” Lee said of Robinson. “His average was almost five yards per carry.”

Defensively, the Mustangs will run a 3-4. Foulger and Josh Powell were the team’s two leading tacklers on the defensive side of the ball a year ago, and are expected to make big contributions again this year. Lee said there is “a ton of depth” on the defensive line and that every starting defensive back is returning.

“You take a kid that started his very first game last year and now he’s got a full year under him,” Lee said. “Some of them were sophomores and they’ve got a year to go after this.”

Lee believes having every Cache Valley team in the same region is a good thing. He said he wishes Box Elder could join, too. He emphasized that competition breeds excellence, which is why some tough non-region teams are on the Mustang schedule.

<h4>Schedule</h4>

Aug. 18 at Highland

Aug. 25 vs Wasatch

Sept. 1 vs Box Elder

Sept. 8 vs Stansbury

Sept. 15 at Ridgeline

Sept. 22 vs Sky View

Sept. 29 at Bear River

Oct. 6 vs Logan

Oct. 13 at Green Canyon

Oct. 18 at Tooele

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