Sky View football head coach Danilo Robinson and his team know they can’t rest on past success in 2018.
One year removed from an 11-1 overall record and an outright Region 12 championship, the Bobcats are determined to build their own legacy in the coming season.
2017 was a season to remember for Robinson and his team. In his first year at the helm of the program, Robinson guided the Bobcats through an undefeated regular season and deep into the playoffs. Sky View lost to the eventual state champion Orem Tigers 28-12 in the 4A state semifinals. All of this was especially impressive, considering that Sky View underwent a school split with Green Canyon over the summer.
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see how both fans and opponents are expecting great things from the Bobcats in 2018-19. Robinson and his boys are focused on separating last year’s success from the reality of the upcoming season.
“Our kids have high expectations for themselves and the program,” Robinson said. “We are going to do our best to not compare this season to last season. Every season is its own challenge. We’re going to try to navigate this years’ challenge.”
Sky View will bring back a pair of all-state players. Anchoring the defense will be first-team all-state cornerback Caleb Christensen. The senior had a whopping eight interceptions last year, and he’s prepared to lead a Bobcat defense that returns six starters as well as a good amount of depth. Christensen is a dynamic athlete; he won the state championship and holds the Sky View record in the long jump.
SV’s other returning all-state talent is Mason Falslev. The junior garnered second-team all-state honors at the wide receiver position in 2017, but he will be taking over as the Bobcats’ signal caller. Falslev, who recently committed to play basketball at the University of Utah, will give opposing defensive coordinators headaches with his supreme athleticism at the quarterback spot. Falslev hauled in 51 passes for 913 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
“Mason is a talented young man,” Robinson said when asked about Falslev’s abilities. “We want to put the ball in his hands and put him in a lot of different positions. There will be times where he’ll be under center, there will be times when he’s split out, and there will be times where we use him as a running back. We want to let him use his talents to the best of his abilities.”
Joining Falslev in the backfield will be Tanner Stokes. Stokes spent significant time at both running back and slot receiver last season, as his older brother Cole started at running back. Tanner will step into the bulk of the carries this year for the Bobcats, and the shifty speedster will also stretch the field with his receiving abilities.
“Tanner is a little bit more undersized than Cole was,” Robinson said. “He’s lightning quick and very elusive. We’re hoping that he can make inroads on the ground. We are going to do our best to get the ball in his hands.”
Ryder Lundahl is another returning playmaker to expect big things from. Lundahl caught 37 passes for 470 yards in 2017, and he will be Falslev’s main deep threat this season.
“He’s going to be one of those players that goes both ways. Ryder is electrifying when he has the ball in his hands. He has big-play ability and we’re excited about what he can do,” Robinson said. “He’s a special talent and I’m excited to see him have a great year.”
The biggest question mark for Robinson’s team will be the offensive line. Sky View returns one starter from last year, in Dawson Buehler, who will be relied on to lead a group of newcomers.
“Dawson is an awesome kid,” Robinson said. “He’s an absolute anchor as far as showing how things should be done at Sky View.”
The Bobcats return a strong group of defensive backs. Christensen will anchor the DBs, alongside returning starters Jon Hansen, Scout Morris, and Trayson Martindale.
Tony Torres (who finished with 53 tackles in 2017) and Logan Karren (58 tackles last season) will anchor the linebacking corps for SV.
Sky View’s biggest losses in 2018 will be Andrew Dean and Koebe Wilson. The stellar defensive ends have both graduated, and in order for the Bobcats to find success this season, they must maintain the ability to establish a pass rush. Robinson expects this to be a focal point, especially early on in SV’s non-region contests.
It’s a cliche, but Sky View will have to take this season one game at a time. The Bobcats will certainly find out where they stand quickly, with non-region games against Stansbury, Tooele, Springville, and Madison (ID).
“These seasons have a life of their own,” Robinson said when asked about his teams’ goals. “Injuries, momentum, enthusiasm; they can all come into effect. Our main goal is to go out and play with fanatical effort every week.”
August 17th – vs. Stansbury – 7 PM
August 24th – at Tooele – 7 PM
August 31th – at Springville – 7 PM
September 7th – at Madison (ID) – 7 PM
September 14th – at Bear River – 7 PM
September 21th – vs. Mountain Crest – 7 PM
September 28th – vs. Logan – 7 PM
October 5th – at Green Canyon – 7 PM
October 12th – at Ridgeline – 7 PM
Sky View Football will be heard on radio station 103.3 FM and 1390 AM with Hurricane John Newbold calling the play-by-play.