ST. GEORGE — Executing their plays and atoning for last season’s disappointing playoff appearance have been the two things on the mind of the Dixie Flyers this summer.
Dixie High’s offense last season at times resembled a video game, with points coming quick and scores racking up into the 50s. In the first four games of the year, the Flyers scored 184 points and had outscored opponents by 25 points a game.
Dixie was also able to win four of its six region games, but an unlucky draw in the playoff tiebreaker sent the Flyers to three-time champ Juan Diego for the first round of the playoffs. The result was a disastrous 41-0 loss that left Flyers fans and players with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Coach Blaine Monkres, who has been in the coaching game more than a quarter of a century, knows that bad losses like that happen. And the only answer is to get better.
“The summer for us was about getting guys reps and executing plays,” he said. “The more work we get, the more chances we have to provide these guys with a learning experience.”
The Flyers spent a week in Cedar City at the Southern Utah University full-contact camp. That kind of experience could prove to be valuable.
“That’s five days in full pads and we got about 60 guys up there, so that was good,” Monkres said. “We moved a lot of guys around so we could see them on the field and get a feel for what they can do. Nobody got hurt and we got some really valuable experience.”
The Flyers, who are led by three-year starter Blake Barney at quarterback, also attended the Weber State and BYU 7-on-7 camps. In those camps, linemen are removed (except the center) and the teams play a passing game with the quarterbacks only given a certain amount of time to throw the ball before they are declared “sacked.” It’s the kind of drill suited well to Dixie’s wide open passing attack.
“A lot of coaches want to draw up plays and see how they work at those,” Monkres said. “For us, we just ran the same plays that we run in games. We just want to get as proficient as we can at our normal plays.”
Many people are tabbing the Flyers as one of the teams to beat in Region 9 in 2012. Barney will be back and should be one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Utah.
“Blake had a good summer,” Monkres said. “He’s a hard-working kid. He got a little bigger and a little stronger and a little faster. we’re looking for a lot of good things from him this year.”
A newcomer who could have an impact on the program is running back Joseph Takau, whose family moved over from Hurricane. The Flyers also hope to have Kyle Hansen at 100 percent. He was injured during basketball season and has been rehabbing hard to be ready for the football season.
“Kyle was ready to go before the SUU camp, but we didn’t want to risk anything,” Monkres said.
Dixie should be loaded at the skill positions with returnees like Taylor Berry, Lukas Hildebrandt, Chris Whetton and Drew Batchelor. Offensive and defensive line play may be the difference between a good and great season for Dixie.
The Flyers open camp Aug. 6 with two-a-days at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The season kicks off for Dixie Aug. 17 at Walt Brooks Stadium against the Springville Red Devils.
Fri., Aug. 17 – Springville
Fri., Aug. 24 – River Valley, Ariz.
Fri., Aug. 31 – at Provo
Fri., Sept. 7 – Pine View
Fri., Sept. 14 – at Hurricane
Fri., Sept. 21 – Desert Hills
Fri., Sept. 28 – at Canyon View
Fri., Oct. 5 – Cedar
Fri., Oct. 12 – at Snow Canyon
Thu., Oct. 17 – bye
Copyright 2012 St. George News.