Highland football focus on region supremacy
Aug 20, 2018 16h15
By Jana Klopsch
Senior Bronson Olevao returns a kick off against Desert Hills in Highland’s opening game. Olevao also got an interception in the third quarter. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
In each of the last three seasons, the Highland football team has come up just a game short of winning a region. The Rams are ready for a change.
Highland went 4-1 in Region 6 last season, finished second to Lehi, a team it lost to 40-21. As they began their August workouts in preparation for the 2018 campaign, the Rams had a confident attitude about their prospects to make it to the top of league standings.
“I’m excited to get going,” head coach Brody Benson said. “The kids have been working hard. Practices have been good. There’s been some good energy. The chemistry of the team has been good. I like the way we’re coming together. The players are doing a good job pushing each other, competing and helping each other out.”
Benson makes it no secret what his objectives are. He said his team needs to avoid the injury bug and stay committed in order to be successful.
“Our No. 1 goal is to win region,” he said. “We have to stay healthy. I feel good about the guys we have. We need to play our game and take care of the ball. We need to stay focused every week and never look ahead. We need to be dialed in.”
Benson said his team doesn’t have as many players on the roster as other schools may have. However, Highland returns six starters on offense and seven on defense.
Senior quarterback Trajan Benson will run the offense for the Rams. He suffered an injury at the end of last season and spent much of the offseason rehabbing.
“I’m excited for him,” the coach said. “He has worked his guts out to lead the team. He’s commanding in the huddle. He’s going to go out and take charge of the offense.”
Spread offenses are all the rage in football, and that has trickled down to the high school ranks. Still, the Rams favor a downhill running approach, and they have a host of running backs to carry the ball. Tailbacks Bronson Olevao and Matt Lloyd will get the bulk of the action. They’ll run behind fullbacks Colton White and Floyd Nau, just a sophomore. Of course, Highland’s fullbacks will run the ball plenty as well. White had 507 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Caden Hilborn could be an imposing target at tight end this season for the Rams. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound former lineman will be a big part of the Rams’ offense. Wide receiver Jackson Hawes stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs 227 pounds. He caught 10 balls for 148 yards last season.
“We have the chance to be explosive on offense,” Brody Benson said.
Offensive tackle Tevita Tuha has stepped up into a leadership role. Kaufusi Pakofe will start on the line on both sides of the ball.
Defensively, Brody Benson is happy with his linemen and linebackers. White and Floyd will double as linebackers, while Olevao and Lloyd will lead the secondary.
Highland opened the season Aug. 17 at home against Desert Hills. The Rams traveled to Pine View on Aug. 24. Highland’s first region contest will be Sept. 14 at Murray.
“We want tough opponents in the preseason,” Brody Benson said. “It gives us a good taste of what we’ll face week to week in region.”