Huskies Endured one of State’s Toughest Non-region Schedules
Coach Travis Mehlhoff's plan was for his Huskies to take on one of the toughest non-region schedules in the state. Photo courtesy Alpine Schools
Hillcrest football was defeated by an average of 20 points in each of its first three games before a win. The Huskies did endure one of the most difficult non-region schedules in Utah in preparation for Region 6 play.
That was the idea, Coach Travis Mehlhoff said. He added that the Huskies could handle it because of their toughness.
“I really don’t feel like tough region opponents have highly affected us emotionally,” he said. “Obviously we like to win and we’re disappointed when we don’t, but we’re trying to get better and that’s the key.”
MaxPreps ranked the Huskies 64th in the state despite a 1-3 record.
Mehlhoff used the words “physicality,” “energy” and “discipline” to describe characteristics of opponents that the Huskies will see in Region 6. It followed three other words he used – “discipline,” “loyalty,” and “toughness” – when describing the culture fostered by upperclassmen providing an example of performance.
But Mehlhoff also outlined how coaches searched on a “weekly basis” during non-region play to find players ready for varsity ball. The Huskies returned just four starters from last season’s playoff team, its first since 2004, when NFL Pro Bowl offensive lineman Zane Beadles was controlling the trenches.
Not that some players haven’t impressed. Mehlhoff pointed out offensive-defensive star Dalton Dallimore, running backs Booker McGuire and Karris Davis, quarterback Gavin Herd and the entire offensive line.
They comprise a team whose top attribute was team strength.
“We have a lot of guys that have a lot of kids in the weight room,” Mehlhoff said. “Through the weight room process… we have put our shoulder behind the wheel and kept going in the weight room and come together as a family. We really emphasize having each others’ back and our kids show that.”
It was just weeks before summer weight training began that Mehlhoff took over. That’s because David Hastings reneged on the school in favor of a job in Wyoming that he had applied for before joining the Huskies. But Mehlhoff said it wasn’t difficult because he was with Hillcrest the previous season. The playoff appearance then sparked a higher-than-normal turnout in the offseason. It made Mehlhoff happy since a huge problem in Utah is students transferring high schools for athletics purposes, he said.
“I really love Midvale and hope to keep our athletes here,” he said. “I hope to keep the Hillcrest athletes here at the school and competing here as a Husky.”
Hillcrest hosts Cyprus and Murray Oct. 9 and 23 and travels to Kearns, Skyline, Olympus and Orem Sept. 18 and 25 and Oct. 2 and 14. Kickoff times are at 7 p.m.