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The City Journals

Hunter returns to the field for 2020 season

Sep 02, 2020 04:31PM ● By Greg James

Hunter Ute Conference football teams line up this fall in hopes of someday playing in front of large crowds at the high school. This season attendance will be limited because of the pandemic. (Greg James/City Journals)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

This past spring, Hunter High School was shut down because of the pandemic, but students also spent two weeks on a strict lockdown because one of them contracted the virus.

“It completely changes all we do,” Wolverine head coach Tarell Richards said.

News quickly spread that a student had attended school with symptoms and the CDC imposed the quarantine on the entire student body, teachers and staff. Sports at the school were on hiatus. Fall sports like football, soccer and volleyball were not allowed back into the school into July. This put teams behind schedule.

“Getting back between the lines has made everything better. I am not sure how it will all play out, but it is good to be back playing again,” Richards said. “We are doing our best to stay within the expectations and the guidelines of our school.”

The Wolverines return eight starters on offense this season. They do have the challenge of finding a new starting quarterback. In its first game of the season, Justice Brusatto and Josh Harding split time.

In the 34-23 loss to Bonneville, the new quarterbacks in the spread offense threw the ball 26 times and combined for 153 yards. Last season, they averaged 30.4 points per game which was eighth in 6A. 

The four returning offensive lineman are Huni Tauteoli, Jayson Chase, Peseti Lapuaho and Sautapu Faatuau Lole. The line will also be tasked with opening holes for a new stable of running backs.

Sophomore Koni Tahi carried the ball 10 times against Bonneville for 113 yards which included a 70-yard touchdown late in the second half.

They also return 2019 all-state tight end Lorenzo Tua’one. He ran the ball for 15 yards against Bonneville.   

They trailed 27-6 after three quarters. Richards said the key to success on offense will be controlling the turnovers.

“We need to protect the football. We need to play with tempo and control our team then we will have a chance to win,” Richards said.

Hunter only returns five starters on defense. They allowed 21.7 points per game last season. 

“We need to tackle well. If we can get lined up and play with great effort,” Richards said.

The Wolverines have collected 191 wins in their 30 seasons. They have qualified for the state playoffs for 29 straight years. This includes a state championship in 2003 and eight region championships. They have faced Kearns 25 times and lead the series with 17 wins.

Hunter competes in the Utah High School Activities Association’s Region 2. They finished last year in second place and lost to Kearns in the second round of the state tournament. 

This season is scheduled to be the second season of the rating performance index used by the UHSAA. The index will again rank the teams for the state tournament. They are scheduled to host Granger Friday, Sept. 11.