Off-season Reports: Defending champ Hurricane Tigers do their own thing

Ed. Note — This is the first in a multi-part series on the offseason activities of our Region 9 football teams. The high school football season begins Aug. 17.

HURRICANE — There are so many football camps to choose from, it can be dizzying. Just about every college football program conducts a team camp, including Dixie State College and Southern Utah University. There are specialty camps, like the all-Poly camps held in northern Utah and different position and individual camps held throughout the United States.

So, for a coach, trying to decide which camp will best benefit his program can be an extremely  difficult choice. Unless that coach is Hurricane High’s Chris Homer.

“We just do our own thing,” he said. “With the whole Wing-T situation, I feel like we can do as much at home and for a lot cheaper than if we went anywhere. There aren’t too many college coaches who could help us or anything because they just don’t run the Wing-T.”

That unique offense has helped the Hurricane Tigers play in four-straight state championship games. And after three heartbreaking losses, Hurricane finally captured the ultimate goal as state champs last season.

“You know, the weird thing is, it still doesn’t feel like it’s completely sunk in,” Homer said. “I mean, I know we won and what happened and everything, but in some ways I feel like we still have so much more to accomplish.”

That sounds like a coach who is aching for another shot at the title in 2012. The Tigers will be the favorites again going into the fall, but will have some key holes to plug if they are to repeat their undefeated 2011 campaign.

MVP fullback Brian Scott has graduated, as well as quarterback/safety Taylor Parker and a huge group of seniors. Hoping to take their places are Zach Prince, who played some at QB last season when Parker was injured, and Jared Edwards. Edwards was an all-state linebacker last year, but will make the move to the other side of the ball.

“At Hurricane the fullbacks carry a huge load,” Homer said. “We probably won’t use Jared as much in defense. He’s been waiting for his shot as our fullback and he’s going to get it.”

Homer said the summer provides a chance for him to evaluate younger players and occasionally get a look at a new move-in.

“We don’t usually get a lot of move-ins,” he said. “Generally, if someone’s going to move to southwestern Utah, they’re going to move to St. George. But we are excited to see what this young man that moved in from Kentucky can do. His name is Sean Cook and he’s about 6-1, 230 pounds. We’re excited to see how he fits into our program. Cody Lebaron is a young player who we think will really help us out at linebacker and tight end.”

Hurricane did participate in the annual BYU 7-on-7 passing competition in Provo, although for a different reason than one might think.

“Everyone knows Hurricane runs it 80 percent of the time,” Homer said. “The benefits are great at that camp for our safeties and cornerbacks. They get lots of different looks and can really work on their footwork and things like that. People under-estimate how valuable those camps can be for your defensive backs.”

Homer said his goal in the summer is not necessarily the same as many coaches.

“We’re not in any hurry to put the pads on,” he said. “A lot of coaches can’t wait to get suited up, but we just want to get to the season healthy. We want to get stronger in the weight room, stay healthy and not burn the kids out on football.”

The Tigers open the season at home Aug. 17 against 4A Skyline.

Hurricane Schedule
Fri., Aug. 17 – Skyline
Fri., Aug. 24 – at West Jordan
Fri., Aug. 31 – Legacy, Nev.
Fri., Sept. 7 – at Cedar
Fri., Sept. 14 – Dixie
Fri., Sept. 21 – at Snow Canyon
Fri., Sept. 28 – at Pine View
Fri., Oct. 5 – bye
Thu., Oct. 11 – Desert Hills
Wed., Oct. 17 – Canyon View

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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