A month away from opening kickoff, Miners eager to get season started
Park City is putting together final preparations for its first season in 5A
With the Miners’ season opener against Wasatch High School on Aug. 13 just under a month away, Park City coach Josh Montzingo can tell that his team is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel this offseason.
“We’re definitely feeling like we’re coming towards the end of our summer,” Montzingo said. “Obviously, the summer’s still going, but they can definitely feel like it’s close, like it’s just about time to start.”
Montzingo said that the Miners wrapped up their team camp last week before taking a week off ahead of “official preparations” next week.
“We’ll start to kind of settle out rosters and find out who belongs in what position and compete each and every day in practice to try and find out who belongs where best,” Montzingo said. “And then make sure we completely master the playbook so that we can start the season and get the first game under our belt.”
The big highlight of the offseason for the Miners was winning a seven-on-seven tournament in Salt Lake City. Park City’s focus on running the ball in regular football puts them at a disadvantage in seven-on-seven tournaments, where teams can only throw the ball. Montzingo estimated that it’s been a few years since the Miners have won a seven-on-seven tournament but added that it’s good practice for them regardless of the result.
“We want to get work in both on the defense and the offensive side because we will throw the ball, and it’s good for us to practice and get our timing down – it’s great for a quarterback and receivers to develop that timing,” Montzingo said. “It’s great for our defense to work on our coverages, we get a lot of good work in there going against a lot of the spread teams that we’ll see all year long. So it’s always good for us, but we don’t usually win them.”
Park City is coming off a 9-3 season where it went 7-0 in league play in its final season in Class 4A. The offseason is always about getting bigger, faster and stronger, but with the move up to Class 5A this year, the extra bulk and speed should come in handy. Montzingo mentioned that boys track and field coach Dave Yocum has been helping the football team get faster over the course of the summer.
“Every year, we’re one of the faster teams, but we want to try and develop that as much as possible and get more kids as fast as possible,” Montzingo said. “He’s done a great job of developing some of our young guys and some of our old guys and getting our speed up.”
As the summer offseason comes to a close, it’s also one last opportunity to piece together the team’s culture and leadership before the season starts. Part of training camp has involved playing team games to focus on just having fun and bonding with each other to start to establish a strong team culture.
“Part of our offseason is bonding, it’s coming together and becoming a team and goofing around having some fun playing some games, but also a little bit of preparation, a little bit of skill work and technique work,” Montzingo said. “Just all that is important for us to come together as a team and be one body.”
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The Miners were 9-8 last season.