Note: Copper Hills finished with a 0-10 overall record in 2016 and was last in Region 3 with a 0-6 record. It did not qualify for the 5A playoffs.
WEST JORDAN — Corey Dodds seems more like a drill sergeant than a wide-eyed dreamer.
But as the new head coach of the Copper Hills football team, he is determined to combine military-like discipline with unfettered optimism in hopes of leading the Grizzlies out of the prep basement this season.
“People tell me it’s going to take time to develop,” he said. “My personal experience is, you may not be able to go out and win a war, but you can sure build an army and start planning where you are going to march. I think you have to have, well, there has to be a little piece of delusion. If you’re not optimistic and somewhat delusional, you will miss opportunities. You’re not going to be successful by chance.”
Dodds is acutely aware that Copper Hills has struggled since the school opened.
“They’ve had losing seasons for the last 20 years,” he said.
While there are the rare situations where success came unexpectedly to an athlete or team, that is far from the normal experience.
“I have to firmly believe our kids can go undefeated,” he said. “I have to believe we can compete with (any team). I have to believe we can take them down. I’ll let reality smack me in the face when the time comes. Until someone proves him wrong, he will believe his team is the best in the state and he’ll convince his players of that by focusing on one play, one practice, one game at a time.
Until someone proves him wrong, he will believe his team is the best in the state and he’ll convince his players of that by focusing on one play, one practice, one game at a time.
He said part of turning the program around will be convincing his players to strive for something they’ve never experienced.
“Copper Hills is different in that they’ve never had a successful campaign,” he said.
The Las Vegas native has some reason for optimism, starting with his sophomore quarterback, Kana’ipono Kahala-Giron.