High school football: Kanab Cowboys 2017 preview

Note: Kanab finished with an 11-2 overall record in 2016 and first in 1A South with a 4-0 record. It lost to Duchesne 19-17 in 1A championship.

Kanab 2016 Offensive and Defensive Stats

KANAB — Ever since the Kanab Cowboys re-entered the 1A ranks in 2013 following a stint in 2A, they’ve been knocking on the door of a state championship.

They made the semifinals the first two years, then went to the championship game in both 2015 and 2016 before losing by three points both times. As such, the Cowboys are certainly one of the teams to be reckoned with each year.

“I think every year’s a new year, and we get to learn from the teams in front of us what to do sometimes and you learn what not to do,” said head coach Bucky Orton. “That’s what we’ve talked about as a team, is we want to take all the good things from the group of seniors that left us last year and what they taught us and continue those traditions and the good things they taught us and we also want to improve in some areas and do some things a little bit different and a little bit better.”

Because last year’s senior class was full of key contributors, Orton acknowledged there is some uncertainty heading into 2017. On the plus side, though, he has some important pieces coming back, and perhaps more importantly, he feels as though this year’s team already has developed a winning edge.

“They kind of have that chip on their shoulder mentality, which I love as a coach,” he said. “You always love that. It’s kind of a natural mentality. It’s not something that I’m having to instill in them. It’s something that they already have felt. I love that feeling that I get that these guys want to prove themselves. They want to prove themselves. That’s something that I’m really excited about.”

Coach: Bucky Orton is entering his 15th season as Kanab’s head coach. He is a graduate of Kanab High School and attended SUU and Utah State.

Kanab Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Mason Fox (6th year)

2016 offensive production: 30.5 ppg (2nd in 1A)

— Four returning starters

— Spread offense

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