Note: Stansbury finished with a 9-3 overall record in 2016 and tied for first in 3AA North with a 6-1 record. It lost to Desert Hills 49-14 in 3AA semifinals.
STANSBURY PARK — For one quarter in last year’s 3AA semifinals Stansbury held its own against eventual champ Desert Hills. That 14-14 score line, however, quickly snowballed to 35-14 by halftime and 49-14 at the end of the game.
“They had their way with us,” said Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen.
As frustrating as the loss was, simply getting to the semifinals for the first time in school history was a major accomplishment for a program with a history of heartbreaking quarterfinal losses over the previous five years.
That happy-to-be-here mentality hurt Stansbury as the game wore on against Desert Hills.
“Obviously Deseret Hills is an outstanding football team, but we wanted to put on a better performance than that with them. That’s what we’ve been stressing with the kids,” said Christiansen.
This season the goal isn’t to just be content to make it to Rice-Eccles Stadium. There’s talent to make it happen.
Christiansen believes this could be the most talented offensive line he’s every had in his nine seasons at Stansbury, which is complimented by a strong collection of skill position players who have big shoes to fill from last year’s seniors.
Defensively Stansbury returns six starters from a team that ranked in the top four defensively in 3AA last season, including two terrific linebackers in Jet Richins and Alix Taukeiaho.
Stansbury did not crack the coaches 4A preseason top 5 rankings this season, checking in at No. 8 in the voting. Christiansen will definitely use that as motivation as the Stallions look to take that next step as an elite program.
“We’re just flying under the radar and we’re excited to get going. This junior class we have along with this senior class is going to be fun to watch them play,” he said.
Stansbury will get a great early test in Week 1 when it hosts new-look Sky View, which checks in at No. 4 in the 4A preseason rankings. In Week…