Deep receiving corps headlines Skyline football teamSep 04, 2022 10:31AM ● By Daniel Olsen
By Daniel Olsen | [email protected]
Due to recent lightning delays, the Skyline Eagles have had to display some creativity to have a successful practice. They took up shop in a high school gym and did some drills. A standard has been set as a photo of Roger Dupaix, the former legendary football coach that the Skyline High School Stadium is named after, hangs outside.
“If it’s raining we stay outside but when the lightning hits we have to stay inside,” Coach John Rowbotham said. “When we stay inside it’s a challenge mainly due to space. The way we run our offense is spread out and a basketball gym lacks the opportunity to develop spatial awareness.”
That spread offense led the team to a solid winning season last year, but the 6-5 record is something the team will want to improve on. So far, it looks like the team is solid at several position groups and could very well contend for the Region 6 crown.
“Our roster is similar to last year,” Rowbotham said. “We have talented receivers, running backs and offensive line. We can run and throw the ball effectively as well.”
The receivers are a particular position group that Rowbotham wanted to highlight. They are Spencer Grant, Luke Wright and Miles Hall. These seniors, each with a unique skill set, are looking to leave their mark on the Eagles football program.
Grant is a quick receiver who will add a new dynamic to the team after taking a break from football to ski a little more in his junior year.
“The scheme is super fun,” Grant said. “It’s spread out and everyone gets the ball. The quarterback knows what he is doing.”
That quarterback is Josh Calvert, who is also a senior on this team and is a first time starter. The non-region schedule includes Juan Diego, Springville and Bountiful. At the time of this article, the Eagles had come off an exciting win over the Juan Diego Soaring Eagles a year after losing to them.
“We are feeling pretty good about the schedule,” Grant said. “We’ve been going over the scouting report. All the teams are pretty tough so every week will be physical.”
For Wright, a receiver, this marks his first season playing at this new position. The new faces haunting the backfield will add a new dynamic that should result in some success.
“I am quick and have good hands,” Wright said. “I started at the cornerback position last year. I only was in a couple plays on offense last year. The decision was mutual when coach Rowbotham and I talked about it. In practice some plays the defense does well and on others the offense does well. Sometimes you can hear calls but it’s hard because everyone is going full speed. Our goal is to win a state championship.”
That goal started not long after the 2021 season ended last fall. Rowbotham made an effort to keep his players working out while being respectful of the multisport athletes in his program.
“In January they are in a football type class open to all athletes,” Rowbotham said. “I am a huge advocate for multisport athletes. Otherwise, they lose out on more high school experiences, limit their development and increase their risk of injury. In other sports they build more friendships then apply what they learn to their football game.”
The tallest receiver on the team is Miles Hall. His athleticism has also drawn attention from recruiters from many colleges. He is a three star[LL1] , 6-foot-2, 195-pound athlete with offers from BYU and Utah State according to 247 sports.
“I’ve played both receiver and outside linebacker,” Hall said. “I always played football growing up. I’m committed to BYU to play for their defense. If I get big then I could play linebacker. This year will help me get more film out. I am really physical, tall and fast. Coach Rowbotham talks about doing my job and not doing too much which really helps.”
Many hours of practice are required to build a successful football program. Skyline High School is no exception. Many predicted them to dominate Region 6 last year, but tough losses to Brighton and rival Olympus put an end to that quest. A total of 16 coaches are listed on this year’s coaching staff.
“We have had talent flow in and out,” Rowbotham said. “Our seniors last year were great leaders. This year our new kids have to come up and fill those roles. We need to create a team culture.”
Similar to how the team culture is required among the players for success, the coaching staff also needs to work to help the team play together as a cohesive unit. The schedule will not get any easier with the Eagles playing some of the best teams in the state at the 5A level.
“I appreciate the work the kids put in,” Rowbotham said. “We have a great coaching staff. They are passionate about helping the kids and volunteering so much of their time. They are truly first class coaches that care a lot about these kids.”
The Eagles would love nothing more than to hoist up the trophy that says “2022 UHSAA 5A State Champions.”
“We learn from each week by experience,” Rowbotham said. “At the end of each game there are lessons that help you become better. Our kids do their best work and the outcome will take care of itself. We give a great effort and are consistent. They are ready to work and I’m really proud of them.”