Bingham hopes to live up to hype


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SOUTH JORDAN -- High school football in Utah seems to get better each year. The program at Bingham is a prime example. The Miners have 13 players who have received scholarship offers from FBS and FCS schools. MaxPreps.com has them ranked ninth in the entire country.

"I'm fired up!" says Miners running back Harvey Langi. "I'm just excited. It's gonna be a fun year my senior year and we're gonna go out with a boom."

Many who follow high school football in Utah believe, at least on paper, that the Miners are the most talented team in state history.

All of this is creating plenty of hype and a great deal of pressure that this team must now live up to. Head coach Dave Peck doesn't seem to mind.

"These kids are now a product of the system and what is expected," he said recently at practice. "We have high expectations; we have for a long time. I'm hoping these kids will just be another group that lives up to that."

The players aren't shying away from the challenge either.

"I expect excellence," says Langi. "We have weapons we've never had before at every position."

"I think for all of us, even the coaches, it's expected for us to win state," says defensive end Baker Pritchard, who is committed to BYU.

Coach Peck has led the Miners to two 5A state championships in the last four seasons and four straight appearances in the state semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium. He has coached Jordan Pendleton, Austin Holt, Derek Tuimauga, and L.T. Filiaga, all of who ended up at BYU or Utah. He has no problem admitting that this group is the most talented he has ever coached.

"As far as sheer numbers there's absolutely no question," he says. "I've been touting this group (of seniors) since they were sophomores. Overall I just can't imagine a more talented group ever coming through a high school (in Utah) and I think they've lived up to it."

Several seniors on this team played key roles on last year's 5A state championship team. Now they find new motivation as they try to repeat as state champions.

"We have a chance to do something that no Bingham team has done in 60 years which is go back-to-back," says Peck.

It would seem that a team with this many talented players would be too many egos for a head coach to manage. Peck is quick to point out that hasn't been the case and he gives credit to the players and teams of the past.

"We feel like it's been the building blocks of all the other players over the last five or six years that have really put us at this point," Peck says. "Because without them all the hard work and the efforts of a lot of other kids I don't know, we wouldn't be in the position we are right now."

Now, the Miners are tired of hearing all the talk. They've grown tired of everyone telling them how good they are. They are ready to prove themselves on the field.

"Everyone says we have this and that and this talent and this kid," says Langi. "It's time to show it. We proved it last year that we can be No. 1 in the state. We're No. 9 in the country right now. It's just time to prove it."

"We will not overlook anybody, we will respect every opponent," says Peck. "But on the same token we feel like we can beat anybody and that's how we approach it. We feel like we're going to out-work people. I love what these kids have done in the off-season. I like what they are doing right now and we're excited to get it going."

Harvey Langi Running Back **** Schools of interest: Stanford, BYU, UCLA, Utah, Washington

Manoa Pikula Fullback/Linebacker *** Committed to BYU

Baker Pritchard Defensive End *** Committed to BYU

Moses Kaumatule *** Defensive Tackle Committed to BYU

Kesni Tausinga *** Defensive Tackle Committed to BYU

Seni Fauonuku *** Defensive Tackle Committed to Utah

Bridger Peck ** Safety Committed to Utah State

Jordan Hicks ** Offensive Tackle Committed to Utah State

Sean Larsen Tight End Schools of interest: Weber State

Jared Afalava Linebacker Schools of interest: BYU, Utah

Lowell Lotulelei Defensive Tackle Offered by Utah

Roman Valenzuela Linebacker Committed to Weber St.

Stefan Cantwell Quarterback drawing interest

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Jeremiah Jensen Sports Reporter

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