According to head coach Chris Beitner the team will likely face a more challenging lineup as they move up to the more competitive 3A division.
“3A is a more challenging division. It’s different competition,” Beitner said. As far as citing any concerns he may have entering the spring season, Beitner noted that the turnout for the team has been a little lower than anticipated.
“I was expecting more kids this year, but we have about a dozen. They’re all talented and I’m happy with the players we do have, but other teams have the numbers. We don’t have as many subs … our kids have to be in top shape,” he said.
Seniors Marco Cruz, Deklynd Chant and Jacob Shumway will be leading the way for this Red Devils squad as they play their final season in red and white.
“This season is special for me,” Beitner added. “Two to three years ago, I coached these kids when they played club ball. The boys’ club won their league championship.” Beitner added that he is excited to have the opportunity to be coaching some of these players again at the high school level, as several of them will be playing for Grand as sophomores and juniors.
As far as the Red Devils’ biggest rivals heading into this season, Beitner has two teams in his sights. “Emery and Manti should be the biggest, strongest prospects out there.” He added that the afore-mentioned programs tend to mirror their female counterparts, and the “phenomenal” girls’ programs at Emery and Manti are a strong indication that the boys’ programs will be a challenge as well.
“This is a very talented group of boys, and I’m looking forward to watching them compete in the 3A division,” Beitner said.
The Red Devils opened the season against Waterford on Wednesday, March 7 at 4 p.m. in Moab, just as this edition of The Times-Independent went to press.