On Aug. 9, the Deseret News published a preview of the Tooele High School football team. Here is a look at what was written by reporter James Edward.
Ray Groth is hoping to bring a little stability to the Tooele High School football program.
In taking over for Sam Elliott, who moved on to Union High School after three years, Groth becomes the fourth coach in six years at Tooele. He's just excited to be a head coach again after his firing from Highland a few years ago.
To read the Salt Lake Tribune's preview of Tooele, click here.
"It's really neat for me. I've always said the best football is small towns, you're the only show in town," said Groth. "As opposed to the metropolitan area, where there's not a lot of loyalty and kids are jumping ship. It's so refreshing, not only with the kids, but the administration has been so supportive."
Groth, who was an assistant with 3A runner-up Judge last year, is bringing the famed triple option to Tooele with him.
"I'm not smart enough to run anything else," joked Groth. "I really believe in it because you don't have to have great size. I have a lot of kids here that fit the mold."
Groth is walking into a pretty good situation as well.
Tooele returns eight defensive starters and six offensive starters from a team that went 3-7 last year and finished with a 1-5 mark in Region 7.
The Buffaloes struggled with the spread offense last year, and Groth is hoping to get better by simplifying things.
Tooele has a good collection of senior lineman to build around, including the trio of Brian Hobson, Josh Slater and Colt Wright.
Quarterbacking the triple option will likely be Chris Iorg. A senior, Iorg was the starter on the junior varsity team last year.
"I like his mechanics, he just needs experience with what we're trying to do," said Groth.
Junior Milo Leakehe is another player in the running for the quarterback spot. Coaches typically want their best athlete at quarterback in the triple option, and Leakehe definitely fits that mold.
"Milo's a ways from it, but once that light bulb goes on he'll be really pretty good," said Groth.
If Iorg enjoys success early on, Leakehe will be one of Tooele's starting running backs instead.
Another athletic running back option is Jordan Clemente, whose great uncle baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Groth said in addition to his obvious good bloodlines, he has a great attitude and works real hard.
Defensively, Groth really likes the core of players at his disposal.
"I think we have a good front seven. I think we'll be tough inside. We'll run a 4-3. Our front seven will be pretty good and our two safeties will be pretty good," said Groth.
In addition to players like Hobson, Slater and Wright going both ways and playing on the defensive line, Jordan Biorge and Mason Halligan will be solid at linebacker.
2008 football schedule
Aug. 22 – CYPRUS. Aug. 29 – WEST. Sept. 5 – at Lehi. Sept. 12 – OREM*. Sept. 19 – at Mountain View*. Sept. 26 – at Springville*. Oct. 3 – TIMPVIEW*. Oct. 10 – PAYSON*. Oct. 15 – at Provo*. Oct. 23 – at Bountiful.
2007 results (3-7, 1-5)
Aug. 17 - at Cyprus 7-9. Aug. 24 - at West 19-12. Aug. 31 - LEHI 32-26. Sept. 7 - MOUNTAIN VIEW* 7-14. Sept. 14 - SPRINGVILLE* 21-23. Sept. 21 - at Timpview* 0-54. Sept. 28 - at Payson* 23-14. Oct. 5 - PROVO* 3-13. Oct. 10 - at Orem* 13-37. Oct. 18 - BOUNTIFUL 21-34.
* - Region 7 games. Home games in CAPS.
* - School website - Tooele High School,