The Utah County Conference will be very competitive this season with American Fork joining the ranks, Herriman returning a strong team and Lehi, who is always in the mix. Orem and Timpview will look to make their presence felt. Spanish Fork, who won the conference last year, has moved to D-I, leaving the title race wide open.
American Fork Cavemen
2012 Record: 3-10 (0-4)
2012 Playoffs: DNQ
2012 Conference: 5th (D-I South)
The Cavemen have been moved to D-II this season and are ready to compete. With new Head Coach Tyler Monteath, the Cavemen have new life after only losing 5 seniors from last years team. Attackmen Coulson Tucker led the team in 2012 as a Sophmore with 22 goals and 11 assists. The Cavemen did lose Second Team All-State Defensemen Tanner Matheny but Coach Monteath will have the team ready to defend.
The Cavemen will begin their conference play immediately, taking on Orem on March 13.
2012 Record: 10-6 (2-2)
2012 Playoffs: Lost to Waterford in Semifinals
2012 Conference: 3rd
The Mustangs only lost 5 seniors from last years team including First Team All-State LSM Jeremy Lofgreen, but pundits agree that Herriman will be one of the best teams in D-II this season. Attackmen Chantz Roberts returns this season and will look to lead the team in goals once again. Midfielder Ben Richard is primed to be one of the best midfielders in the state once again. Richard won 125 out of 183 face-offs last season for the Mustangs while scoring 25 goals and notching 17 assists. Following Roberts and Richard is Braxton Thompson who had 23 goals and 12 assists in 2012. Senior Goalie Wyatt Katsos, who had a 58.8% save percentage in 2012 returns in the cage for the Mustangs.
“Ben Richard and Braxton Thompson should both continue to be outstanding players,” said Herriman Head Coach Mark Roothoff. “Having contributed to the offense since they were both freshmen, their experience and maturity should help them to become great players this year.”
The Mustangs will be very strong at the midfield position and didn’t lose any offensive players from last season.
Herriman will begin their season playing five straight cross-conference games starting with a trip to Brigham City to face Box Elder on March 12.
2012 Record: 10-9 (3-1)
2012 Playoffs: Lost to Waterford in Quarterfinals
2012 Conference: 2nd
Lehi lost two First Team All-State players in Midfielder Cody Sampson and Goalie McGregor North. Junior Ian Hullinger led D-II in goals last year with 61 goals and 11 assists which was good enough for 4.24 points per game. Sophomore Goalie Caleb Wiedmeier will get the chance to step up big in the cage to replace North.
Lehi begins their season on March 5 against Murray.
2012 Record: 5-9 (1-3)
2012 Playoffs: Lost to Mountain Crest in First Round
2012 Conference: 4th
After nearly facing extinction in the summer, new Head Coach Jordan Gardener looks to lead the Tigers back to D-II dominance. The team lost 9 seniors last year including Second Team All-State Attackmen Greg Stone. The Tigers will look for new faces to step up and take charge on both sides of the ball.
Orem will take to the road to face Skyline on March 5.
2012 Record: 0-10 (0-4)
2012 Playoffs: DNQ
2012 Conference: 5th
The T-birds will look to rebound in 2013 after a tough 2012 campaign. The team only lost 3 seniors which means the players coming back will have valuable Varsity experience.
Timpview will hope to get a win on March 16 against Idaho Falls.