Bingham Football Focuses on This Year’s Potential
Aug 23, 2016 03:31PM
● By Billy Swartzfager
Bingham player takes a handoff in this year’s blue and white scrimmage. —Billy Swartzfager
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By Billy Swartzfager | [email protected]
The Bingham Miners football team is known for being competitive year in and year out. In fact, the Miners were 11-2 last season and played in the semifinal game in the 5A state tournament, where they were defeated by Lone Peak, who lost in the final to Bingham rival Herriman. But, the Miners aren’t thinking about last year; they are focused on this year.
“We were a little disappointed in the results last year,” Bingham coach John Lambourne said. “We felt like we could have won it all, but I’m sure those other two teams did as well.”
Eleven returning starters lead this year’s team, six on offense and five on defense, most of whom are seniors and will suit up for the last time in 2016. Senior defensive lineman, Langi Tuifua, who was selected by his peers as the team’s captain, along with others selected who compose the team’s leadership council, will head the charge onto this fall.
Alongside Tuifua, senior quarterback, Matt Degn, senior offensive lineman Cole Clemens and senior nose tackle Jay Tufele are all expected to make significant impacts on the field. Tufele, who was awarded last season’s statewide MVP by the Salt Lake Tribune, has been heavily recruited by college programs all over the country.
With player leadership in place and a productive offseason under their belts, Lambourne believes this year’s team can accomplish great things.
“If we can be the best team we can be, we’ll finish strong,” he said.
Lambourne said the team has been focused on finding its potential. The players have worked as a team on various things throughout the summer. In early June, the team participated in the annual Ute Shoot, a seven-on-seven tournament hosted by the University of Utah. The team spent the remainder of June working on weight training and conditioning.
In late July the team reconvened for an eight-day clinic where they focused again on conditioning. During the clinic, the players weren’t wearing pads or gear but were able to get a lot accomplished, allowing coaches to see just who, in addition to the previously mentioned players, might be ready to take the next steps toward a fantastic season.
“We have a lot of buy-in,” Lambourne said. “I am very pleased with the camaraderie this summer.”
Historically, Bingham has been a very successful football program for a long time, and the history and tradition has been a driving factor in continuing the successful practices. While Lambourne will honor the past and players that have come and gone, he wants this year’s team to create its own destiny. He believes players have begun that process and will continue their progress as the season unfolds.
The Miners had a tough opening stretch to test the grit they’ll need to reach their peak. They opened their season on Aug. 19 with a 42-9 win at West Lake. On Aug. 26, Bingham hosted Herriman, the defending state champions, only to have to venture out on the road for week three to face Lone Peak, the team that knocked Bingham from the state tournament in 2015.
“We are going to start by being our best,” Lambourne said.
He wants the team to be as physical and disciplined as possible. He hopes they stick to playing an intelligent game, making as few mistakes as the can get away with.
“When kids are committed to being their best, they can have a lot of success at Bingham,” he said.
When asked what has kept him motivated every year for the last 33 years, Lambourne replied, “The kids and the competition. It keeps me young. And this year, we really have a great group of kids.”