Prep football: Dixie Flyers preview

Dixie reached the Class 3AA state semifinals last year despite being without its standout quarterback for the postseason.

Jacob Barben is back, and so is his favorite target, Hobbs Nyberg. That means the Flyers are in fantastic shape.

Sure, there are holes to fill, but having the Barben-to-Nyberg connection back means bad news for the opposition.

“It’s just about calling the next man up and being ready when your name is called,” Flyers coach Andy Stokes said.

DIXIE FLYERS <br>Coach • Andy Stokes, third year <br>Last season • 7-4, 5-0 in Region 9; Lost to Pine View 35-14 in Class 3AA state semifinal <br>State championships • 1957, 1967, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1998, 2012, 2014 <br>Other state title game appearances • 1976, 1996, 2015 <br>2017 SCHEDULE <br>Aug. 18 • at Springville, 7 p.m. <br>Aug. 25 • Lone Peak, 7 p.m. <br>Sept. 1 • at Tooele, 7 p.m. <br>Sept. 8 • Snow Canyon, 7 p.m. <br>Sept. 15 • at Madison (Calif.), 7 p.m. <br>Sept. 22 • at Pine View, 7 p.m. <br>Sept. 29 • Canyon View, 7 p.m. <br>Oct. 5 • Hurricane, 7 p.m. <br>Oct. 11 (Wed.) • at Desert Hills, 7 p.m. <br>Oct. 19 (Thurs.) • Cedar City, 7 p.m.

Behind center • Barben missed Dixie’s two playoff games because of injury after putting up impressive numbers. He threw for 2,248 yards with 22 touchdowns and rushed for 282 yards with six rushing touchdowns.

Ball hawks • Nyberg recorded more than 1,000 yards receiving last year. He will be joined by Nate Mahi and Payden Harrah as primary targets for Barben. Although Harrah is a senior, Stokes believes he has been overlooked and will have a breakout season. “Payden will be a pretty special kids this season,” Stokes said. “He put a lot of time in and has showed a lot of impressive stuff this season. We look to him to have a really good season.

In the trenches • The Flyers will have a new starting offensive line. Stokes will call on guys like seniors Nick Collins, Nate Cox and Wyatt Hanson to step into the starting roles alongside sophomore Slayde Kolb. “We may be working on the this position all the way into region play this year,” Stokes said.

Hit men • Defensive ends Tyson Fisher and Kader Williams return for their senior years to help lead the defense. Fisher, who also plays baseball and is committed to play at Dixie State, registered 38 tackles while Williams had 35 last season.

Key returners • Jacob Barben, Sr. (QB); Hobbs Nyberg, Sr. (WR)

Key losses • Malakai Fakahua (MLB); Josh Topham (WR); Time Miles (T)

The next wave • Slayde Kolb, Soph. (OL)

from The Salt Lake Tribune


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