Tuesday , August 01, 2017 - 10:50 PM
OGDEN — Erik Thompson loves sports because he believes teams mostly get what they deserve.
A football team that went 0-10 probably deserved that record. A football team that won three or four games probably deserved that result.
Looking at Ogden High’s performance on the football field over the last three-plus seasons, it’s hard to dispute Thompson’s philosophy. The Tigers have lost 33 straight games, and all but two contests during that stretch were decided by fewer than 10 points.
FOOTBALL PREVIEWS: 18 teams from Northern Utah gear up for 2017
Ogden came close to winning last season in a home game against county rival Bonneville, but Andrew Kemp found Sage Thornock for a 48-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers held on for a 49-42 victory.
The Tigers came close, but once again, they deserved to lose.
Thompson, who is entering his first year coaching at Ogden after spending the last 19 years at Northridge, is eager to try and change what Ogden deserves.
“That’s really what I’ve talked to them about,” Thompson said. “Let’s deserve to win games and feel good about the process that we’ve done.”
For Thompson, that process begins with him being honest and leading by example.
“The one person you can’t fool in life, I’m telling you, is a 17, 16-year old kid,” Thompson said. “If you’re selling a bill of goods, they’ll know it way before parents, way before anybody. They won’t believe in you. They won’t follow you.”
What that process ultimately yields in terms of wins, Thompson can’t predict. But he believes winning is possible.
At the very least, Thompson expects to see a team that refuses to roll over.
“I think we’re going to surprise some people,” Thompson said. “You’re not going to come into Ogden High and just whoop the crap out of Ogden High and go home and feel like, ‘Hey, that was an easy win.’
“I don’t know how many wins we’re going to have, but you come to Ogden High, you’re going to get freaking hit in the mouth. The kids are going to play hard, they’re going to be competitive, they’re going to be lining up and doing what they’re supposed to, and they’re going to be coachable.”
A key reason for Thompson’s confidence is the team’s quarterback, senior Carson White.
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White is entering his third season as Ogden’s starting quarterback, and Thompson called him “one of the undisputed leaders” of the team.
The first thing Thompson noticed about White watching him on film was his resiliency. No matter how many times he got hit and knocked down, he continued to get up and keep playing. Thompson gets emotional talking about White’s toughness.
“He sees that we can be successful and he’s on a mission to make sure that happens, and he brings along others with him,” Thompson said.
Thompson doesn’t want to put excessive pressure on White, but he looks at his skill set and believes he’s as good as any of the all-state quarterbacks he’s coached.
“His ability to run the football as well as throw the football, and then how smart he is and committed and learning plays and being able to check out of stuff and understand what we’re asking him to do; I’m super excited to see how he performs,” Thompson said. “I think he’ll be one of the better quarterbacks in 4-A and in the state and capable of putting us on his shoulders at times when need be and carrying us through difficult times.”
Other players Thompson is excited about are wide receiver Aden Cleverley, wide receiver/defensive back Irving Gastelum, running back/defensive back Chase Butler, tight end/linebacker Sam Lawrence, defensive back Jeremy Jackson, wide receiver/linebacker Gage Howard, running back/defensive back Rhyle Hanson, offensive/defensive lineman Kyle Christensen, and offensive linemen Isaac Hernandez and Alfredo Munoz.
Howard joins the program after choosing to focus on baseball, while Hanson transferred from Roy. Thompson said Hanson transferred because of Ogden’s International Baccalaureate program, a program not offered at Roy.
“I look out and see those (players) as well as many others that are showing up to a bunch of stuff and I feel confident that, ‘Hey, these kids they’re talented enough and they work hard and they’re deserving of success, so let’s go and find out together what we’re made of,’” Thompson said.
OGDEN 2017 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
(*Region 11 game)
Friday, Aug. 18: Judge Memorial
Friday, Aug. 25: at Preston (Idaho)
Friday, Sept. 1: Logan
Friday, Sept. 8: at Carbon
Friday, Sept. 15: at Bonneville*
Friday, Sept. 22: Stansbury*
Friday, Sept. 29: at Tooele*
Friday, Oct. 6: Park City*
Friday, Oct. 13: vs. Ben Lomond* (at Weber State University)
Wednesday, Oct. 18: at Bear River
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