Snow Badgers begin football ranked No. 1 or 2 in the nation
EPHRAIM— The Snow College Badgers are beginning the football season with high expectations, especially since Sporting News magazine ranked them as the No. 1 junior college team in the nation, while NJCAA.org (a website sponsored by the National Junior College Athletic Association) ranked them No. 2 overall, behind East Mississippi.
“I think a big reason why Snow is successful is because of our tradition,” Britt Maughan, Snow head coach says. “Snow has been good for a long, long time. Having winning seasons, having that tradition, is what helps set an expectation.”
The Badgers finished last season in impressive fashion, posting a 10-1 overall record and finishing the season rank No. 2 nationally.
Their last game was the Salt City Bowl in Hutchinson, Kan., where they scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to dismantled the No. 9-ranked Dodge City <College?> team, 38-14.
“A lot of it was guys knowing how to practice and guys knowing what their role is,” Maughan says of last year’s success. “When people know what to expect and how to accomplish the goals that are in place, things tend to happen.”
The Badgers finished last season on the very cusp of championship contention, but were left without a chance to compete for the national title, largely due to a midseason “hiccup,” Maughan calls it, in which they were upset in the fourth quarter at Eastern Arizona, 37-27.
The Badgers were up 27-9 at one point before a scoring outpour began after a blocked punt was recovered for an Eastern Arizona touchdown.
“It comes down to responding to adversity,” Maughan says. “Our guys took a long time to respond, we started getting penalties, and we started to panic, really.” That experience is not playing into the mindset of this new season, Maughan says
The Badgers high rankings come not only because of tradition. They are returning six starters from last year’s standout defense, including star safety Braxton Winterton, who had 7 interceptions to lead the team along with 35 tackles. The Badger defense ranked fourth nationally in interceptions last year with 22.
Maughan has a philosophy that every year, every position goes to the best player for that slot.
That makes the offense a puzzle yet to be solved, according to Dan Finn, offensive coordinator.
“Our offense will feature multiple personnel groups,” Finn says. “I think the offense has improved daily since the beginning of (training) camp. We want to run the football and establish the line of scrimmage.”
Currently, the Badgers’ main quarterback remains to be decided. Three freshmen are vying for position: Jake Lloyd, a recently returned LDS missionary out of Lindon, along with freshmen Zack Larsen from Summit Academy and Justin Miller from Timpanogos High.
All are new to the team and looking to fill the spot left by last year’s Snow quarterback Stefan Cantwell, who transferred to Weber State.
Snow will be playing two games before the start of conference play this year. Their first is an exhibition on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Badger Stadium against the Utah Shock, a semi-professional football team out of Salt Lake City. Then on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m., the Badgers host Tucson Tech.
Conference play begins with an away game at Glendale Community College on Sept. 10. See the full Snow College Badger football schedule at the bottom of this page.
Football season tickets are $40 for two people, includes seven home games, there are only a few sets left, so call Denise Duncan at 283-7020.