Here’s an in-depth look at the Ben Lomond Scots football team heading into the 2020 season.
Note: Ben Lomond finished with a 1-10 overall record in 2019 and was seventh in Region 10 with a 1-6 record. It was RPI seed No. 21 in the 4A playoffs and was eliminated by Bear River 31-0 in first round.
OGDEN — When Lyndon Johnson took over as the head football coach at Ben Lomond High School a year ago, everyone knew he was in for a total rebuild.
In the two years previous to Johnson’s arrival, the Scots failed to win a single game, going 0-20 over the course of the 2017 and ‘18 seasons.
Things didn’t get much better last year as Ben Lomond finished with a 1-10 record that included a first-round exit from the 4A state playoffs. The Scots did end a particularly long losing streak, though, with a win over Uintah.
Heading into the 2020 season, the rebuild is still very much on for Ben Lomond, but things are looking up.
“We are a year older, we are stronger, we are faster, we are deeper — we have more kids in the program. I think we are better everywhere, across the board,” Johnson said. “... When we go out to practice now, we look like a football team. Last year, we just didn’t look the part.”
A lot of that has to do with the return of many starters, eight on offense and seven on defense. Included among those are a chunk of returning linemen on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the return of Noah Mann, Jordan Perea, Brady Walling and Abraham Martinez should pay immediate dividends, as the Scots transition to a new quarterback in former running back Ryan Alvarez.
“With better line play, we should be able to run the option better,” Johnson explained. “Our backs have good speed, our receivers have good speed and our quarterback is as fast as any kid we have in school. He is the fastest kid in school. He is little, but he is very fast and tough. ... If we can block better, protect our quarterback, we’ll just be much more of a threat than we were last year.”
Speed also looks to be the strength of the Scots’ defense, a group that Johnson is fairly optimistic about.
Ultimately, there is a growing belief that Ben Lomond can be more competitive as the program continues the slow climb back to respectability.
“We are in a very challenging region, but we think we can be more competitive,” said Johnson. “And we’ve got a preseason schedule that I think allows us to have a chance in each game, which is good. We’ve made strides this offseason. We are in a better place as a program than we were a year ago.”
Ben Lomond Scots at a glance
Johnson’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:
“It has been really challenging for us because of our demographics, but we came back in a little better shape than I thought we would. We were really making progress and then they cut out legs out from under us on March 12.
“We didn’t see them again, aside from Zoom meetings, until the first of June, but we have gotten caught up. We are not quite where we want to be, but for the most part the kids have done a good job preparing themselves.
“They were thrilled to be back, even though workouts were much more difficult because of the time they had taken off. They even said they missed school. Hopefully that carries into the fall as well.”
Ben Lomond offensive snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Lyndon Johnson
2019 offense: 5.4 ppg (22nd in 4A)
- Eight returning starters
- Triple option offense
Returning offensive starters
- Ryan Alvarez (QB)
- DeVaughn Sanders (RB)
- Anthony Davis (WR)
- Dahlen Workman (TE)
- Noah Mann (LT)
- Jordan Perea (C)
- Brady Walling (RT)
- Abraham Martinez (LG)
Offensive newcomers to watch
- Shedon Hawks (OL)
- Raymond Real (OL)
- Torsten Hawks (WR)
- Gage Gomez (WR)
Johnson’s keys for offensive success in 2020:
“We have to throw the ball a little better. With better line play, we should be able to run the option better and be more of a threat on the perimeter, both with getting the ball outside on the option and throwing the ball better. All that starts with our guys up front. If we can block better and protect our quarterback, we’ll just be much more of a threat than we were last year.”
Ben Lomond defensive snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Jared Barnes
2019 defense: 40.3 ppg (21st in 4A)
- Seven returning starters
- 4-2-5 defense
Returning defensive starters
- Ryan Alvarez (S)
- DeVaughn Sanders (LB)
- Anthony Davis (CB)
- Dahlen Workman (DE)
- Brady Walling (DE)
- Jordan Perea (DT)
- Luranz Davis (DT)
Defensive newcomers to watch
- Noah Mann (LB)
- Lance Workman (FS)
Johnson’s keys for defensive success in 2020:
“Our speed. We will be much faster everywhere, from our safeties to our corners. That is a strength. When we go out to practice now, we look like a football team. Last year, we just didn’t look the part. We were young and we just weren’t good enough in the weight room yet.”
Deseret News outlook for 2020
The Scots are slowly, but steadily improving and that improvement may be seen on the field in 2020. It might not mean additional wins for Ben Lomond, though a favorable preseason schedule presents the opportunity for a victory or two, but the Scots should be more competitive overall when compared to recent years.
Felt’s Facts for Ben Lomond
- All-time record: 178-449-9 (67 years)
- Region championships: 3 (1965, 1967 co, 1985 co)
- Playoff appearances: 13
- All-time playoff record: 10-13
- State championships: 0
- State championship record: 0-3
- Most played rivalry: 70 meetings with Ogden dating back to 1953. Ogden leads 49-22.
Last 5 Seasons
- 2019 — 1-10 (1-6 in Region 10 — first round)
- 2018 — 0-10 (0-5 in Region 11 — missed playoffs)
- 2017 — 0-10 (0-5 in Region 11 — missed playoffs)
- 2016 — 5-6 (2-5 in 3AA North — 3AA first round)
- 2015 — 4-6 (1-5 in 3AA North — missed playoffs)
Ben Lomond coaching history
- 2019-current — Lyndon Johnson (1-10)
- 2014-2018 — Eric Alder (10-41)
- 2013 — Aaron Dooley (0-10)
- 2012 — Bill Mierzejewski (0-9)
- 2011 — Don Kenyon (2-7)
- 2007-2010 — Jeff Kilts (6-34)
- 2005-2006 — Nick Howell (4-16)
- 2003-2004 — Art Burtenshaw (6-15)
- 2000-2002 — Aaron Tillett (10-22)
- 1997-1999 — Guy Andersen (11-18)
- 1995-1996 — Garry Walker (1-17)
- 1991-1994 — Roger Howell (9-27)
- 1989-1990 — Jerre Holmes (4-15)
- 1984-1988 — Ralph Johnson (18-33)
- 1983 — Holger Hansen (5-6)
- 1976-1982 — Brent Belnap (28-38)
- 1963-1975 — Al Kapp (35-74)
- 1953-1962 — William “Twist” Jones (28-57)
Ben Lomond All-State at-a-glance
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
- 2016 — Deontay Nish, WR