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Friday, August 17, 2007

High school football: Future Utes to lead Copper Hills

By Dan Rasmussen
Deseret Morning News
Published: August 17, 2007
WEST JORDAN — Mention Copper Hills to a run-of-the-mill, casual prep football fan, and it's likely they'll be able to tell you about two guys: Sealver Siliga and Kendrick Moeai.

And not much else.

But by the end of the year, Siliga, Moeai and coach Art Erickson think you'll be introduced to a talented supporting cast.

In Erickson's third season at Copper Hills, expectations are very high for the Grizzlies, who hope for a banner year in 2007.

Siliga and Moeai have both committed to the University of Utah, and Siliga thinks that other Division 1 players will emerge from his senior group.

"I think we're going to have a lot of D-1 kids this year," he says. "Lot of kids don't think that because when they think of Copper Hills, they hear about the past. We're not controlling the past. We have no control over the past.

"We have control over the present, and this year, we're gonna bring it out and tell everybody we are here to play football."

Adds Erickson: "We have some key kids, (and) we have kids that people don't know about, that they'll be introduced to soon."

Erickson realed off several players — JP Winton, Steve Acker, Kendall Gritton and Parker Beveridge — that could all make big splashes this fall.

Overall, Erickson will look to engineer a winning season in 2007, having built Copper Hills essentially from the ground up since he arrived three years ago.

"I think the foundation's been laid (in the offseason), so the expectation is to start reaping some of the harvest we've sown over the last couple years," he says. "And we feel like we're headed in the right direction.

"Our expectations are high, but potential just means that you haven't done it yet."

To that end, Erickson hopes this season can produce a breakthrough.

"This is a key year for us to go out there and win games," says Erickson. "That's the end-all-be-all — to try and win games."

While Copper Hills does have high hopes for all its varsity players, there's no question they will be anchored by the two stars.

Siliga, a physically-dominating lineman, will man the middle of both of the Grizzlies' lines, while Moeai, an athletic receiver and safety, gives Copper Hills a huge two-way playmaker.

Of Siliga, Moeai says: "With this year Sealver up the middle, nobody can go up the middle. That area's completely closed off."

Of Moeai, Erickson says: "Kendrick, his athleticism, his height, and his ability to catch and do well in his position, is reflective of the attention he's garnered."

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