by Scott Boyle
A long time Monticello High School Buckaroo teacher, coach and athletic administrator, John Dowell, was recently inducted into the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame.
Dowell came to MHS from Duchense High School in 1979, coaching and teaching and counseling until 2008 before working at Kirtland Central High School in New Mexico for five years. He finished his career at Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop, AZ in 2015.
Dowell was the Buckaroo head football coach from 1978 to 1988, going 63-37 in those eleven years, making him the winningest football coach in Buckaroo history.
His teams made the playoffs every year, losing in the quarterfinals six times and making it to the semifinals three times.
The Buckaroos went 25-4 in his first three years at the Buckaroo helm.
Dowell was also head wrestling coach for 20 years. “In some of those years, Coach (Joe Wolfe) Davis was the assistant coach, but everybody thought he was the head coach, which was fine with me,” he smiles.
After head coaching in football, Dowell was the junior high football coach for many years before returning to help Mike Bowring as an assistant until Mike left Monticello in 2008.
Throw in coaching track for a few years and Athletic Director much of those years, and you can see that Dowell had a hand in a generation or two of Monticello kids’ educational and sporting lives.
In 1994, Dowell was also named Athletic Director of the year by UIAAA, an honor that was also awarded to Davis in 1984, who coached and taught at MHS together will Dowell for many years at MHS.
According to the website, “The mission of the UIAAA is to develop, promote and preserve the educational values of interscholastic athletics. It seeks to instill the highest ideals of ethical character while serving the athletic community.”
And Dowell certainly symbolizes that. “I always wanted the kids on my teams to be better people from their association with the team,” he says from his home in St. George.
“And along the way, win as many games as possible. I’m grateful for all the great men I coached with, the kids who played for me and their parents and the community. It’s the association with people that are my greatest moments from Monticello.”
Dowell and his wife, Vicki, will serve a mission for the LDS Church in the San Fernando Valley in California in January.
“Hustle, hit, and never quit.” One might use that slogan to sum up the 2016 Buckaroo football season, a season where the Bucks went 3-7, losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Duchesne.
Even though the won/loss record isn’t what was hoped, there are a bunch of positive notes on the season. On thing for sure, the Bucks never quit. So let’s wrap up the 2016 football season, shall we?
First, the offense. The Bucks had a balanced offensive attack this season, with Monticello produced 144 points, averaging 14.4 points per game and earning 97 first downs, 57 by rushing and 28 by passing. Twelve first downs were by penalty.
The Bucks rushed for 1,042 yards on the season, an average of 104 yards per game. Thomas Anderson is the leading rusher, gaining 625 yards on 170 rushes for 3.7 yards per rush and four touchdowns.
Talon Black is next with 167 yards on 27 rushes, 6.2 ypr and Shandon Bradford, who gained 161 yards on 45 rushes and four touchdowns. Black had the longest rush of the season at 45 yards.
Passing was similar, with 1,001 passing yards on 69 completions in 180 attempts. The Bucks averaged 14.5 yards per completion. Brayson Wilcox threw the bulk of the passes, 158, with 62 completions for 829 yards and nine touchdowns. Wilcox also threw eight interceptions. Spencer Knudsen was five of 16 for 141 yards and one touchdown.
Max Hedglin is the leading pass receiver, making 23 receptions for 423 yards and three TDs. Hedglin had the longest pass reception of the season with a 70 yarder for a touchdown against Kanab.
Anderson had 22 catches for 205 yards and two TDs. Black had 12 receptions for 235 yards and two TDs. Knudsen made eight catches for 96 yards with three going for paydirt.
The Bucks had two kickoff returns for touchdowns, one by Paul DeAnda of 85 yards against Grand and another 85 yarder by Anderson against Altamont.
Anderson was the leader in all-purpose yards, with 1,276, and touchdowns, with seven. Hedglin had 423 all-purpose yards with three TDs, while Black had 235 APY and two TDs.
Next, the defense. The Buckaroo defense gave up 233 points this year, allowing 23.3 points per game. They recorded six interceptions and allowed 128 yards passing and 186 yards rushing per game.
Sacking the quarterback 12 times is a great accomplishment, especially when giving up only five sacks on offense. They ended up on the positive side of the turnover battle, giving up 17 turnovers on 11 interceptions and six fumbles, while forcing 22 turnovers on six interceptions and 16 fumbles.
The Bucks’ biggest challenge this year was size. The biggest player was all of 155 pounds, soaking wet, which makes it hard to control either the offensive or defensive line.
Looking ahead to next year, the Bucks return a bunch of players, losing just six seniors. Rumor has it that the junior class is already in the weight room, trying to do away with that biggest-guy-is-155 label.
Hustle, lift, never drift!