To watch Develon's exclusive video interview with Coach Peacock click HERE.
Good coaches usually build teams that take on their personality. Peacock’s teams generally act like him. Cedar players are not flashy, they are not flamboyant, they simply walk onto the field and take the battle to their opponents.
Peacock does not fiddle with new approaches. He does not try to reinvent the Cedar approach. His high school football-coaching template comes from 25 years and his Region 9 coaching peers highly respect him.
He shared four words when asked to describe his football philosophy.
“We run the ball,” Peacock said.
That Marine flattop haircut does not void a sense of humor in his personality though. He laughed when he gave that answer.
After a win at Pine View last season, a win that aroused high emotion throughout the players and Cedar faithful, Peacock was stopped, and asked to speak about the game.
“Wow! Unbelievable,” Peacock said. “I am just mostly proud of our kids for hanging in there, because we were just getting shelled.
“I told these kids before the game, they will go down as some of the greatest players that have ever played at Cedar High, no matter what the outcome was going to be.”
His team had scored 15 fourth quarter points to beat Pine View 29-28 and Peacock had gambled on a fake PAT, and converted a two-point conversion. Cedar came back from being down 21-7 midway in the third quarter. By digging down deep in their resolve, Peacock’s players left him affected.
Coach Peacock’s demeanor was of an elevated sense, as if he had played the game alongside his players, and adrenaline was washing through his veins prompting him to walk fast and talk fast.
He stopped, collected himself and obliged to speak. He expressed, like most coaches would, how very proud he was of the gut-check performance by his players. Coach Peacock spoke of how special the locker room scene was: the whooping and hollering of teenage young men, celebrating their triumph in the dogged battle against a rival.
Then Peacock framed the big-picture situation to his team.
“Our guys were celebrating pretty good in the locker room,” Peacock said. “I told them next week is another tough one with Snow Canyon. Don’t get too crazy with it [the celebration].
The seniors from that scene are gone, but there were many other Cedar underclassmen who learned about sticking together. Peacock will need those kids to take the step forward for Cedar to have success in 2011.
“Our kids always compete,” Peacock said. “We usually feel like we are outsized, probably out-talented in a lot of cases. Last year’s group just kept playing hard in games.
“That team deserved better in the end. That was a great group and we are just hoping that these guys on this team picked up some of that mentality of wanting to compete against whoever is across from them on the field.”
One player who certainly will be a leader on the Cedar team is Kahi Eldredge. Eldredge will be a three-year starter on the offense and defensive lines.
“He’s extremely intense and he wants to win,” Peacock said. “He earned a starting role as a sophomore; it wasn’t easy to do because we had a good team.
“He’s a very physical player and he plays with high emotion. He uses his emotion to lead as well.”
Eldredge is a coach’s son (SUU T-Birds baseball) and a conversation with him quickly exposes a degree of intellect and passion for athletics.
“I just have to help set the tone, and be a good example,” Eldredge said. “You have to do things right and hopefully others will do things right as well.”
He believes that Cedar has the ability to contend for the Region 9 title.
“We have good athletic ability,” Eldredge said. “We have the leadership. If we just put in the work, our projectory is promising.”
Hayden Bishop, Nick Sorensen, John Ursua and Kaden Garrert are some of the main offensive threats who Eldredge will help to escort through traffic in games.
“We have some solid fullbacks and tailbacks,” Peacock said.
Ursua could be one of the more dazzling players in Region 9. At Westlake High in 2010, the all-state quarterback accounted for an astonishing 38 touchdowns. He rushed for 723 yards (14 tds) and passed for 1,478 yards (24 tds).
On defense, Cedar may have to take some lumps early and they may have to depend on some of those explosive players like Garrett and Ursua.
“We have a long ways to go defensively and we look to shore that up,” Peacock said.
“If we have Garrett and Ursua back there, then we will have a lot of speed back there to pursue people. Hopefully we’ll see some other kids develop well to help our defense become better.”
With Region 9 restored to all 3A schools, earning a playoff spot is even more critical, and some good teams with winning records may be left out. Some observers may overlook Cedar.
Coach Peacock though will bring out his same Cedar product, a team full of kids who bring a full fight and a never-give-up effort.
Peacock with that Marine flattop haircut still finds the start of football season enjoyable. He’s serious all right, but he is also reflective and appreciative.
“I’ve worked with so many great kids throughout my years, that is what I get excited about every season,” Peacock said. “It’s fun to watch kids step up and really dig deep. Boy we had some good ones here.”
This year’s Cedar team will try to give their coach another class of kids that make him proud by bringing that Cedar battle style to its opponents.
August 19 at American Fork 7:00PM
August 26 host Highland 7:00PM
September 2 host Skyline 7:00PM
September 9 at Hurricane 7:00PM
September 23 host Pine View 7:00PM
September 30 at Snow Canyon 7:00PM
October 7 host Dixie 7:00PM
October 14 at Canyon View 7:00PM
October 21 host Desert Hills 7:00PM
2010 results: 9-2
W 23-0 over American Fork
W 38-0 over Millard
W 45-20 over Virgin Valley
W 35-13 over Manti
W 29-28 over Pine View
L 24-12 to Snow Canyon
W 31-13 over Dixie
W 48-14 over Canyon View
W 20-19 over Desert Hills
W 44-30 over Hurricane
L 24-21 to Judge Memorial in 3A First Round