Bingham's Program Receiving National Exposure

Not only has Bingham High School's football been a powerhouse in the state of Utah for the last couple of years, but soon it will have the opportunity to become known nationwide.

Last year many Utah high school football programs challenged quality football programs from other states in what was called "Utah vs. the Nation." The Utah teams that participated ended up undefeated against out-of-state competition.

Last year Fremont High School's Derek Monkres returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown en route to a 27-7 pounding of Southern California's Dorsey High School. Bingham High School followed suit by defeating Hawaiian powerhouse Kahuku High School - ranked eighth in the west at the time by Street and Smith's magazine - 27-0 down in Cedar City, Utah.

The 2009 season could be one that puts Bingham High School on the national high school powerhouse map.

"I talked with Notre Dame High School's head coach when I was at the Army All-American Bowl and we just hit it off," said Bingham High School head coach Dave Peck. "We decided to play a home-and-home series against each other."

Coach Peck and his staff had already scheduled a game to play against California's Notre Dame High School for the 2009 season when he received a call concerning his program playing Texas' Trinity High School.

"I got a call and they said they wanted to play in ‘09 on September 5th," said Coach Peck. "I knew I couldn't do it because we had Notre Dame High School lined up out of California, and they're one of the top high school teams out of California. I think they just had two kids sign at [the University of] Notre Dame and two at USC this past year. Also, the kicker for the Dallas Cowboys is from Notre Dame High School, so they have a quality program that has produced top talent over the years."

However, Coach Peck spoke some more with the organizers, and decided to take up the offer.

"They're doing a thing in Texas where they take the top six or seven top Texas teams and play some of the top teams from other states," said Coach Peck. "I think they started a year ago and I know they're doing it this year. We'll be going in ‘09 to play Texas powerhouse Trinity High School in Texas Stadium, which is where the Dallas Cowboys play. It will be in their new stadium when it opens. It will be televised on either Versus or the NFL network, and they're pretty paying all of our expenses to go down and play the game."

BYU fans are fully aware of the type of talent that Trinity High School produces. Former Cougar Ofa Mohetau, while a senior in high school back in 2003, was considered one of the best offensive linemen in the country, and former Trinity offensive lineman Manaaki Vaitai signed with the Cougars in 2007.

"If you had to say, Trinity is probably the top team in Texas right now," said Coach Peck. "They just won their state championship. Our assistant coach George Pritchard said there are two major populations of Tongans located outside of the islands, and that's Utah and Texas."

Coach Peck talked about why his team was chosen to play Trinity High School.

"When this person called me about the game, they said they asked the head coach of Trinity [Ed Schaefer] who would they like to play," said Coach Peck. "They said Bingham out of Utah. I think the reason why is because they followed our game against Kahuku a year ago. I think with all the Polynesians down there, they followed when a Hawaiian team came out to the mainland. I think a lot of them kind of follow the games and know that we beat Kahuku 27-0. Trinity was probably thinking, ‘Alright, let us get a shot at them.' I'm just reading into why they would want to play us because I don't know what else it could be, but I think that might have something to do with it."

Along with Bingham High School being selected to play against Trinity High School in Texas Stadium, four of Coach Peck's players were recently selected to play in Max Emfinger's 2008 National All-American High School Bowl Game Classic in Louisiana.

"The kids that were selected were L.T. Filaga, Remington Peck, Mike Edmunds and Talai Livai," said Coach Peck. "They've all been invited to play in Max Emfinger's Bowl Classic, and I know that Mike, Remington and Talai have all committed to play in it. I'm not sure about L.T. though. I think it's the third year they've had it. The co-head coaches are Jay Schroeder, who was the quarterback for the Washington Redskins and played in the Super Bowl, and Sonny Detmer, who is [former BYU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner] Ty Detmer and [former Colorado University quarterback] Coy Detmer's father."

Asked to serve as a defensive coordinator at the bowl was none other than Coach Peck.

"How that happened I'm not sure, but two of my assistant coaches are from Texas," said Coach Peck. "My defensive line coach was an Outland Trophy winner from Texas, was a defensive player of the year, and played about eight years in the NFL. I talked them into letting Kenny Peck, who is our linebackers coach, and George [Pritchard] come along and be assistant coaches on the defensive side with me. So it's a good group of guys and we'll be coaching the West team, and we'll be back there with our wives for seven nights and seven days preparing and coaching in this game."

Coach Peck is excited about the opportunity to participate in the event.

"It sounds like a great opportunity and it sounds like there will be a lot of great people coaching the teams," said Coach Peck. "The location of the game hasn't been lined up yet, but I was told that it would be held in one of the big stadiums down there at one of the BCS schools on January 3rd. It's going to be televised on Fox Sports."

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