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Note: American Leadership Academy finished with a 3-7 overall record and was 3-7 in the 2A North Region in 2011.

SPANISH FORK — For decades coach Bobby Kauo has provided an enthusiastic and motivating presence for his players, but it’s doubtful he’s ever been this excited. At the ripe age of 74, Kauo has been given the head-coaching reins at American Leadership Academy after serving for more than three decades as an assistant at Timpview.

Kauo replaced Dave Lewis and has quickly found that the program he inherits offers a stark contrast to what he was used to at Timpview.

Take the amount of players available to him, for example.

While Timpview would often turn players away, Kauo has 32 players available to him — only 22 of which are healthy enough to play after a rash of summer injuries.

“If we get an injury, then we’re in real trouble. So that’s a huge challenge for us,” said Kauo. “Everyone has to play two ways and we can’t have any scout teams in practice, so it’s a big challenge and something I’m not used to as a coach. But it’s fun — it’s a challenge.”

Another one of the challenges is keeping players in the program until their senior seasons. Kauo has just four seniors this coming year due, in large part, to players ending up at other schools.

“A lot of that has to do with winning — they haven’t won much here — but we’re trying to change that,” said Kauo. “Players want to play for programs that win and with so many schools — Payson, Spanish Fork, Springvillle — in our area players have left for those schools after we teach them here.

So our challenge will be to keep them here.”

A couple of senior players Kauo will be relying on heavily are quarterback Briggs Fulton and lineman Oaks Morley. Both players are excited to be playing for a new coach and are anxious for the season to begin.

“I love coach Kauo,” said Fulton. “He comes from Timpview and he knows exactly what he’s talking about. He’s keeping it simple, which is good because I think last year things were way too complicated and we didn’t play well as a result.”

“I’m more excited for this season than I have been for a while,” added Morley. “I’m very happy that we have the coach we have. He’s a very happy and a fun guy who has a great spirit about him. So I think that’s going to be a big help to us this year.”

Kauo certainly hopes so.

"This is totally new for me, but it's something I've wanted for a while. So it should be good," said Kauo. "More than anything I just want my kids to have fun and understand that playing football the right way can be a lot of fun."

American Leadership Eagles at a glance

Coach: Coach Bobby Kauo has been coaching since 1969 when he accepted an assistant job at Provo High. This will be his first year as a head coach, however.

Offense

(6 returning starters; Multiple formations)

Coach Kauo will be installing a completely new offense that keeps things simple. According to Kauo it will be a smash-mouth system with new formations that he’s anxious to employ.

“We’re going to run the wishbone, some spread and some of what I call ‘the boom,’ which is my own concoction,” said Kauo. “The boom is all offensive linemen except for the quarterback. It’s sort of like a rugby scrum where you just give the ball to a guy and tell everyone to just try and stop him. It should be fun and hopefully it’s effective for us.”

Defense

(7 returning starters)

On defense Kauo plans on running the same defense as Timpview. ALA will operate primarily out of a 4-3 formation, which will be anchored by Jake Staley at middle linebacker.

“We’ll vary our formation and go 4-4 and 5-2 at times, but we’ll keep it simple,” said Kauo. “We’ll have to be ready to go because we have Layton Christian as our first game, and they’re always a good team.”

Coaches preseason 2A North straw poll: Seventh

Deseret News Region 4 prediction: Seventh

Bottom line

Depth looks to be an enormous concern with all the preseason injuries, but should ALA remain healthy, the Eagles chould see a lot of improvement and could even make a run at the state playoffs.

2012 Schedule

Fri. Aug. 17 — at Layton Christian, 4 p.m.

Fri. Aug. 24 — Carbon, 7 p.m.

Fri. Aug. 31 — at South Summit, 7 p.m.

Fri. Sept. 7 — at North Summit, 7 p.m.

Fri. Sept. 14 — Emery, 7 p.m.

Fri. Sept. 21 — Gunnison, 7 p.m.

Fri. Sept. 28 — Millard, 7 p.m.

Fri. Oct. 5 — at Manti, 7 p.m.

Fri. Oct. 12 — North Sevier, 7 p.m.

.....

Felt’s Facts for American Leadership Academy

All-time record: 8-52 (6 years)

Region championships: 0

Playoff appearances: 5

All-time playoff record: (0-5)

State championships: 0

State championship record: (0-0)

Most played rivalry: Six meetings with Manti dating back to 2006. Manti leads 6-0. Meet on Oct. 5.

Felt’s Factoid(s): ALA is one of six private schools that compete in football. ... Eagle Jordan Lamb is one of just 16 prep gridders in Utah to return an interception 100 yards (2011).

American Leadership coaching history

2012-Current — Bobby Kauo

2009-2011 — David Lewis (6-25)

2007-2008 — Tom Fell (1-19)

2006 — Ron Olsen (1-8)

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

(None)

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out theDeseret News All-State Archives.