by James Tate
Three phases of a football game
Coaches will always say to win football games we need to be sound in all three phases of the game. The phases they are talking about are offense, defense, and special teams. Rarely do we see high school players have an impact in all phases throughout the season. Dayton Runyan of the Farmington Phoenix is one of the state’s best in making an impact in all phases.
Runyan is a junior and excels at wide receiver, safety, kick, and punt returns. Having the confidence of the coaches and in himself to contribute to the team in so many ways is a special skill set. Runyan’s ability to take over a game does not start only when the lights are on and game time, but on the practice field and film study. Runyan quickly pops out on the practice field as a player that plays fast and hard every chance he gets.
Runyan learned to be the all-around player he is from his dad, Nathan Runyan. Nathan was a standout player in high school in Arizona.
Runyan impressed with his all-around talent in region 1 and matched up against another talented triple-threat player from the
Fremont Silverwolves senior Ridge Whitney earlier in the season. Both players garnished 1st team all-region honors. Against Fremont Runyan had two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving) and an interception. Whitney had six receptions, 11 tackles, and a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Runyan and the Phoenix came out on top 42-28 in this region contest.
Runyan credits the team’s success to their ability to trust each other every play and every game. “Going out on the field with complete confidence,” said Runyan. “Each position group makes it much easier to focus on your own job.” “I feel like our team chemistry on and off the field has been crucial to our success,” says Runyan.
What it means to be a Phoenix
The players have a special bond that you can see on and off the field. “I love the atmosphere that we get to be in as a team each day,” said Runyan. “It’s more than football, being able to have the relationships with coaches and teammates that we do makes our team family.” “Being able to play with each one of these guys for the past six to seven years,” said Runyan. “And watching each other grow has been super special and is one of the things that I love about playing for Farmington.”
Runyan gives credit to his supportive parents for everything he does to have success on and off the field. Defensive coordinator Cody Caputo is as talented as they come in outing his payers in positions to make plays for the team. “Coach Caputo for giving me the opportunity to prove myself on the field,” said Runyan. “And my defensive backs for locking down every play.”
The defensive backs include Adam and Ben Stucki, Jaxson Eastman, Zach Quinton, Parke Blaser, Luke Christiansen, and Evan Manning.
“Dayton Runyan has some crazy athletic ability,” said Caputo. “Dude can run and leap like no other. He is a ball hawk on the back end.” “Leads the team in interceptions,” said Caputo. “Very smart player as well. Excited to have another season with him next year.”
Runyan would love the opportunity to play at the college level. From the first impression he made on the practice field, he will get his opportunity.
Picture courtesy Kim McFadden IG:kmacphotographyy