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Pandemic experience a net positive for Summit football? Storm’s team chemistry reached all-time high in past year

Here’s our look at the Summit Storm of the Class 6A Mountain Valley Conference.
Summit.Rockne Andrew Roll.3

By Bob Lundeberg

SBLive Oregon will break down every 6A, 5A and 4A team in the state leading up to the 2021 fall football season. Here’s our look at the Summit Storm of the Class 6A Mountain Valley Conference.

Photo by Rockne Andrew Roll

SUMMIT TEAM PAGE

HEAD COACH

Corben Hyatt, fifth season (11-21)

PAST 3 SEASONS

2021 (spring): 3-3 overall, 1-3 in MVC 

2019: 2-7 overall, 1-3 in MVC 

2018: 2-7 overall, 1-3 in MVC

ALL-CITY PLAYERS DEPARTED 

OL/DL Jackson Bailey, defensive player of the year 

OL/DL Griffin Vollers

OL/DL Will Bennett

WR/DL Zach Jepson

OL/LB Carter Campbell

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Ryan Powell, sr., RB/DB

Powell was Summit’s offensive most valuable player in the spring, Hyatt said. The running back also was an all-city pick at cornerback. “He’s one of those guys that is just a tremendous all-around football player and will stand out on both sides of the ball,” Hyatt said.

Joe Schutz, sr., WR/DB 

Schutz grew up playing safety but moved to cornerback last season. He impressed the coaching staff with his play on defense and will be in the mix this season at wide receiver. “Joe is physical and plays with a great cornerback mentality,” Hyatt said. “He’s just a great player.” 

Charlie Ozolin, jr., WR/DB

Ozolin started at safety as a sophomore and more than held his own at the varsity level. Hyatt said Ozolin is a heady, physical football player. “You kind of forgot he was a sophomore out there,” Hyatt said. “He’s got a real voice in the back half of the defense and will put guys in place.” 

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Charlie Murphy, sr., RB/DB

Murphy is a seasoned member of the secondary who will be an important senior leader. “He started as a sophomore and rotated a little bit his junior year,” Hyatt said. “Having guys like him will really help those front guys develop.”

Jack Clemans, sr., TE/LB

Clemans was the Storm’s second-leading tackler in the spring. Hyatt said Clemans added about 20 pounds of muscle during the offseason. “He’s a kid who makes plays all over the field,” Hyatt said. “He’s super smart, a 4.2 GPA kid.”

Chip Allers, jr., TE/LB

A talented junior, Allers is slated to be a major force on offense and defense. Hyatt said Allers is one of the best athletes to come through Summit in years. “He was a little overwhelmed schematically last year and wasn’t able to use all his physical tools, but you saw the game slow down for him over the summer,” the coach said. “He is super gifted and has a high ceiling.” 

Hogan Carmichael, jr., QB

Carmichael earned the starting quarterback job as a sophomore and made great strides during the spring season. The 6-foot-5 standout could be headed toward a breakthrough junior year. “You saw all the physical tools, but the game needed to slow down for him and he needed to gain some confidence,” Hyatt said. “He’s really starting to get the nuances of playing quarterback. His leadership has also improved, which we are excited about.”

Soren McKee, sr., K/P

One of the country’s highest-rated specialists, McKee nailed a 50-yard field goal last season against Bend. He plays goalie for Summit’s soccer team. “He’s a weapon for us and we’re just waiting for the first Division I school to make an offer, because right now he’s hearing from a lot of schools,” Hyatt said. “Anytime we cross the 50 I can go, ‘All right, we can kick a field goal.’ We’ve had some great kickers, but he’s different.” 

OUTLOOK

While the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on many football programs last school year, Hyatt believes the unprecedented situation was actually a net positive for Summit.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the team set up random pods of around 12 to 15 players and coaches who maintained regular communication with each other.

“There were two seniors at the top of each pod, and they had to engage the group daily with some type of question, an inspirational thing, a joke, anything like that,” Hyatt said. “It was a way for kids to get to know each other without having to be in person, and it was pretty interesting how our kids broke down those barriers of grade levels and positions.” 

The pods were a complete success. By the time Summit was allowed to conduct in-person team activities, the coaches and players already had established great rapport.

“In a normal football season, we might be together for five months, and then people do other things,” Hyatt said. “We were together for more than a year and built a sense of community and culture that was highly unusual. So, I look at it all as a benefit. The kids that are now seniors, juniors and sophomores understand what the program is about and what we’re trying to accomplish.”