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High school soccer: From top to backside, Region 3 teams striving for better 2018

Realistic expectancies for Region 3 teams heading into the 2018 season are about as wide-ranging as any area within the state.

At the top is East, with its annual state championship-or-bust mentality. Herriman is a notch beneath, however there’s at all times sufficient ability and intensity throughout the program to assume a name run is conceivable like in 2015.

Expectations for West Jordan are at all times larger internally than externally, and the Jags desire a remark win over a significant program to trade that truth.

Taylorsville overlooked the playoffs ultimate yr, however with Dane Leituala returning for his fourth yr as beginning QB this system is poised to earn extra appreciate as neatly.

Riverton has a brand new trainer who is just making an attempt to carry steadiness again to this system that gained 10 video games in 2014.

Copper Hills, in the meantime, has been one of the most doormats of the state’s biggest classification for a pair many years now and second-year trainer Corey Dodds is operating his gamers laborious to trade that tradition of shedding.

East is the transparent front-runner in Region 3, and it’s as hungry as ever. Despite dominating area foes ultimate yr it got here in need of its final function by means of falling to Bingham 27-13 within the championship recreation in its first yr taking part in up a classification.

East’s offense and protection took a large hit on account of commencement, with 13 gamers transferring on to play school soccer on some kind of scholarship. Even regardless that trainer Brandon Matich recognizes his group has giant holes to fill, he’s assured the team of workers is there to get the process completed.

This yr’s group would possibly even wonder some folks with explosiveness.

“People know that we’re physical. They know we’ll always be good in the trenches. We’ll build from the ground up with the line and work our way back. This year is going to be the same, but this is the most skill we’ve ever had. I’ve never had this much speed in our program — perimeter speed, skill speed, receivers, DBs,” mentioned Matich.

That pace will have to lend a hand East be slightly extra numerous offensively when it wishes it in giant video games.

One of the ones video games will have to be in opposition to Herriman.

A yr in the past Herriman were given off to a coarse get started on account of its difficult time table, opening the season with a 1-Four report. In Week 6 it narrowly misplaced to East 14-10, and that recreation became the season round. The Mustangs gained 5 directly video games to advance to the semifinals the place it sooner or later misplaced to Bingham.

Coach Dustin Pearce believes a identical run is conceivable, he simply hopes it doesn’t take part the season to determine it out.

“I believe that the expectations and athletic abilities are there,” mentioned Pearce. “It’s just a matter of putting things together and making sure we can get this thing right.”

A yr in the past West Jordan suffered via numerous accidents which compelled more youthful gamers into early varsity motion. What was once an obstacle ultimate yr pays dividends this yr with numerous returning enjoy that extends past simply the normal returning starters.

“We return our starting QB who tore his ACL in Game 4 of last year and played a lot of young guys on the offensive line. Both of our lines have developed well in the offseason and will anchor our team. We look forward to taking the next step and competing with the top teams in our division and region,” mentioned fourth-year West Jordan trainer Mike Meifu.

Riverton starts the season with a distinct head trainer for the fourth time prior to now 5 seasons, and Jody Morgan hopes to carry steadiness to Riverton after serving as an assistant trainer at Herriman for the previous 3 years.

“I’m telling them so long as they concentrate to me I’ll keep right here for 20 years. As lengthy as my message continues to be getting throughout and we are growing just right younger males and we are getting ready them for existence, I’ll be right here so long as they’ll permit me to. It’s an excellent neighborhood,” mentioned Morgan.

He inherits a group with seven returning starters offensively, which will have to lend a hand Riverton be aggressive immediately this season.

Taylorsville overlooked the playoffs ultimate yr, however QB Dane Leituala is hungry to finish his top school profession on a favorable notice. The three-year starter has racked up 6,883 passing yards and four,485 speeding yards in conjunction with 107 overall touchdowns the previous 3 years.

He’s 1,300 yards shy of transferring into moment position all-time in state historical past in overall offense.

As just right as Leituala is, he’ll want strengthen offensively for Taylorsville to attempt to reinforce on ultimate yr’s 1-Four area end.

Copper Hills ranked 21st in 6A in scoring offense ultimate season (11.nine ppg) and 22nd in scoring protection (42.Eight ppg). Corey Dodds has been running his gamers laborious this offseason to trade the paintings ethic related to this system. He ceaselessly attracts upon his enjoy taking part in for Urban Meyer on the University of Utah.

“I was part of that whole Urban Meyer experience at Utah. I watched how a simple change in attitude and work ethic changes a program,” mentioned Dodds. “I would like to pass to the playoffs. I believe this neighborhood merits a shot within the playoffs. My function is above .500, which is one thing the school’s by no means completed ahead of, long gone .500 as soon as.”

Deseret News projections for Region 3 soccer teams in 2018

(Preseason scores are in keeping with coaches’ votes)

1. EAST: Sam Langi is a sturdy returning ability at the offensive line, however after that the O-line will function a host of proficient rookies. East’s offense has proficient returners on the talent positions with Charlie Vincent and Tutu Spann at operating again and Andre Toilolo and Chase Peterson at receiver. Anchoring the protection are returning starters Apu Ika at the line of defense, Toilolo at linebacker after which Peterson and Mekelee Gautavai in the second one secondary. Newcomers Joe Teisina and Talin Finau will lend a hand bolster the defensive entrance. 2017 RECORD: 11-3. PLAYOFFS: Lost to Bingham 27-14 in championship.

2. HERRIMAN: A yr after score 5th in 6A scoring protection, that aspect of the ball will have to once more be the catalyst for the Mustangs with a robust returning linebacking core that incorporates Ngana Leakehe, Austin Pursley and Carter Pearce. The line of defense can be anchored by means of Mana Kula and newcomer Sii Fifita. The offense returns six starters, led by means of offensive lineman Ahio Siasie and Wyatt Ziegenhorn. Carson Castro can be a key weapon at linebacker, whilst Blake Freeland shifts from QB to tight finish this season. The new QB will both be Jaxon James or Tyler Murray. 2017 RECORD: 6-6. PLAYOFFS: Lost to Bingham 31-7 in semifinals.

3. WEST JORDAN: The offensive line is anchored by means of returning starters Jaden Webster and Devon Slater. The Jags get senior QB Oakley Kopp again after he injured his ACL early in his junior season. McKendrick Johnson can be a key weapon within the operating recreation, whilst Kalleb Klenk will have to emerge because the top receiver. West Jordan’s protection returns 5 starters led by means of returning linebackers Helaman Sosi and Tavake Ngalo. The line of defense will have to be robust as neatly with returners Omarion Fa’amoe and Tavake Ngalo. 2017 RECORD: 6-Five. PLAYOFFS: Lost to Syracuse 28-7 in first spherical.

Four. TAYLORSVILLE: Dane Leituala is again for his fourth yr as T-ville’s beginning QB. He rushed for 1,715 yards and handed for 2,481 yards with 43 overall TDs a yr in the past. Only one returning starter can be blockading for him once more, Tela Mulitalo. Marshallfaulk Vaitu’u will have a large yr at operating again. Linebacker will have to be the energy of the protection with Leituala, Vaitu’u and David Sterzer all again at that place. Sterzer led the group with 91 tackles ultimate season to pass in conjunction with 5 sacks. Tavita Taukeiaho is a key returning starter at the line of defense. 2017 RECORD: Four-6. PLAYOFFS: Did no longer qualify.

Five. RIVERTON: New trainer Jody Morgan has spent the previous 3 years as an assistant at Riverton and is hoping for a handy guide a rough bounce-back season. He has a couple of returning starters at the offensive line, Aiden Gordon and Brandon Minson, and enjoy at the back of the road with QB Cannon Coggins and RB Blake Chapman. Riverton’s protection allowed 31.1 ppg ultimate season however returning linebackers Kaige Roberts and Nate Hamblin will have to enhance the center of the protection. Tristyn Hymas is a key returning starter within the secondary. 2017 RECORD: 3-Eight. PLAYOFFS: Lost to Weber 31-13 in first spherical.

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6. COPPER HILLS: Only win got here in opposition to 4A’s Ben Lomond ultimate yr, however second-year trainer Corey Dodds is positive a few leap again. A large reason is a sturdy returning offensive line that incorporates Jay Archibald, Gabe Conriquez, D.J. Jackson and Carston Hiller. Dallon Jones will paved the way at QB, the training team of workers expects giant issues out of him. Defensively, linebacker Dakota Buckner and protection Kiona Gasu are a number of the 3 returning starters anticipated to the lead a gaggle that struggled ultimate yr. 2017 RECORD: 1-Eight. PLAYOFFS: Did no longer qualify.

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