More of the same: Olympus football team has sights set high
Aug 19, 2019 02:06PM
● By Josh McFadden
Running back Scotty Edwards, shown here in action last season, will be a focal point on this year’s offense for the Olympus football team. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Whitehead)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
A year after posting an undefeated, region-winning regular season, the Olympus football team has a lot to live up to. Despite losing key players to graduation, head coach Aaron Whitehead has the same objectives that he always has.
“Going into year nine, each team has had the same goal: a region championship and a trip to Rice-Eccles Stadium (for the state tournament semifinals and finals),” Whitehead said. “We have achieved a region title in six of the last eight season. I wish not to come across as arrogant or conceited, but the goal of winning region has become an expectation at Olympus. Our season goal is to win a state championship.”
Last year’s squad finished 12-1 and lost a close 20-15 game with Corner Canyon in the Class 5A state semifinals. The Titans were dominant during the regular season, posting four shutouts and amassing at least 42 points in seven of its 10 regular season games.
“Last year was a very special group,” Whitehead said. “This year's team has worked hard to build off of the success of last season. We have a good amount of contributors returning from last year. “
Whitehead will rely heavily on senior captains Scotty Edwards, Emerson Conlon, James Sheets, Lucas Spillett, Ryan Thomas and Spencer Hoon. He said he’s fortunate to have a squad full of hard-working, motivated athletes.
“This team has great leadership, and players are quick to take accountability,” he said. “There is also a strong work ethic among these young men. They are a lot of fun to coach.”
Edwards will carry the load in Olympus’ run-heavy offense. The running back was fourth-leading rusher on the team last season with 466 yards and six touchdowns. Whitehead is looking for an even bigger contribution from him this season. Also a defensive back, Edwards has college offers from BYU, Utah State, Air Force and Army.
Senior Owen Hall will also see time in the backfield, as will senior fullbacks Chase Hopkins and Weston Creer. Frankie Goodson will start at quarterback. The senior played mop-up duty last season but will be expected to direct the offensive attack this year. Conlon, Spillett and Hoon will start on the line on both sides of the ball. Conlon is a returning All-State offensive lineman and was also a state champion wrestler last year.
Whitehead has a luxury a lot of high school coaches don’t have: two excellent kickers. He said seniors Alexis Rojas and Alec Foulger both have a “very strong leg” and are accurate kickers. Foulger will also punt for the Titans. Hopkins, Creer, Peterson, Hal and senior Uriah Te’o will also start on defense.
“I feel I could list the majority of our varsity squad as strong players and leaders,” Whitehead said.
Last season, the Titans surprised a lot of teams with their potent offense and suffocating defense. Whitehead acknowledged that his squad won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this year.
“There is a target on our chest, and teams will not be looking past us,” he said. “Personally, this is my favorite time of year. I’m very excited to see the hard work pay off for these young men.”
The Titans opened the season at Mountain Ridge on Aug. 16, where Olympus thrashed the Sentinels 56-0. The home opener was Aug. 23 against Granger.