Football is back at Copper Hills and West JordanAug 05, 2022 01:42PM ● By Greg James
Football is ready to fill your Friday nights again. West Jordan and Copper Hills are hoping to improve this season.
West Jordan head coach Ron Halbert talked about having second- and first-year student-athletes earning playing time last season. “I know our kids are good. I just want them to believe in themselves,” he said.
Despite the team’s inexperience, they ended last year with an 8-3 record and made it to the second round of the state playoffs, where they lost 37-7 to crosstown rival Bingham.
Its defense seemed to be the key to its success during the season. They only allowed 18.1 points per game, the fourth fewest in the UHSAA’s 6A classification.
“We had little experience coming into the season,” Halbert said following an overtime loss to Mountain Ridge last season. “For our team to do what it did was incredible.”
The experience the team gained last year could help them continue their success this year.
The Jaguars will need to find a replacement for graduated quarterback Boston Farmer. No one else threw a touchdown pass last season. In 2021 sophomore Dameon Crosby completed nine passes for 141 yards. The receiving crew could see junior Kyle Curtis emerging. He caught three touchdown passes last year to lead the underclassmen
Copper Hills did not have the success they hoped for last season. They finished the year winless but not without a few bright spots.
Grizzlies quarterback Brady Wardle completed four touchdowns. After his graduation, a new signal caller will be asked to improve the offense. Last year they averaged only eight points per game. Their running game was led by mostly upperclassmen. Junior Nathan Kitchen had two touchdowns and carried the ball for 77 yards.
Defensively, Triston Hoggan led the team with 56 tackles last year. Defensive back Tomas Montanez had one sack.
Head coach Corey Dodds is entering his sixth season at Copper Hills and hopes to see the team improve.
Head-to head, West Jordan has beaten Copper Hills 25 times while only losing once (in 2013). The teams will continue to compete in the UHSAA’s Region 3 against Bingham, Mountain Ridge, Herriman and Riverton.
The UHSAA uses its RPI standings to establish playoff matchups. Last year West Jordan finished 10 and Copper Hills was 25.
The opening games this season are scheduled for Aug. 12. West Jordan will travel to Woods Cross. They defeated them last year 35-14. Copper Hills will host Cedar Valley, hoping to avenge last season’s 35-0 loss.
Grizzlies fun facts: They beat Northridge in 1996 20-19 for their first win in school history. In the state playoffs they are 1-7 overall. Riverton has lost to Copper Hills five times. The team record for points in a season is 227 (2002).
Jaguars fun facts: Halbert is the school’s ninth head coach. West Jordan has played Bingham 38 times (winning six of those games). They have won 174 games in school history and they have won six playoff games. λ