“There’s some confidence that comes out of them, but there can also be a little bit of complacency if you’re not careful.,” he said. “If you’re not careful, you can have that 'been-there-done-that' attitude and think it’s going to come easy and it never does.”
Manti Templars at a glance
Coach: Cole Meacham is entering his 12th season as Manti’s head coach. He’s amassed an 88-42 record and led Manti to the 2A state title in 2003 and 2011. He’s a graduate of Richfield High School.
(5 returning starters; Fly offense)
If a young offensive line comes together, Manti’s collection of running backs will be tough to stop. Zane Stevens is back after leading Manti in rushing last year, while Austin Jackson, Jamen Miller, Kyle Larsen and Colin Haymond are all returning contributors. Taylor Soper is a returning blocking back who should pave the way for all of them. With so many talented runners, coach Meacham said his only concern is if everyone is willing to accept their roles — no matter how big or small. The kicking game will actually be a big strength for Manti. Carlo Garcia kicked eight field goals last year, including two in a 6-0 semifinal win over South Summit. The star soccer player is back again this year.
(5 returning starters)
The Templars are strong at linebacker and in the secondary, but Koleton Moon is the lone returning starter on the defensive line. Manti is particularly strong at outside linebacker, and one or two of those players will be asked to play defensive end. Jackson and Stevens will be the heart of the defense at outside linebacker, while Miller and Haymond are returning starters at corner. Joe Creery should be a solid player in the secondary as well.
Coaches preseason 2A North straw poll: First
Deseret News 2A North prediction: First
Bottom line: There will definitely be a bit of a learning curve with the new offensive line this year, but that’s only temporary. Manti is one of the most talented teams in 2A and the newcomers will eventually figure it out. If the players avoid complacency after winning the state title last year, there’s no reason this team won’t be back in the 2A semifinals again this season.
Aug. 17 — DELTA, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — at Juan Diego, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — at Emery, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — at Gunnison, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — NORTH SUMMIT, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — at South Summit, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — NORTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — AMERICAN LEADERSHIP, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 — at Millard, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 — Playoffs
Felt's Facts for Manti High School
All-time record: 206-219 (44 years)
Region championships: 7 (1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005 co, 2009 co, 2011)
Playoff appearances: 26
All-time playoff record: 25-23
State championships: 3 (1999, 2003, 2011)
State championship record: 3-2
Most played rivalry: 44 meetings with Juab dating back to 1969. The series is even at 22-22. Last met in 2010.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Manti is the only team – high school or college – in the United States (or anywhere else) whose mascot is the Templar.
Manti coaching history
2000-current — Cole Meacham (89-41)
1992-1999 — Brennan Jackson (50-33)