In Kjar’s three years as head coach, Jordan’s scoring defense has improved each year from 31.2 ppg to 22.7 pgg to 16.3 ppg. Linebackers Colton Shaver and Tyler Swan will be counted on to continue that downward trend.
With the season just a few weeks away, Kjar said the talent is definitely there, but the effort will need to be there throughout the season.
“We feel like we have the kids to do it, but the big thing with that is the effort level. You have to practice every day hard to get better, and you have to have kids who are willing to sacrifice that. I know we have that with the good core of our kids, but there are others that are trying to figure out what hard work is all about,” said Kjar.
Jordan Beetdiggers at a glance
Coach: Eric Kjar has led Jordan to a 26-12 record in his first three seasons as head coach. He’s a graduate of Kemmerer High in Wyoming.
(7 returning starters; Spread offense)
The foundation for this offense is as good as any in the state with five returning starters on the line and a returning all-state quarterback. The big question mark is at receiver. The six players who combined for 221 of Jordan’s 225 receptions last year are gone. That puts a lot of pressure on QB Austin Kafentzis, but he’s a player who always tries to stay pressure positive. Realistically though, this year’s group of receivers could be even better. Two weren’t even on the team last year. Mason Krueger opted not to play football last year, but the 6-foot-3 junior wide out will be a big target for Kafentzis to throw to. Adriel Jefferson sat out last season while he tried to transfer to another school, but he’s back and is a really quick kid who fits perfectly for the slot position.
(6 returning starters)
Colton Shaver was second on the team last year with 73 tackles, while Tyler Swan was second with 67. Swan is joining Shaver at linebacker after playing strong safety last year, and they’ll have plenty of opportunities to make tackles again this year playing behind what could be a dominant defensive line. Anchoring the line is Mori Savini, a 260-pound junior who had 54 tackles and seven sacks last year. Standout offensive linemen Zach Larsen, B.J. Cavender, Ian Moes and Tyshon Mosley will all get some reps on the defensive front as well.
Coaches preseason Region 3 straw poll: Second
Deseret News Region 3 prediction: First
Bottom line: A state championship is every team’s goal, but for only a handful is it a realistic goal. Jordan is one of those teams. Had the Beetdiggers held on for another minute against Lone Peak in last year’s semifinals, it could easily be heading into 2012 as the defending 5A state champions. Those expectations will be with Jordan all season, and only time will tell how the team handles them.
Aug. 17 — at Fremont, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — LAYTON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 — vs. Long Beach Poly, 4:30 p.m. (At Bingham HS)
Sept. 7 — at Kearns, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — ALTA, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 — COPPER HILLS, 7 p.m.
Sept. 29 — vs. St. John Bosco, Calif., 1:30 p.m. (at Rio Tinto Stadium)
Oct. 5 — at Cottonwood, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 — BRIGHTON, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — at West Jordan, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Jordan High School
All-time record: 499-402-28 (102 years)
Region championships: 25 (1931, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1958, 1961, 1983, 1984,