(7 returning starters; Spread offense)
West Jordan’s offensive line will be undersized compared to most in 5A, but there’s plenty of experience with Spartacus Eason, Lamont Keophilavong, Trent McIntyre and Dallas Schaefer all returning from last year. They’ve worked hard on new blocking schemes, which the coaching staff hopes leads to a more threatening running game. Michael Moorehead is back for his third full season as starting quarterback, and the coaching staff would love to see him avoid the injury bug this year. Moorehead’s top four receiving threats from a year graduated, but Tristan Taei, Diego Barajas and Jarmaya Omar have emerged as his go-to guys throughout the summer.
(8 returning starters)
West Jordan’s defense will rely heavily on a trio of returning starters at linebacker, Jacob Ponce, Chinedu Ahanonu and Kaden Maddox. Ponce the led the team with 59 tackles a year ago, while Ahanonu (52 tackles) and Maddox (46 tackles) weren’t that far behind. Eason will be another key player on the defense whether he ends up starting at linebacker or on the defensive line. Landon McMorris and Josh McMorris are two other returning starters who will be counted on for more this year.
Coaches preseason Region 3 straw poll: Fifth
Deseret News Region 3 prediction: Fifth
Bottom line: West Jordan’s only region victory last year was against Copper Hills, which it will be favored to beat again this year. After that, if the Jaguars have any hope of cracking Region 3’s Top 4 and securing a playoff spot, they will need to beat either Cottonwood, Brighton, Alta or Jordan. It narrowly lost to Cottonwood and Brighton last season, so it’s definitely not an unrealistic expectation — especially if the running game comes around like the coaching staff hopes.
Aug. 17 — BINGHAM, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 — HURRICANE, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 — HUNTER, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 — at Pleasant Grove, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — Bye
Sept. 21 — COTTONWOOD, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 — COPPER HILLS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 — at Brighton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 — at Alta, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — JORDAN, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for West Jordan High School
All-time record: 129-177 (31 years)
Region championships: 3 (1992, 1994, 1999 co)
Playoff appearances: 15
All-time playoff record: 4-15
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-0
Most played rivalry: 31 meetings with Bingham dating back to 1981. Bingham leads 24-7. Meet on Aug. 17.
Felt’s Factoid(s): WJ combined with Cottonwood for 1,216 total yards and set the single-game record for two teams (Sept. 30, 2011). ... Jaguar Michael Moorehead set a state completions and attempts record for a single game on 44-of-74 passes in 2010. ... C.J. O’Neal set the record for season reception with an even 100 in 2009.
West Jordan coaching history
1999-current — Mike Morgan (66-68)
1997-1998 — Brent Hawkins (6-14)
1989-1996 — Rick Bojak (48-33)
1985-1988 — Tom Molen (3-34)
1981-1984 — Larry Sanich (6-28)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
2010 — Martavius Redmond WR
2005 — Mike Meifu, RB
2004 — Rio Stotler, DL
2003 — Hunter Utley, OL
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
Contributing: Jessica Wilde, Conner Johnson, Steve Mundee and prep football historian George Felt.