High school football: Taylorsville Warriors 2013 preview
“Lots has changed,” he said. “I love (Wells) to death. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve had in any sport. He’s real humble, and he makes you a hard worker at everything you do.” Wells said he believes he gets more from his players by keeping everything positive.
“These kids know they’re not just meat to us coaches,” he said. “The coaches who are here want to be here, and we’re in sync. We believe we get more out of them if you love them. We don’t coach out of fear, and I think that’s a big thing.”
Warriors at a glance
Coach: This is Rod Wells second year as a head coach. He only managed a 1-9 season, but didn’t take over the program until eight weeks before the season began. A graduate of Bear River High, he played football at the University of Utah.
Offense (7 returners; spread offense)
The offense will be led by Alex Lehauli, who will play a variety of roles including quarterback and fullback. Senior Dominik Toluono and Tristinn Martinez will both spend time at quarterback as the Warriors try some different offensive looks. Emilio Salvador is quick and athletic and will be a favorite target at wide receiver.
Defense (6 returners)
Seniors Dallin Huntington and Leroy Ripley will anchor the team’s defensive line, while many of the team’s top athletes, like Salvador and Toluono, spend time in the secondary. The biggest change may be on the sideline with the addition of a new defensive coordinator, former Jordan assistant Pala Vaituu, and his brother, Junior. Pala Vaituu will also act as assistant head coach to Wells.
Coaches preseason Region 2 straw poll: 4
Deseret News Region 2 prediction: 4
The Warriors have the talent to really turn a corner this season, and now it appears they have the coaching as well. The players said they’re more confident because they’ve worked harder and learned more about the technical aspects of each position than ever before. The attitude is positive and the mood optimistic as the Warriors look poised to have one of their best seasons in a decade.
Felt’s Facts for Taylorsville High School
All-time record: 96-214 (32 years)
Region championships: 1 (1999-co)
Playoff appearances: 10
All-time playoff record: 3-10
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-1
Most played rivalry: 27 meetings with Kearns dating back to 1981. Taylorsville leads 15-13. Meet on Aug. 23.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Warrior Isaiah Tafua (1998) is one of just eight players to return a fumble 99 yards.
Taylorsville coaching history
2012-current — Rod Wells (1-9)
2009-2011 — Jonny Matich (2-28)
2004-2008 — Scott Henderson (6-43)
1998-2003 — Brad Molen (32-31)
1996-1997 — Mark Clinton (12-8)
1988-1995 — Randy Tuft (17-55)
1981-1987 — Doug Bills (26-40)
Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years
To view second team and honorable mention All-Staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
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