Aspen Naylor, a senior, will start at center, with seniors Caden Call and Kaden Craig starting at offensive guard. The offensive tackles include senior starters Jace Purser and Braden Toby, with senior Dallas Besaw and juniors Alex Harris, Ammon Riley, Zack Stanger and Cache Lowry providing depth on the O-line.
Over on defense, Call and Kraig will capably man the tackle spots, with Toby, senior Markell Thomas and junior Stephan Olives backing them up. Senior Spencer Woodhall, Purser, Naylor, Bills and Thalman will see playing time at defensive end.
Wyatt German is a senior returning starter at middle linebacker, and he'll be joined by seniors Teague Vigil and Taurone, with Goncalves, Cameron Pingree and juniors Treston Cullimore and Tyler Hale in reserve.
The secondary includes Homer, Atkinson, Jacob Winger, Dax Harris, Adam Johnson and Roberts at cornerback, with Chadwick and Fonua starting at safety, with Haddick and juniors Mason Leishman and Jaydn Peterson providing depth there. Romney Harker, a junior, will handle the place-kicking chores, with Harris handling the punting.
Yes, all things considered, the Titans probably deserve that distinction as the team to beat in Region 1. But it won't be easy — it never is — and folks like Davis, Northridge, Layton and Fremont will likely have a lot to say about it before the season's through.
Syracuse Titans at a glance
Coach: Russ Jones begins his seventh season at the school — the only head football coach the Titans have ever had — and has compiled a 44-25 record over his first six seasons. He is 69-52 overall in 11 seasons as a high school head coach.
(6 returning starters; spread/multiple formations)
Junior quarterback Kole Tracy, thrust into the starting role in last year's 5A playoffs, gets a chance to begin the season as "the guy" in the Syracuse huddle. He'll be joined by senior running back Kavika Fonua and a bevy of other running backs and receivers who are looking for their opportunity to step up and shine this season. Kaden Craig and Caden Call anchor the O-line for an explosive offense that averaged more than 32 points per game in the Titans' 12-game winning streak to start the season.
(6 returning starters; 4-3-4 scheme)
Linemen Kaden Craig and Caden Call, linebackers Wyatt German and Teague Vigil and safety Kavika Fonua will lead the way for a fierce defensive effort that allowed Region 1 opponents an average of just over 8 points per game in last year's league title run. In fact, before that debacle in the 5A finals, the Titans had given up only around 9.2 points per game to their opponents through their first 12 games. Stellar defense is no accident, and you can expect Syracuse to play plenty of it again this year — a calling card for all Russ Jones-coached teams.
Coaches' preseason Region 1 straw poll: First
Deseret News Region 1 prediction: First
Bottom line: The Titans received plenty of accolades last season, and rightfully so, after starting the season 12-0 and reaching the first state championship game in school history. Coach Russ Jones isn't so sure they deserve such high expectations this season, but pretty much everybody with a vote is picking the Titans to take the title again. They'll find out just how realistic those lofty expectations are in September when they host highly touted league foes Davis and Northridge in back-to-back weeks. After that, though, they'll play three of their final four league games on the road, including challenging away matchups with Layton and Fremont. So those two September showdowns at home against two of their most bitter Davis County rivals loom mighty large in Syracuse's quest for a second straight region championship.
Syracuse coaching history
2007-present — Russ Jones (45-24)
Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years
2012 — Brock Anderson, QB
2012 — Cardon Malan, DL
2012 —Kavika Fonua, DB
2012 — Diante Mitchell, DB
2011 — Corey Cook, OL,
2011 — Hunter Dimick, DL
2011 — Brock Anderson, K, Syracuse
2010 — Hunter Dimick, DL
2009 — Josh Gooch, LB
2009 — Mitch Tulane, DB
2008 — T.J. Blickfeldt, DB
2008 — Josh Kealamakia, K
To view second team and honorable mention All-Staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.
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