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High school football: Jordan Beetdiggers 2014 preview

Published: Saturday, Aug. 9 2014 12:34 a.m. MDT

Updated: Saturday, Aug. 9 2014 12:34 a.m. MDT

Austin Kafentzis anticipates 2014 Jordan season

Coach: Eric Kjar is entering his sixth year as the head coach at Jordan, where he has accumulated a career record of 45-19. Kjar is a graduate of Wayne State.

Offense

(7 returning starters; Spread offense)

For Kjar and senior quarterback Austin Kajentzis, there is comfort in the fact that “we almost get to pick up where we left off at the end of last year,” the coach said.

Not only do the Beetdiggers retain Kafentzis, who is already second all time in state history in passing yards with 9,024, they also return center Parker Williams, guard Ben Strobel, and two more returning linemen.

“The line play is so important. Anytime we have a lot of our starters there that helps a lot,” Kjar said.

Returning receivers A.J. Townsend, who had 400 yards on 26 catches a year ago, and Spencer Curtis, who had 147 yards on 10 catches, add to the Beetdiggers’ continuity.

Defense

(5 returning starters)

A year ago, Jordan allowed 34 points per game for the entire season, the most of any Region 3 team. That number decreased to 27.6 in league play, but it is an area the Beetdiggers are looking to improve upon with experience returning.

Senior Soloman Matemate returns to the defensive line, while two-time first-team all-state selection Cooper Clark returns as a safety and linebacker. Cornerback Taylor Johnson will become a three-year returning starter this season and free safety Danial Loau, a sophomore, will return to his starting position.

“He has good cover skills, physical, will do a really good job for us being able to match up with teams’ best receivers,” Kjar said said of Johnson.

Of Loau he added, “He’s a lot different now as far as experience goes and confidence. It’s been night and day for him. Excited to have him back too.”

Coaches Preseason Region 3 straw poll: Third

Deseret News Region 3 prediction: Third

Bottom line: With a roster 120 names long and loaded with returning starters as well as an offense directed by the stellar Kaftenzis, Kjar believes his team has the pieces and the depth it takes to compete in Region 3 and 5A. The key will be putting the work in on the field, in the weight room, and in film sessions to be prepared to attain those lofty goals. Add to that improved play on defense, as the Beetdiggers have been charged with stopping, or at least slowing, some very talented offenses.

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Jordan coaching history

2009-current — Eric Kjar (45-19)

2003-2008 — Alex Jacobson (35-32)

1989-2002 — Jim Birch (80-64)

1986-1988 — Al Watrin (22-11)

1980-1985 — Rick Bojak (46-23)

1978-1979 — Bob Andrus (4-13)

1973-1977 — Doug Berry (16-31)

1972 — Tom Keller (1-8)

1971 — Ray Odette (3-7)

1969-1970 — Randy Autentico (2-13-3)

1967-1968 — Dean Stringham (5-13)

1966 — Bob Sanchez (1-8)

1965 — Tom Louazt (3-6)

1962-1964 — Evert Jones (14-11-1)

1961 — Glen Jackson (9-1)

1954-1960 — Howard Linford (19-35)

1950-1953 — Dale Sorensen (21-13-3)

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