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Blake Sio

The strength of the Taylorsville football team this year will be unity.

"We will be together," said coach Scott Henderson, "Everyone is pulling for each other."

Beginning his sixth year as head coach, Henderson sees his program as getting better every year, although numbers are slipping with only some 50 kids showing up at an early August practice.

"More will come out when school starts," he said, "we'll end up with about 65."

For a 5A school fielding three teams — varsity, jr. varsity and sophomore — that is bare bones level. "Somebody put a rumor out," said Henderson, "that we weren't going to field a sophomore team." He has been working the phones to try and bolster the sophomore response.

And of course, he is dealing with a school that has a reputation for baseball. "I take the hand I'm dealt and do the best we can," said Henderson.

Perhaps smaller numbers breed that unity spoken of by Henderson. Linebacker Blake Sio wanted to emphasize that same theme: "I love my teammates," he said. A captain and four-year starter for the Warriors, Sio leads the defense; although he averaged seven yards per-carry last year at fullback, he only averaged two carries per game.

"Sio is the man on defense," said Henderson.

He won the Captain Crunch award four times last year. That signifies "the best hit of the game," given for the hardest tackle by a Warrior for each game.

Starting since his sophomore year is Andrew Stephens, a 6-foot-4 265 pound senior lineman. He made the all region team as both a sophomore and a junior and carries a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. A multi sport athlete, he plays basketball and throws the shot and discus on the track team.

Nate Azera, a junior, will man the tailback position and with 4.6 speed he said, "I am looking forward to a great season."

Henderson confirmed the Warriors will run more this season as they will be breaking in a new quarterback. He also has a new offensive coordinator in Wes Wilcken. The two coaches formerly worked together at Hunter. "I am excited that we are back together," said Henderson.

He hopes his team can remain healthy as depth could prove to be a problem.

"We are always optimistic, even if our numbers are low," said Henderson.

Taylorsville Warriors prep football preview

COACH: Scott Henderson matriculated in Cedar City, both high school and college. He has been at Talorsville for five years.

KEY PLAYERS: Blake Sio has started since he was a freshman and he plays both sides of the ball. Andrew Stephens is the best lineman having garnered all region honors twice before. Nate Azera started at corner back last year but has yet to prove himself at tailback. He has the speed. Perhaps his success may be a barometer of how well the Warriors do.

QUESTION MARKS: The quarterback position is still being determined and one of the competitors was in an auto accident setting back the timetable even more.

LAST YEAR: 3-7 record finishing fourth in region.

PREDICTED REGION 2 FINISH: Fifth.

POSTSEASON POSSIBILITIES: There are very strong teams in this region so the Warriors would have to pull a few surprises to make the playoffs.

2008 SCHEDULE

Aug 22 — at Granger, 7 p.m.

Aug 29 — at Riverton, 7 p.m.

Sept 5 — MURRAY, 7 p.m.

Sept 12 — at West Jordan, 7 p.m.

Sept 19 — COPPER HILLS, 7 p.m.

Sept 26 — BRIGHTON, 7 p.m.

Oct 3 — at Jordan, 7 p.m.

Oct 10 — SKYLINE, 7 p.m.

Oct 15 — at Alta, 7 p.m.

Oct 24 — HILLCREST, 7 p.m.


E-mail: wjewkes@desnews.com