Note: West Jordan finished with a 6-5 overall record in 2017 and was third in Region 3 with a 3-2 record. It lost to Syracuse 28-7 in the 6A first round.
WEST JORDAN — Coach Mike Meifu has a special bond with this season's squad for a couple of reasons.
For one thing, several players filled in admirably last season when the injury bug bit West Jordan. Their contributions helped the Jags advance to the playoffs.
Even more than that, though, Meifu has kind of grown up as a coach at the same as his senior class has grown up as young men.
"I really like this team," Meifu said. "This is (my) first group. When I first got here, they came in as freshmen. ... They’ve done a great job in the offseason being committed and consistent."
Though West Jordan is picked to finish in the middle of the Region 3 pack, he believes that cohesiveness and commitment could help catapult the Jaguars into a contender role.
West Jordan doesn't have most of its starters back, but the Jaguars return their starting quarterback — Oakley Kopp, who missed almost all of 2017 with an injury — and feature a handful of talented weapons on both sides.
As excited as Meifu and his players are about this year's team, the fourth-year coach knows it's more important to prove it on the field against the best competition.
"People don’t give us the respect that we deserve. We don’t get a lot of publicity. We haven’t knocked any of the top teams off," Meifu said. "I hope this year we can compete for a region championship and we can get up into that level, but until we actually do it we’ve got to earn that. Whatever people think of us, we’re going to go out, we’re going to compete and try and win every single ballgame."
West Jordan at a glance
Coach: Mike Meifu is headed into his fourth season at West Jordan. The Jags are coming off of a nice season and are looking to build on that this year. Along with being head coach, Meifu calls the shots on offense as the coordinator.
Jaguars Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Mike Meifu
2017 offensive production: 18.2 ppg (18th in 6A)
- Five returning starters
- Spread offense
Key offensive returning starters
- Oakley Copp (QB): The quarterback has put in a lot of work to return from an ACL injury that sidelined him for most of his junior year.
- McKendrick Johnson (RB): Carried the ball 54 times last season for 167 yards and a touchdown in an offense that spreads the ball around.
Returning offensive starters
Offensive newcomers to watch
Coach Meifu comments on QB Oakley Kopp:
“He’s looking really good. He’s pushed really hard this offseason to get back healthy (after an ACL injury), 100 percent and even better.”
Coach Meifu comments on the offensive line:
“We’re really balanced. I’ve liked the way that our big guys have worked this offseason. They’ve really come together and are committed.”
Keys for Offensive Success in 2018:
With their starting quarterback taking snaps again and some nice skill players, the Jaguars look to improve on their mediocre offense from 2017.
Jaguars Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Chris Bocage
2017 defensive production: 21.8 ppg (10th in 6A)
- Four returning starters
- 4-3 defense
Key defensive returning starters
- Helaman Sosi (LB): Spearheads the Jaguars’ defense and has been playing since his freshman season.
- Torin Vredeveld (DB): Provides solid coverage in the backfield and makes things happen.
Returning defensive starters
Defensive newcomers to watch
- Onesi Ngalo (DE)
Coach Meifu comments on the Ngalos duo:
"I think they're going to be a real force. I think those two guys will be a bright spot."
Coach Meifu comments on LB Helaman Sosi:
“He’s the anchor and heartbeat of our defense.”
Coach Meifu comments on a revamped D-line:
“I feel confident in those guys. It’s a really good strong group.”
Keys for Defensive Success in 2018:
With an entirely new defensive line and only four starters back, the Jaguars will need the guys up front to play tough in order to be as strong as they were last year.
Coaches preseason Region 3 straw poll: Third
Deseret News Region 3 prediction: Fourth
Key Region Game: at Herriman, Sept. 28 (Week 6)
Bottom line: West Jordan doesn't have a lot of starters back, but the guys they do have got experience last year due to injuries. If all goes well, this could be a Jags team that makes some noise in a tough region.
- Aug. 17 — WESTLAKE, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 24 — KEARNS, 7 p.m.
- Sep. 7 — at Hunter, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 13 — RIVERTON, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at Taylorsville, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — at Herriman, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — COPPER HILLS, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 12 — EAST, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 17 — PLEASANT GROVE, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for West Jordan
All-time record: 154-214 (41 years)
Region championships: 3 (1992, 1994, 1999 co)
Playoff appearances: 18
Current playoff appearance streak: 3 (2015-2017)
All-time playoff record: 4-18
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-0
Most played rivalry: 36 meetings with Bingham dating back to 1981. Bingham leads 29-7.
Felt’s Factoids: Jaguar Michael Moorehead set state completions and attempts records for a single game on 44 of 74 passes in 2010. ... Adam Boelter and two others share the single-game TDs-responsible-for record with 10. Boelter achieved his feat in 2009.
- 2017 — 6-5 (3-2 in Region 3 - 6A First round)
- 2016 — 8-3 (4-2 in Region 3 – 5A First round)
- 2015 — 5-5 (3-3 in Region 3 – 5A First round)
- 2014 — 3-7 (1-4 in Region 3 - Missed playoffs)
- 2013 — 1-9 (0-5 in Region 3 - Missed playoffs)
.....Comment on this story
West Jordan coaching history
- 2015-current — Mike Meifu (19-13)
- 2013-2014 — Daniel DuPaix (4-16)
- 1999-2012 — 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
- 2017 — Bryson Percival, OLB
- 2010 — Martavius Redmond WR
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.