Transition at Taylorsville going well for football teamAug 30, 2021 05:02PM ● By Greg James
By Greg James | [email protected]
The Taylorsville High School football team has seen four coaches since 2015. A good summer of progress has them hopeful this year begins a winning tradition at the school.
“I think the progress of this team has been super well,” Warriors new head football coach Chris Rosales said. “We have been getting lots of kids. The freshmen are in the house for the first time this year, and we have seen an increase in numbers.”
Rosales takes over for Joe Johnson, who compiled a 4-17 record in his two years at the school.
“I feel like anytime there is a change of the guard, there is going to be some difficulty,” Rosales said. “I have been here the last two years, so I think it has been an easy transition.”
Transition to a new program will be important for a team with several underclassman expected to play important roles.
The offensive line lost a few key players to COVID and transfers, but they are expected to be an experienced group that can lead the team.
“We have two seniors with some experience,” Rosales said. “We are still super young, but I feel very positive about that group and what they are going to do.”
Christian Bennett will fill one guard spot at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds, and Meli Penitoa, a transfer to the team, will be key to the front five.
“Those two have worked really hard this summer and see to be doing well getting to know each other,” Rosales said.
Hamani Wolfgram graduated last spring and left a hole at quarterback. Junior Jordan Karle has stepped in and is taking a majority of the practice reps this summer.
“He is very athletic and a leader,” Rosales said. “We had three competing for the job and he [Karle)] outshined everyone else and really knew the playbook. He is good at making sure we are lined up right. He is more than ready to be that guy. He can showcase his skills.”
Sam Duncan returns this fall at wide receiver. He will combine with two-sport athlete Easton Govea as a pass-catching duo. The fast-paced spread offense works best when the offense can get the ball to the outside to use players’ speed.
“They will be that one-two combo,” Rosales said. “Sam is a senior and is looking really good. Another wideout to watch for is senior Aweys Muridi. They all have speed.”
Defensively, linebacker play is going to be important.
“Manu Faleoa and Mino Otu are very interchangeable on defense, Rosales said. “They have anchored our defense. A newcomer, Benji Manua, will certainly help us be strong. They have all been good and know the coverages and blitzes.”
The Warriors’ first home game is Aug. 27 against Juan Diego. They will also host Kearns on Sept. 3.
Utah High School Activities Association officials have realigned Region 2 this season. West Jordan has been moved to Region 3, and Roy will take its place.
“We have a lot of positives going our way,” Rosales said. “I think we can surprise some teams, especially if they look at us as an underdog. This group has a lot of heart. We have told them it is time for a break, and they want to keep going.”