Note: Skyridge finished with a 12-2 overall record in 2017 and was second in Region 8 with a 4-1 record. It lost to Lehi 55-17 in the 5A championship.
LEHI — Skyridge football's rapid progress has been nothing short of impressive, and Falcon's coach Jon Lehman hopes to make even more strides in the program's third year. Progress in 2018 would equate to a state championship, considering Lehman's team came just one game short of winning it all a season ago.
Considering what Skyridge has returning, a state championship is not out of the question, although Lehman prefers to play down any title talk or talk about his team's considerable success.
"I'm just fortunate to coach in a great are with great kids and our focus is just on what's right ahead of us," Lehman said. "We have a tough preseason schedule to get through and then a tough region. A focus on winning a championship? That's not at all what the focus is right now."
Skyridge returns a good number of key contributors from last year's team, but it did incur some losses.
"You want to see kids move on and then guys to step in and replace those guys. That's what good programs do to move forward," Lehman said. "A lot of the guys will be tough to replace, but we like the guys we have coming back and we're confident we can have another good year."
Playing 14 games last season is something Lehman feels has already worked to benefit his team this year.
"I think we learned a lot about making a deep run and kids have really taken the momentum we had into the offseason," Lehman said. "I like how they've come out to practice and like I said, I think we have the potential to have a real good year again."
Skyridge Falcons at a glance
Coach: Jon Lehman is in his third year coaching at Skyridge and has an 18-7 overall record. The Ohio native taught at American Fork, where he was the defensive coordinator for six years.
Skyridge Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Joel Lira
2017 offensive production: 38.4 ppg (5th in 5A)
- 8 returning starters
- Air spread
Key returning starters on offense
- Logan Sagapolu (OL): Sagapolu could well be considered the top offensive lineman in the state and is currently being recruited by multiple big-time programs, such as Washington, Oregon, Utah and BYU.
- Nathan Upham (WR): Upham had 697 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns last season. "He was our offensive MVP and is certainly a guy we'll rely a lot on a lot again this year. He's a great leader and has some real good skills on the outside for us," Lehman said.
Returning offensive starters
- Jayden Clemons (QB)
- Ma'a Notoa (RB)
- Nathan Upham (WR)
- Alex LaFord (OL)
- Logan Sagapolu (OL)
- Andrew Yocum (OL)
- Payton Ainsworth (RB)
- Baden Stambaugh (TE)
Lehman on his returning offensive line:
"We really like the line we have coming back. It all starts with Logan (Sagapolu), but our other guys are all improved and are real leaders on the offense. They establish our focus and consistency habits."
Lehman on Jayden Clemons:
"He's a very good player. He's big, strong, accurate — he's really everything you'd want playing quarterback for you."
Lehman on Ma'a Notoa:
"He got hurt in week four, but he was averaging about 180 yards per game when that happened. So we think he's a real special player capable of putting up big yards for us this year."
Skyridge Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Jon Lehman
2017 defensive production: 17.8 ppg (3rd in 5A)
- 6 returning starters
Key returning starters on defense
- Blayden Togiai (LB): Togiai led the team in tackles last season with 77. He also had five sacks. "He's been starting since he was a sophomore and he really controls things on the defensive end. He's a great leader and someone we'll depend on a lot this year," Lehman said.
- Ioholani Raas (DL): Raas led the team with 14 sacks last year as a sophomore, according to Lehman. "He should be the sack leader when he's done. He's a real good player and should provide a great pass rush for us again this year."
Returning defensive starters
- Blayden Togiai (LB)
- Jaxon Peck (DB)
- Ty Arrington (DB)
- Ioholani Raas (DL)
- Niko Toilolo (LB)
- Mitch Sampson (LB)
Lehman on his returning defensive backs:
"Jaxon Peck is a real solid player for us and leads our defensive backfield, sort of like Togiai leads at linebacker. Ty Arrington is another real good player for us. Both those guys play at safety and we feel that position will be a real strength."
Coaches preseason Region 8 straw poll: Second
Deseret News Region 8 prediction: Second
Key Region Game: at Springville (Oct. 5)
Bottom Line: Sure, the Falcons lost some guys, but have a lot of contributors returning, making success easy to predict. Look for the Falcons to prove to be one of 5A's best teams and to make another deep run in the playoffs should the team stay relatively healthy.
- Aug. 17 — at Riverton, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 23 — LONE PEAK, 7 p.m.
- Aug. 31 — at Roy, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 7 — VIEWMONT, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — PROVO, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — at Timpanogos, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — at Springville, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 11 — MAPLE MOUNTAIN, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 17 — WASATCH, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Skyridge
All-time record: 18-7 (2 years)
Region championships: 0
Playoff appearances: 1
Current playoff appearance streak: 1
All-time playoff record: 3-1
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-1
- 2017 — 12-2 (4-1 in Region 8 - 5A Runner-up)
- 2016 — 6-5 (4-3 in Region 7 – Missed playoffs)
Skyridge coaching history
- 2016-current — Jon Lehman (18-7)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
- 2017 — Alex Palmer, CB
- 2017 — Charles Raass, DT
- 2017 — Logan Sagapolu, OT
- 2016 — Wyatt Parkinson, WR
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.