It felt like déjà vu for the Weber Warriors in last year’s playoffs as they bowed out of the 6A playoffs early, with a one-point loss to a region opponent for the second straight year.

Though the recent playoff disappointments were tough to swallow, they now fuel and motivate the Warriors — the unsurprisingly projected favorites in the Region 1 coaches poll — to take the next step.

“We’ve got to make a run in the playoffs for us to get where we want to be,” Weber head coach Jayson Anderson said. “We have to do a better job of finishing and not coasting. That’s what our team has been pushing, we need to be able to grind through things and not get complacent, and that’s the biggest thing we’ve got to overcome.”

Anderson said that finishing will be a key for the team because the Warriors had double-digit leads in the second half of both of their last two playoff losses.

Leads and scoring should be plentiful for Weber, as it returns seven starters from last year’s top ten 6A scoring offense including starting quarterback Jake Lindsey.

As for the handful of vacancies on offense, they will be filled by some intriguing pieces for the Warriors. Running back Logan Payne — who started the beginning of last season but tore his ACL early on — will be back to boost the offense and Stockton Short, 6A’s boys soccer player of the year as a goalkeeper, will be playing receiver for the Warriors.

Short hasn’t played football since little league, but was convinced by Anderson and his players to come out and play. Anderson said the 6-foot-2 senior will be taking on a big role this season.

“He can run, he’s athletic, and being a keeper (in soccer) he’s had to go up and get the ball and there’s no doubt that he can go up and get the ball,” Anderson said.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Warriors return a few key pieces from last year’s second-best scoring defense (6A) like defensive end Aisea Moa (University of Utah commit) and safety Cannon DeVries (BYU commit), but there remain plenty of holes on that side of the ball.

Anderson said the way that the younger players fill those holes will be a determining factor for his team’s success this season.

“The newcomers have to come in and they have to take on big roles and rise to the expectations,” Anderson said. “That’s the big question mark for me as far as our team. We have some holes in different spots, so are our young guys going to step up and fill those roles like we need them to?”

On the heels of Weber in the coaches projections is a Fremont team that experienced an up and down 2020 season that ended in a disappointing playoff forfeit due to COVID-19. But with 15 of 22 starting positions returning, the Silverwolves will look to make some noise.

Fremont coach Ross Arnold said he wasn’t surprised Weber was picked to finish first in the region, but said he and his squad will not make fulfilling that prediction an easy task.

“We’ve got Oct. 13 circled on our calendar,” Arnold said of this year’s Fremont-Weber matchup. “We’ve had some great games with them the last few years, they’ve all been close and have come down to the wire. … (Weber’s) got some dudes, but I like my team. I like my team a lot.”

Like Weber, Fremont also brings back its starting quarterback in senior Cannon Koford, who will be expected to take the reins of a new offensive system.

“Cannon doesn’t say a lot, he just works his butt off,” Arnold said. “We have a new offense this year and he’s just jumped in and has learned it very well. His football IQ is off the charts, so he’s got a hold on (the new offense) already.”

The new offense and offensive coordinator for Fremont (Clay Bayard) come as a result of the departure of last year’s coordinator, Scott Peery, who took the head coaching position with Davis.

Peery’s Darts were picked to finish fourth in the coaches projections, just behind third place Syracuse. Syracuse brings back 13 of 22 starters from last year’s team and will look to use its experience to take the next step, while Davis brings back just seven total starters from last year’s 8-4 squad.

Farmington, the newcomer to the region after spending its first three seasons in the 5A classification, was picked to finish fifth, while Clearfield and Layton rounded out the remaining two spots, respectively. 

The fact that the final three spots in the region’s projections were taken up by programs like Farmington, Clearfield and Layton, shows just how threatening Region 1 can be, according to Anderson.

“The thing that’s fun about Region 1 is that top to bottom it’s a region that anybody can beat anybody on any given week,” Anderson said. “The teams in our region are always well-coached, they’re always prepared and you can’t take anybody lightly.

Region 1 projections

(Preseason rankings are based on coaches’ votes)

1. Weber Warriors

  • All-time record: 324-497-22 (94 years)
  • State titles: 2 (1985, 1999)

2021 schedule

Head coach: Jayson Anderson

Entering his third season as head coach at Weber after leading the school to a 13-6 record the past two years and a region title 2020. Previously he was head coach at Logan from 2016-2017 with a 3-17 record. He’s a graduate of Box Elder High School and Utah State.

Coach Anderson general outlook

“We bring back a lot of experience on the offensive side of the ball. There are a couple offensive line spots that are still question marks that we have to find the right guys to fill in those spots. We are excited to get our starting RB back after being injured last year that is just gonna help us on offense. Defensively, we have a group of guys that play hard but are untested on Friday night. We like the character of our team and we are excited to see how we match up with our region and the state.”

Offensive coordinator: Zac Connors

2020 offense: 30.4 ppg (ninth in 6A)

  • 7 returning starters.
  • Spread offense.

Returning offensive starters

  • Jake Lindsey, QB
  • Cannon DeVries, WR
  • Aisea Moa, TE
  • Luke Willden, TE
  • Jayden Proctor, OL
  • Stryker Rashid, OL
  • Jackson Fuller, OL

Key offensive newcomers

  • Logan Payne, RB
  • Stockton Short, WR
  • Porter Hayes, OL

Defensive coordinator: Billy Pluim

2020 defense: 13.6 ppg (second in 6A)

  • 3 returning starters.
  • Multiple defenses.

Returning defensive starters

  • Cannon DeVries, S
  • Aisea Moa, DE
  • Luke Harris, DE

Key defensive newcomers

  • Cutler Bess, DL
  • Crash Coggins, LB
  • Carter Roberts, LB
  • Dawson Fenn, LB

2. Fremont Silverwolves

  • All-time record: 178-116 (27 years)

2021 schedule

Head coach: Ross Arnold

Entering his fifth year as head coach at Fremont, racking up a 25-18 record in his first four seasons. He’s a graduate of Whitko High School in Indiana and BYU.

Coach Arnold general outlook

“We have a very experienced team returning from the 2020 season. We are excited to compete this fall with our team, challenge for a region championship and make a strong playoff run.”

Offensive coordinator: Clay Bayard

2020 offense: 26.2 ppg (13th in 6A)

  • 7 returning starters.
  • Spread offense.

Returning offensive starters

  • Cannon Koford, QB
  • Hayden Hall, TE
  • Kyler Kotter, RB/Slot
  • Bodie Ray, RB
  • Diego Juarez, OT
  • Matthew Snarr, OT
  • Keegan Hull, OG

Key offensive newcomers

  • Aidan Gamble, OG
  • Dakota Argyle, TE

Defensive coordinator: Ross Arnold

2020 defense: 24.3 ppg (15th in 6A)

  • 8 returning starters.
  • 3-4 defense.

Returning defensive starters

  • Dakota Argyle, OLB
  • Hayden Hall, OLB
  • Drake Parker, SS
  • Kolby Burton, DB
  • Cutler Warren, MLB
  • Dahrius Romander, FS
  • Christian Blanch, MLB
  • Tayson Samaniego, DT

Key defensive newcomers

  • Ridge Whitney, DB
  • London McFadden, DE
  • Gage Wilde, DE

3. Syracuse Titans

  • All-time record: 92-60 (14 years)

2021 schedule

Head coach: Mike Knight

Entering his fifth season as head coach at Syracuse, posting an 21-21 record over that span. He’s a graduate of Murray High School and Southern Utah University.

Coach Knight general outlook

“We have a lot of players that have experience from last year. We need to continue to have a good summer in order for those young players to get better. I am looking forward to having a competitive team in the fall.”

Offensive coordinator: Braden Hamblin

2020 offense: 15.8 ppg (22nd in 6A)

  • 5 returning starters.
  • Spread offense.

Returning offensive starters

  • Trevor Drake, QB
  • Eric Wilder, LT
  • Conner Schuler, RT
  • Tyson Stapley, WR
  • Chandler Christensen, WR

Key offensive newcomers

  • Noah Yeates, WR
  • Owen Doxey, OL

Defensive coordinator: Mitch Tulane

2020 defense: 28.0 ppg (20th in 6A)

  • 8 returning starters.
  • 4-3 defense.

Returning defensive starters

  • Jordan Faifai, LB
  • Miles Draper, LB
  • Matt Lofaso, DE
  • Sam Pula, DT
  • Daxton Faddis, S
  • Jake Metcalfe, S
  • Wyatt Humphrey, CB
  • Braxton Stark, CB

Key defensive newcomers

  • Bevin Hamblin, S
  • Bannock Yeates, DE

4. Davis Darts

  • All-time record: 602-383-29 (105 years)

  • State titles: 7 (1937, 1943, 1949, 1965, 1974, 1976, 2004)

2021 schedule

Head coach: Scott Peery

Entering his first season as head coach at Davis High School. He’s a graduate of Payson High School and Weber State.

Coach Peery general outlook

“The heartbeat of our team starts up front on both sides of the line. We have three on offense and two on defense and these guys are the leaders of the team. We have lots of depth at the skilled positions and we’re evaluating guys to see who will emerge into certain roles. Quarterback is undecided as we have four viable guys fighting for that spot and each one of them possess a different skill set so it will make for a fun summer of competing for that position. I have been with these guys since Jan. 20 and a couple things stick out with this group and that is they love to work and they love to compete.”

Offensive coordinator: Scott Peery

2020 offense: 35.4 ppg (sixth in 6A)

  • 3 returning starters.
  • Spread offense.

Returning offensive starters

  • Colton Flint, C
  • Lucas Baird, LG
  • Connor McLaughlin, LT

Key offensive newcomers

  • Easton Baggett, QB
  • Jackson Stevens, QB
  • Trey Talbot, RB
  • Ty Hoagland, WR
  • Hunter Anderson, WR

Defensive coordinator: Tyler Gladwell

2020 defense: 21.1 ppg (seventh in 6A)

  • 4 returning starters.
  • 3-4 defense.

Returning defensive starters

  • Mason Rigby, DE
  • Kael Jenkins, DT
  • Jensen Jacobs, CB/S
  • Caden Swapp, S

Key defensive newcomers

  • Colby Flint, LB
  • Braden Neeley, LB
  • Ezra Fiso, S
  • Hunter Walsh, DT
  • Jeff Sumsion, SS

5. Farmington Phoenix

  • All-time record: 13-20 (3 years)

2021 schedule

Head coach: Daniel Coats

Has guided Farmington to a 13-20 record in its first three seasons since opening in 2018. He’s a graduate of Northridge High School and BYU. He spent four seasons in the NFL from 2007 to 2010, the bulk of it with the Bengals.

Coach Coats general outlook

“We were pretty young last year, with a lot of great talent just not enough size. After a great offseason in the weight room we are hoping to fix that. The boys are excited about moving up to 6A to play big boy ball. Hopefully we are ready for the challenge.”

Offensive coordinator: Daniel Coats

2020 offense: 13.9 ppg (20th in 5A)

  • 6 returning starters.
  • Spread offense.

Returning offensive starters

  • Kenyon Brown, WR
  • Seth Wilcox, WR
  • Dane Nield, OL
  • Tyson Elkins, WR
  • Mitch Nielson, TE
  • Spencer Houtz, OL

Defensive coordinator: Cody Caputo

2020 defense: 27.4 ppg (16th in 5A)

  • 4 returning starters.
  • 4-3 defense.

Returning defensive starters

  • Cannon Toone, S
  • Kenyon Brown, LB
  • Kainoa Jones, DL
  • Connor McFarland, LB

6. Clearfield Falcons

  • All-time record: 253-348-4 (60 years)
  • State titles: 1 (1992)

2021 schedule

Head coach: Don Eck

Entering his first season as head coach at Clearfield High School. He previously spent four years at Corner Canyon from 2013 to 2016, posting a 28-19 record during that stretch. He’s a graduate of Santa Fe High School in California and the University of Utah.

Coach Eck general outlook

“Good skill, big lineman, should be able to compete with this last year’s strength gains. Hungry bunch of kids in this program that want to turn it around..”

Offensive coordinator: Carl Harry

2020 offense: 20.6 ppg (16th in 6A)

  • 8 returning starters.
  • Multiple offenses.

Returning offensive starters

  • Shadyn Stoker, QB
  • Cyress Siale, OT
  • Davis Pickett, OC
  • Kai Wirth, RB
  • Gage Tremea, WR
  • Dawson Burton, WR
  • Josh Qualls, WR
  • Taggert Purser, TE

Key offensive newcomers

  • Hudson Dugger, WR
  • Tanner Hittle, WR
  • Brye Reed, OT

Defensive coordinator: Blair Redd

2020 defense: 35.0 ppg (25th in 6A)

  • 8 returning starters.
  • Multiple defenses.

Returning defensive starters

  • Jayce Fullmer, DT
  • Cyress Siale, DT
  • Dee Robins, DE
  • Ty Ha’o, LB
  • Josh Peterson, DB
  • Gage Tremea, DB
  • Josh Qualls, LB
  • Kai Wirth, LB

Key defensive newcomers

  • Hudson Dugger, DB
  • Bryce Reed, DT

7. Layton Lancers

  • All-time record: 242-299-1 (53 years)
  • State titles: 1 (1978)

2021 schedule

Head coach: Foto Katoa

Entering his second season as head coach after posting a 2-7 record during his debut season in 2020. He previously was the head coach at Layton Christian in 2019 where his team also went 2-7. He’s a graduate of Trinity High School in Texas and BYU.

Coach Katoa general outlook

“We’re fortunate to have a great number of players returning on both sides of the ball. We’re hoping the experience they gained last season will translate into better play on the field this year. We know we’re in a tough league top to bottom. There’s never a week off in this region. Everyone is well coached and each team has talented hard-working kids.”

Offensive coordinator: Soni Uasila’a

2020 offense: 12.6 ppg (25th in 6A)

  • 9 returning starters.
  • Spread offense.

Returning offensive starters

  • Garrett Gifford, QB
  • Elias West, FB
  • Cameron Garcia, RB
  • Tyler Wensel, WR
  • Jack Tolman, WR
  • Nick Sanders, WR
  • Spencer Hill, LT
  • Kasen Hancock, LG
  • Jacob Harris, RT

Key offensive newcomers

  • Takoa Byrd, TE
  • Isaac Vimahi, C

Defensive coordinator: Dell Stilson

2020 defense: 25.8 ppg (19th in 6A)

  • 9 returning starters.
  • 4-3 defense.

Returning defensive starters

  • Crew Ross, FS
  • Mitchell Johnson, SS
  • Teague Farr, CB
  • Elias Parkinson, CB
  • Jaron McMillan, MLB
  • Porter Hansen, WLB
  • Zach Barber, DT
  • Jackson Cebollero, DE
  • Jayden Burningham, DE

Key defensive newcomers

  • Damon Elmore, LB
  • Takoa Byrd, DE