Note: Olympus finished with a 12-1 overall record in 2018 and was first in Region 6 with a 5-0 record. It lost to Corner Canyon 20-15 in the 5A semifinals.
HOLLADAY — The 2018 season was an excellent one for the Olympus Titans, as they went undefeated in the regular season and led late in the fourth quarter of the 5A state semifinals before falling to the eventual champion Corner Canyon Chargers, who themselves ran the table.
The Titans were very much senior-driven in 2018, which means there will be plenty of players expected to take on bigger roles this fall, but head coach Aaron Whitehead sees it as more of a retooling situation, and Olympus was picked by coaches to win Region 6.
“That’s something we do each year, just reload,” Whitehead said. “The thing that’s great about this place is that our kids are generally — and this year’s no exception — very coachable. It’s a lot of fun ... we have a lot of effort with this crew. I absolutely enjoy it.”
Whitehead went so far as to say that the goal is to, at the very least, make it back to the semifinals, if not further.
“Each year we want to win region, we want to get at least to Rice-Eccles Stadium, and I think that’s our goal this year. We’d like to make it a step further and try to play in that game at the very end.”
Whitehead did stress, however, that the focus is on the Aug. 16 season opener, and he’s eager to have his team start against Mountain Ridge, the new high school in Herriman.
“We’re excited to be their first game ever,” Whitehead said. “It’ll be fun.”
Olympus Titans at a glance
- Lucas Spillett, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Spencer Hoon, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Alexis Rojas, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Ryan Thomas, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Emerson Conlon, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Christian Peterson, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Uriah Te'o, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Chase Hopkins, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Matt Ward, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Owen Hall, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Scotty Edwards, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- James Sheets, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Weston Creer, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
- Frankie Goodson, Olympus Ryan McDonald, Deseret News
Coach: Aaron Whitehead is entering his ninth season as head coach at Olympus, where he has compiled a record of 60-29. It will be his 14th year as a head coach overall.
Whitehead’s comments on new UHSAA RPI:
“I’m a little bit nervous about the whole RPI thing. A lot of coaches are very excited about it. I’m not sold. I support it. Don’t get me wrong, I support it. I’ve got to experience it to understand it more, I guess, but it kind of changes the dynamics a little bit, but I don’t think it’s going to change the philosophy of what we do too much. We just want to win ballgames.”
Olympus offensive snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Aaron Whitehead
2018 offensive production: 37.5 ppg (3rd in 5A)
— Five returning starters
— Wing T, spread offenses
Key offensive returning starters
Scotty Edwards (RB)
A versatile player who finished second on the team in receiving yards and fourth in rushing yards in 2018 (and scored 12 total touchdowns), Edwards has scholarship offers from a number of Division I programs.
Emerson Conlon (OL)
The guard received First Team All-State honors in 2018.
Returning offensive starters
Scotty Edwards (RB)
Emerson Conlon (OL)
Lucas Spillett (OL)
Jaxson Fullmer (OL)
Alec Foulger (K)
Offensive newcomers to watch
Frankie Goodson (QB)
Tommy Hoggan (QB)
Chase Hopkins (FB)
Christian Peterson (RB)
Cadence Kuhn (WR)
Matt Ward (WR)
Alex Johnson (WR)
Hunter Birdsley (WR)
Spencer Hoon (OL)
Whitehead’s comments on the quarterback situation:
“We have two quarterbacks. Frankie Goodson is the senior and he’s the one that looks like will get the nod. Tommy Hoggan is a very capable quarterback, very good athlete. Tommy’s the type of kid, if he doesn’t get the spot, he’ll be on the field somewhere. Very good athlete.”
Whitehead’s comments on Scotty Edwards:
“He’s going to be a dandy. He’s going to be fun. He did a great job for us last year. He was a game-breaker.”
Whitehead’s comments on Emerson Conlon and the offensive line as a whole:
“He’s basically the heart of the offensive line ... this is going to be a very good offensive line, and that’s great. If you have a good offensive line, good things usually happen.”
Keys for offensive success in 2019:
There will be some good talent up front and in the run game, which generally goes a long way to having good things happen. That said, with the number of less experienced players expected to fill spots at skill positions, the group will need to gel quickly and learn what Whitehead wants out of them if they want to have the type of production they did in 2018.
Olympus defensive snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Brandon Burt
2018 defensive production: 6.6 ppg (1st in 5A)
— Six returning starters
— 4-3 defense
Key defensive returning starters
Emerson Conlon (DL)
Led the team in sacks with 10 and was fifth in tackles with 65 in 2018.
James Sheets (LB)
Finished 2018 with 53 tackles and a sack, and is the lone returning starter in the linebacker corps.
Returning defensive starters
Emerson Conlon (DL)
James Sheets (LB)
Uriah Te’o (DL)
Jaxson Fullmer (DL)
Lucas Spillett (DL)
Scotty Edwards (DB)
Ryan Thomas (DB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
Owen Hall (LB)
Weston Creer (LB)
Chase Hopkins (LB)
Ben Hawes (DB)
Defensive coordinator Brandon Burt’s comments on defensive line experience:
“Playing on a Friday night, that toughness that they’ve already experienced last year is going to benefit us for sure.”
Burt’s comments on overall defensive philosophy:
“We were very good at holding teams down point-wise. We’re kind of a ‘bend, but don’t break’ defense, keep everything in front, but I like our chances of being a good defense this year ... we’re very excited. The kids have worked hard. They love to tackle.”
Keys for defensive success in 2019:
The Titans were the best team in the entire state in 2018 in terms of allowing the fewest points. They’ve lost a bunch of production from that squad, but have enough returning experience to have a solid base heading into this year. Can some of the returners take on starring roles? From a position group point of view, can an experienced defensive line be great, and thus help the less-experienced linebacking corps and secondary?
Olympus has enough proven players to be at least good this season. Whether or not the Titans will be great will largely depend on how well the large number of new starters at important positions can fill big roles.
Coaches preseason Region 6 straw poll: First
Deseret News Region 6 prediction: Second
Key region game: Friday, Sept. 20 vs. Highland
Aug. 16 — at Mountain Ridge, 7 p.m.
Aug. 23 — GRANGER, 7 p.m.
Aug. 30 — KEARNS, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 — MURRAY, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 — at Brighton, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 — HIGHLAND, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 — at West Jordan, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 — HILLCREST, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 — at Cottonwood, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 — at Skyline, 7 p.m.
Felt’s Facts for Olympus High School
All-time record: 384-272-9 (66 years)
Region championships: 13 (1964, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1998, 2001 co, 2003-co, 2011, 2012-co, 2013-co, 2015, 2016, 2018)
Playoff appearances: 36
Current playoff appearance streak: 4 (2015-2018)
All-time playoff record: 31-34
State championships: 2 (1984, 1998)
State championship record: 2-2
Most played rivalry: 53 meetings with East dating back to 1955. Olympus leads 27-24-2.
Felt’s Factoids: Olympus holds the championship-game record for most takeaways. The Titans intercepted seven passes, returning three of them for TDs (both state title-game records), and recovered four fumbles in capturing the 1984 Class 4A title over Alta. In the same game, Nate Marshall set the state-championship game record for opponent’s fumbles recovered with four.
- 2018 — 12-1 (5-0 in Region 6 – 5A Semifinals)
- 2017 — 4-6 (2-3 in Region 6 – 5A First round)
- 2016 — 8-3 (5-0 in Region 6 – 4A First round)
- 2015 — 7-4 (5-0 in Region 6 – 4A First round)
- 2014 — 5-6 (2-4 in Region 7 – Missed playoffs)
Olympus coaching history
- 2011-current — Aaron Whitehead (60-29)
- 2009-2010 — Mike Smith (14-7)
- 2004-2008 — Mark Smith (17-34)
- 1998-2003 — Mike Miller (48-20)
- 1991-1997 — Tom Larson (42-20)
- 1985-1990 — Marc Lyons (33-29)
- 1974-1984 — Louie Long (76-37)
- 1971-1973 — Wayne Startin (16-11-1)
- 1967-1970 — John Christopulos (12-25-1)
- 1964-1966 — Ron Startin (16-9-2)
- 1956-1963 — Gil Meier (34-28-5)
- 1954-1955 — Bill Green (7-10)
- 1953 — Don Dixon (5-3)
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
- 2018 — Chase Bennion, FB
- 2018 — Emerson Conlon, OG
- 2018 — Lincoln Draper, DE
- 2018 — Isaac Wilcox, OLB
- 2018 — Noah Bennee, S
- 2016 — Ben Bywater, OLB
- 2015 — Quinn Meier, RB
- 2013 — Coleman Meier, RB
- 2013 — Connor Haller, DB
- 2011 — Scott Porter, QB
- 2011 — Nate Watchman, OL
- 2010 — Sam Williams, DB
- 2009 — Ryan Reynolds, OL
To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.