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High school football: Emery Spartans 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the Emery Spartans football team heading into the 2020 season.

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Note: Emery finished with a 1-9 overall record in 2019 and was fifth in Region 12 with a 1-4 record. It was RPI seed No. 16 in the 3A playoffs and was eliminated by North Sanpete 42-0 in first round.


CASTLE DALE — Summer always breeds optimism in high school football, but Emery may finally be able to back it up when the season begins.

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Head coach: Jon Faimalo

Entering his fifth season as head coach at Emery, with a 7-33 record his first four seasons. He’s a graduate of Emery High School and Snow College.

Depth has been a big issue for Emery in recent years, especially last year as the team started a bunch of underclassmen and posted another 1-9 record. That group of eight returning offensive starters and seven defensive starters is much more prepared to compete physically at the varsity level in 2020.

“A lot of my seniors have played since they were sophomores, so they’ve taken their lumps for two or three years and so hopefully they’re ready to give them out a little bit,” said Emery coach Jon Faimalo.

There’s depth behind those returning starters as well, which means Emery may be able to absorb the inevitable injury or two.

A year ago Emery dealt with injuries at the quarterback position from the opening game, which means both Ryker Jensen and Ty Jensen return with starting experience.

Faimalo said there’s similar depth on the offensive line, and returning starters Braden Howard, Stockton Jensen, Kove Johansen and Aidan Mortensen will get pushed by youngsters hoping to get on the field.

Defense is where Emery needs to make the biggest strides, and junior linebacker Hayes Dalton will be one of the keys. He plays sideline to sideline and is a good tackler. With a strong line in front of him, he likely won’t have as many lineman blocking him downfield as a year ago.


Emery Spartans at a glance

Faimalo’s thoughts on how his players dealt the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“We’ve had a few restrictions, but we went green (in early June), so can’t say it’s changed a ton. We’ve talked to the kids about being careful and things like that and limiting some things, but for the most part the kids have responded fairly well with what’s happened. We’ve have been as bad as some counties, we’ve been fortunate in that way I guess.”

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2020 schedule


Aug. 14 — at Millard, 7 p.m.

Aug. 21 — at North Sanpete, 7 p.m.

Aug. 28 — AMERICAN LEADERSHIP, 7 p.m.

Sept. 4 — UNION, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11 — at Juab, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18 — GRAND, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25 — at Carbon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2 — SOUTH SEVIER, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9 — at Richfield, 7 p.m.

Oct. 16 — SAN JUAN, 7 p.m.

Emery offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Chris Justice

2019 offense: 9.9 ppg (17th in 3A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • Eight returning starters
  • Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Braden Howard (C)
  • Stockton Jensen (OG)
  • Kove Johansen (OT)
  • Aidan Mortensen (OT)
  • Jace Curtis (RB)
  • Jax Madsen (WR)
  • Jeremy Brannon (WR)
  • Ryker Jensen (QB)
  • Ty Jensen (QB)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Quintin Sorensen (WR)
  • Jace Mangum (WR)
Faimalo’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“The biggest thing is we just can’t turn over the ball. We put ourselves in obvious pass situations and put our kids in situations that were tough, and in turn we turned the ball over a ton. We threw a lot of interceptions. With our depth on the line, and putting ourselves in situations to get obvious first downs and keeping the chains moving for us is going to be the biggest key for us. We can’t put the ball on the ground and turn it over, cause we lost a lot of games last year cause that’s what we did.”


Emery defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Jon Faimalo

2019 defense: 33.1 ppg (15th in 3A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • Seven returning starters
  • 4-3 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Braden Howard (DL)
  • Stockton Jensen (DL)
  • Aidan Mortensen (DL)
  • Jace Curtis (CB)
  • Jax Madsen (CB)
  • Hayes Dalton (LB)
  • Tristen LeRoy (LB)
  • Quintin Sorensen (S)
Faimalo’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“Our biggest key is the maturity and the physicality of our kids with one more year I think is going to help us out a ton. There were a lot of times that we were outmatched last year. I feel this year we don’t have too many excuses about not being physical enough. Injuries get everybody but we have a little bit of depth which helps us. I have another kid that can step up and fill a spot if we have to. That makes me feel a lot better this year.”

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Coaches preseason Region 12 straw poll
  1. Richfield
  2. San Juan
  3. Grand
  4. South Sevier
  5. Emery
  6. Carbon

Deseret News outlook for 2020

With three straight 1-9 seasons, on the surface even a couple wins would be an improvement. Emery isn’t interested in just modest improvements. With the depth and experience on the roster, a .500 record is certainly a possibility this year.


Felt’s Facts for Emery

  • All-time record: 249-324-4 (58 years)

  • Region championships: 8 (1967 co, 1987, 1988 co, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1999)

  • Playoff appearances: 39

  • All-time playoff record: 19-38

  • State championships: 1 (1987)

  • State championship record: 1-1

  • Most played rivalry: 47 meetings with North Sanpete dating back to 1962. Emery leads 25-22.

Last five seasons

  • 2019 — 1-9 (1-4 in Region 12 — 3A first round)
  • 2018 — 1-9 (1-4 in 3A North — 3A first round)
  • 2017 — 1-9 (1-4 in 3A North — 3A first round)
  • 2016 — 4-6 (2-3 in 3A North — 3A quarterfinals)
  • 2015 — 4-6 (2-3 in 3A North — 3A first round)

Emery coaching history


  • 2016-current — Jon Faimalo (7-33)
  • 2006-2015 — Jim Jones (second stint, 48-59)

  • 2003-2005 — Kevin Reynolds (5-26)

  • 1987-2002 — Jim Jones (106-63) *one state title
  • 1985-1986 — Greg Cook (10-10)

  • 1983-1984 — Dean Nelson (3-15)

  • 1978-1982 — Layne Moody (13-34)

  • 1976-1977 — Unknown (4-16)

  • 1974-1975 — Paul Clark (6-12)

  • 1972-1973 — Bob Steele (1-16)

  • 1971 — Unknown (6-3)

  • 1970 — Stilson (8-3)

  • 1967-1969 — Ed Gickling (15-13)

  • 1965-1966 — Ray Butcher (8-8)

  • 1963-1964 — Douglas Hunt (8-9)


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Deseret News All-State Archives

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Check out our archives of Deseret News all-state teams from 1929 to 2019 at Deseret.com.

Emery All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2016 — Kolton Butler, WR
  • 2015 — Austin Allred, DB
  • 2013 — Zach West, OL

  • 2012 — David Dyer, RB/LB

  • 2011 — Cory Cox, RB/LB