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High school football: Ogden Tigers 2020 preview

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

Note: Ogden finished with a 3-8 overall record in 2019 and was sixth in Region 10 with a 2-5 record. It was RPI seed No. 17 in the 4A playoffs, and was eliminated by Logan 62-27 in first round.

OGDEN — There is some real excitement surrounding the Ogden High football program heading into the 2020 season.

It has been a long time since that could be said about the Tigers, but entering their fourth year under head coach Erik Thompson, Ogden has genuine hopes and expectations.

“It is a weird time, because there is so much uncertainty, but we are super optimistic,” Thompson said. “We have more kids and more talent than we have had in the previous three years. More kids have shown up, are working hard and have bought in.

“We had a lot of players who started as sophomores and now they are seniors. We lost 19 kids to injury last year and that forced a lot of sophomores and juniors to play early. Even though it was rough to go through that last year, that is an advantage for them now they have confidence and experience. The enthusiasm is high. We expect to be in every game we play and that is what we want.”

The Tigers newfound expectations are founded in reality, not just hopes and dreams. The team brings back important contributors on both sides of the ball, all of whom are chomping at the bit to compete.

None more so than quarterback Jaice Holt. Injured for much of the 2019 season, Holt is finally healthy and primed for a breakout year.

“He looks phenomenal,” said Thompson. “He is throwing great, is faster and stronger and seems on a mission.”

He isn’t alone on offense, as the team boasts arguably its best offensive line under Thompson, one of the most versatile running backs in the state in Logan Shobe, a player Thompson believes has a future at the DI level, to say nothing of other skill position players.

“I feel really good about my receivers,” Thompson said. “Five guys have done well and two or three have shown some special skills to make guys miss.”

Defensively, Ogden returns eight starters, including every defensive linemen. All that returning experience, especially in the trenches, portends some significant improvement.

“Our weakness the last couple of years has been stopping the run and it starts with the amount of talent, size and depth you have in the trenches,” Thompson said. “We are usually way smaller than most teams, but this year we feel we will be a lot better. I feel like we will have the best defense we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

After struggling for years and even with dealing with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ogden football is now trending up.

“We are really optimistic about it,” Thompson said, “but until we get to playing real football you never know. These guys have had a commitment to the weight room and that has been great. With the experience they have, and they are all talented kids who had to play early, we are excited.”

Ogden Tigers at a glance

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

“We handled it the best we could. In high school, football is a really important part of the education of these kids. The coaches are their father figures and where they get meals. Their connection to the team is much more than just football. Our kids struggled when they didn’t have that structure, didn’t have that as part of their life. We did our best to keep contact with them. We did our best. That helped us, because when we came back to meet for the first time we had way more kids that showed up than we anticipated. We had more kids this year than the last three or four years who wanted to play football.

“I don’t know if their parents were sick of them being at the house, or they realized how important being a part of something is to them, but I feel fortunate we got through it the best way possible, though it was not a positive thing. For many kids, it is not about trying to get a scholarship, they need football to be connected to school so they graduate. It is where they get meals and mentorship, through sports, and I am glad we are moving forward.”

Ogden offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Erik Thompson

2019 offense: 24.2 ppg (13th in 4A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 6 returning starters
  • Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Logan Shobe (RB)
  • Isaac Wilson (FB/WR)
  • Enrique Gomez (WR)
  • Ricardo Altamirano (OL)
  • Jaice Holt (QB)
  • Marco Galvan (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Ammon Bergeson (TE)
  • Ozzy Norton (WR
  • Jaden Gallegos (WR)
Coach Thompson’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“(In 2018), we averaged 30 points per game and I feel like we will be closer to that offense this year. Last year, we were down to our third string QB and we were just running Wildcat, doing the best we could to solve the many issues we had. We had injuries at QB and on the O-line. We were kind of devastated last year. That is where the buck stops in high school football. Those (positions) are the most important things and we had some bad luck last year.

“We have Jaice Holt back and he looks phenomenal. He is throwing great, is faster and stronger and seems on a mission. Having our quarterback back is going to elevate the team. We feel really good about our offensive line too. We only have two returning starters there, but we have a lot of kids who started maybe one of two games because of injury. We have more depth at that position. Usually we only have five guys, but now we have eight or nine who are capable of playing.”

Ogden defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Terry Larsen

2019 defense: 38.2 ppg (20th in 4A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 8 returning starters
  • 3-4/ odd stack defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Jared Blackham (DE)
  • Austin Richards (DE/LB)
  • Ammon Bergeson (LB)
  • Isaac Wilson (S)
  • Logan Shobe (LB/S)
  • Ozzy Norton (CB)
  • Luis Renteria (DT)
  • John Henry Lindquist (FS)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Izzy Caranza (DL)
  • Craig Ware (DL)
  • Braxton Shobe (DL)
Coach Thompson’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“Our weakness the last couple of years has been stopping the run and that starts with the amount of talent, size and depth you have in the trenches. Usually we are way smaller than most teams but this year we feel we will be a lot better. We are excited. We run an odd front, and we feel we are three-deep at all the spots. We scrimmaged against 6A schools like Northridge and Roy and our guys went toe to toe with them and we feel a confidence there, we’ve been through hard times and now it is our time to shine hopefully. We feel like we have a stronger culture than we’ve had before and think we can push forward through the different challenges we’ll meet.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

For years and years and years, Ogden football was more punching bag than anything else. That has slowly begun to change under Thompson, who has won at least three games every season he’s been at the helm of the Tigers’ program. The 2020 season has the potential to be the Tigers’ best season yet under his direction.

They bring back quarterback Jaice Holt, who is at long last healthy and raring to go. The Tigers have depth and experience on both the offensive and defensive fronts, to say nothing many capable skill players, like running back Logan Shobe.

While Ogden likely won’t be competing for the region title this year, they should prove to be a difficult out for almost every Region 10 team and could finish as high as third in the group, though a mid-region finish — fourth, fifth or six — is most likely.

Felt’s Facts for Ogden

  • All-time record: 451-549-35 (120 years)
  • Region championships: 16 (1910, 1916, 1937 co, 1938, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1974 co, 1981)
  • Playoff appearances: 28
  • All-time playoff record: 13-26
  • State championships: 7 (1901, 1906, 1907, 1910, 1916, 1958, 1966) — championships determined by season record vs. other high schools from 1898-1918.
  • State championship record: 2-3
  • Most played rivalry: 71 meetings with Logan dating back to 1920. Logan leads 41-26-4.

Last 5 seasons

  • 2019 — 3-8 (2-5 in Region 10 – 4A First round)
  • 2018 — 6-5 (3-2 in Region 11 – 4A First round)
  • 2017 — 3-7 (2-3 in Region 11 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2016 — 0-10 (Independent schedule)
  • 2015 — 0-10 (Independent schedule)

Ogden coaching history

  • 2017-current — Erik Thompson (12-20)
  • 2013-2016 — Kent Taylor (2-38)
  • 2010-2012 — Troy Kolan (8-23)
  • 2008-2009 — Eric Eyre (11-10)
  • 2006-2007 — Dennis Dalton (3-18)
  • 2004-2005 — Ed Larson (2-17)
  • 1998-2003 — John Filiaga (19-44)
  • 1994-1997 — Steve Coburn (11-29)
  • 1987-1993 — Ralph Parrish (22-44)
  • 1979-1986 — Dave Brown (30-49)
  • 1974-1978 — Eric Maughan (23-26)
  • 1971-1973 — Virgil Savage (6-18-1)
  • 1969-1970 — Ira Winger (5-10-1)
  • 1965-1968 — Wilf Christensen (25-13) *1 state title
  • 1960-1964 — Norris Johansen (34-12-1)
  • 1953-1959 — Chris Apostol (47-24-6) *1 state title
  • 1952 — Mel Wood (5-3-1)
  • 1946-1951 — Cluff Snow (24-22-6)
  • 1945 — Keith Waansgard (3-5-1)
  • 1941-1944 — Unknown (26-13-2)
  • 1938-1940 — Gilbert Moesinger (19-6)
  • 1930-1937 — Ernest Simpkins (35-20-3)
  • 1923-1929 — Unknown (19-22-1
  • 1922 — Dixon Kapple (5-2)
  • 1920-1921 — Carl. W. Peterson (6-9-1)
  • 1915-1919 — Unknown (13-11-4) *1 state title
  • 1913-1914 — Lon Romney (2-10)
  • 1912 — Unknown (2-5)
  • 1910-1911 — Mr. Brown (10-6-1) *1 state title
  • 1903-1909 — Unknown (17-18-5) *2 state titles
  • 1902 — Mr. Thompson (1-5-1)
  • 1898-1901 — Unknown (7-9-1) *1 state title

Ogden All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
  • 2018 — Rhyle Hanson, RB