Note: Olympus finished with a 10-2 overall record in 2019 and was first in Region 6 with a 6-0 record. It was RPI seed No. 4 in the 5A playoffs, and was eliminated by Orem 31-28 in quarterfinals.
SANDY — In each of the past two seasons, the Olympus Titans have proven that they’re a program that can reload rather than have to undergo a typical rebuild.
Head coach: Aaron Whitehead
Now entering his 10th season as head coach at Olympus, posting a 70-31 record the past nine years. His previous stint as a head coach was at East from 2003 to 2007 where his teams went 39-21. He’s a graduate of Skyline High School and the University of Utah.
After a 2017 campaign in which the Titans went just 4-6, a bunch of new faces saw the field in 2018 and Olympus went undefeated before getting tripped up in the final minutes of the 5A semifinals and losing to eventual champion Corner Canyon.
That group was very senior-driven, however, meaning the Titans had to replace a bunch of production in 2019. They answered the bell, though, and had just one loss before getting matched up against the juggernaut Orem Tigers in the state quarterfinals and falling 31-28.
The 2019 group was also very senior-heavy. Scotty Edwards is now off to Stanford, and All-State players Emerson Conlon, Chase Hopkins, Lucas Spillett and James Sheets are also gone, among others.
In other words, 2020 will be yet another year in which Olympus will have the chance to prove it can keep on humming even as a lot of new players get the spotlight. The consensus is that the Titans can, as they were picked by coaches to win Region 6.
“We’ve lost some really good players from last season,” head coach Aaron Whitehead said, adding that he has some concern about the trenches this fall. In the same breath, though, he said, “I think everywhere else, it’s just kind of been the tradition in skill positions at Olympus that we generally have pretty good kids step up. I’m excited.”
That said, Whitehead hoped to deflect the idea that his squad should be in the driver’s seat for the region title, suggesting instead that Brighton is the team to beat.
Still, he put the fall in perspective by saying, “The big thing is we’re having a football season.”
Olympus Titans at a glance
Coach Whitehead’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:
“The challenge for us is there is that brotherhood, there is that camaraderie, but it’s that social distancing that it’s like two opposite ends of a magnet keeping the kids apart right now and you don’t want that, but you have to abide by these new social norms and these new policies to make sure that we’re doing our part.”
Aug. 14 — MOUNTAIN RIDGE, 7 p.m.
Aug. 21 — at Hunter, 7 p.m.
Aug. 28 — at Kearns, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4 — at Murray, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11 — BRIGHTON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 — at Highland, 7 p.m.
Sept. 25 — WEST JORDAN, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 — at Hillcrest, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 — SKYLINE, 7 p.m.
Olympus offensive snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Aaron Whitehead
2019 offense: 40.1 ppg (1st in 5A)
2019 offensive statistics
- Four returning starters
- Wing T, Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
- Jaxson Fullmer (OL)
- Johnny Frank (FB, was TE)
- Luke Marshall (OL)
- Peyton Rice (HB)
Offensive newcomers to watch
- Tommy Hoggan (QB)
- Erik Pederson (WR)
- Alex Johnson (WR)
- Spencer Tagge (WR)
- Josh Anderson (OL)
- Matt Herron (OL)
- Tommy Barrus (OL)
Coach Whitehead’s keys for offensive success in 2020:
Offensive line play is generally the answer here, but that’s especially the case for an Olympus team this year that will need to replace some key parts within the group. Secondarily, while Whitehead is optimistic about his skill position players, the fact is that there will be quite a few players stepping into new roles. Can the group come together quickly?
Olympus defensive snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Brandon Burt
2019 defense: 10.9 ppg (1st in 5A)
2019 defensive statistics
- Two returning starters
- 4-3 defense
Returning defensive starters
- Jaxson Fullmer (DL)
- Nate Condon (DB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
- Erik Pederson (DB)
- Alex Johnson (DB)
- Peyton Rice (DB)
- Johnny Frank (LB)
- Carson Bennion (LB)
- Jayce English (LB)
- Zane MacFarland (LB)
Coach Whitehead’s keys for defensive success in 2020:
With even more new starters on defense than offense, Whitehead is focusing on players getting their feet wet during the early part of the season with the idea in mind that they’ll be strong by the time region play begins.
Coaches preseason Region 6 straw poll
Deseret News outlook for 2020
Will overall talent make up for a lack of experience? That will be the question Olympus will have to answer once again this season. Having so many new faces might indicate the chance of growing pains, especially early, but do the Titans just have enough good players in the program that the growth period will be short?
Felt’s Facts for Olympus
- All-time record: 394-274-9 (67 years)
- Region championships: 15 (1964, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1998, 2001 co, 2003-co, 2011, 2012-co, 2013-co, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019)
- Playoff appearances: 37
- All-time playoff record: 32-35
- 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.
Last 5 seasons
- 2019 — 10-2 (6-0 in Region 6 – 5A Quarterfinals)
- 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)
Olympus coaching history
- 2011-current — Aaron Whitehead (70-31)
- 2009-2010 — Mike Smith (14-7)
- 2004-2008 — Mark Smith (17-34)
- 1998-2003 — Mike Miller (48-20) *1 state title
- 1991-1997 — Tom Larson (42-20)
- 1985-1990 — Marc Lyons (33-29)
- 1974-1984 — Louie Long (76-37) *1 state title
- 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 All-State Archives
Check out our archives of Deseret News all-state teams from 1929 to 2019 at Deseret.com.
Olympus All-State at-a-glance
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
- 2019 — Chase Hopkins, FB
- 2019 — Emerson Conlon, OG
- 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