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High school football: Taylorsville Warriors 2020 preview

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

Note: Taylorsville finished with a 2-9 overall record in 2019 and was tied for fourth in Region 2 with a 2-4 record. It was RPI seed No. 24 in the 6A playoffs, and was eliminated by Pleasant Grove 62-6 in first round.


SANDY — Last season, Taylorsville head coach Joe Johnson, a former Utah running back, took over a struggling program that had won just one game the year before.

Building the Warriors program back up will take some time and work, but Johnson has seen results so far, as the team won two games in 2019.

“I think last year was a great learning experience. We definitely made some strides. We were picked by most of the publications not to win a single game. We won two and we should have either won or had a better outcome in two to three others. So the stepping stones are there, we just need to finish more games that way we can have a better seeding,” Johnson said.

This season, Johnson has seen more participation in the program, which will help it overall, and especially with depth. Taylorsville returns starting quarterback Hamani Wolfgramm and starting running back Braxton Bates, who rushed for 715 yards and five touchdowns last season. On the defensive side, the Warriors bring back Bates, who had 66 tackles a season ago to lead the defense.

“Depth will definitely improve this year. Last year, we started off with 22 kids and having a full football program with 22 kids is really, really tough, especially on the starters, but this year we ended up having about 80 or so kids. Increased body count helps not only for the game, but the practice,” Johnson said. “Having that additional depth and having additional kids show up that play other sports will definitely improve our team.”


Taylorsville Warriors at a glance

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

“It’s affected us tremendously. Something that is a day to day concern and it’s very difficult to try to do all the different requirements to try to play the games. Really we shouldn’t be playing and that’s my opinion. We should wait like a lot of the other states are doing to give us more time to get a vaccine and be a little bit safer. They don’t want to do that. So it is what it is. We’re out here, we’re grinding. It’s very difficult, very, very difficult to make sure everything is on point and we play a collision sport. We can’t avoid contact, no way to avoid it. Essentially what we’re saying by playing is that the communities are willing to take a risk, that folks could be sick.

I love the game. I love my kids. I have tremendous seniors, upperclassmen, and I want them to play their season. I do wish that we were to wait, but right now we are doing the best we can to make sure we follow the guidelines. We are very strict at Taylorsville with that. Case in point, I’ve got a couple of folks today, family members, a little sick, and we’ve told those players to stay home. So we follow it to the T especially because we’ve had a few deaths on our staff with family members and two of our former players, some of our better players, one of their parents passed away from it. We take it very seriously and it’s something that every coach and everyone should take seriously.”

Taylorsville Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Christopher Hooper

2019 offense: 11.5 ppg (26th in 6A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 5 returning starters
  • Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Hamani Wolfgramm (QB)
  • Braxton Bates (RB)
  • Dalton Jamison (WR)
  • Jakob Harrison (RB, WR)
  • Tau Ieremia (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Byron Dalton (OL)
  • Andre Tyler (WR)
Coach Johnson’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“The key for us is to focus on our assignment, assignment execution, knowing where we are supposed to go and handling our business when we get there. If we do that, we’ll be successful. If we don’t do that, we’ll lose.”


Taylorsville Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Christopher Rosales

2019 defense: 39.8 ppg (26th in 6A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 6 returning starters
  • Multi-look defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Braxton Bates (LB)
  • Jakob Harrison (CB)
  • Brison Peisley (CB)
  • Will Taukeiaho (DE)
  • Dalton Jamison (WR)
  • Tau Ieremia (DL)
Coach Johnson’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“Execute, hustle, fly around, make plays, and just go out there and execute on what we see on film. It’s a simple game. All you've got to do is execute and you can win the game.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

Coming off of a two-win season last year, Taylorsville should be improved, picked to finish fifth out of seven teams in the coaches preseason Region 2 straw poll. With much more depth this season and returning starters at key skill positions, the Warriors should win a few more games than last year and draw a more favorable playoff seed.


Felt’s Facts for Taylorsville

  • All-time record: 124-260 (39 years)

  • Region championships: 2 (1999 co, 2013 co)

  • Playoff appearances: 15
  • All-time playoff record: 4-14

  • State championships: 0

  • State championship record: 0-1

  • Most played rivalry: 31 meetings with Kearns dating back to 1981. Taylorsville leads 17-14.


Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 — 2-9 (2-4 in Region 2 – 6A First round)
  • 2018 — 1-9 (1-4 in Region 3 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2017 — 4-6 (1-4 in Region 3 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2016 — 5-7 (3-3 in Region 3 – 5A Quarterfinals)
  • 2015 — 3-7 (2-4 in Region 3 – Missed playoffs)

Taylorsville coaching history

  • 2019-current — Joe Johnson (2-9)
  • 2016-2018 — Pala Vaitu’u (10-22)
  • 2012-2016 — Rod Wells (22-31)

  • 2009-2011 — Jonny Matich (2-28)

  • 2004-2008 — Scott Henderson (6-43)

  • 1998-2003 — Brad Molen (32-31)

  • 1996-1997 — Mark Clinton (12-8)

  • 1988-1995 — Randy Tuft (17-55)

  • 1981-1987 — Doug Bills (26-40)


Taylorsville All-state history

Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years
  • 2017 — Dane Leituala, ATH
  • 2013 — Mori Savini, DL