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High school football: Lehi Pioneers 2020 preview

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

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Note: Lehi finished with a 10-4 overall record in 2019 and was tied for third in Region 7 with a 3-2 record. It was RPI seed No. 11 in the 5A playoffs, and was eliminated by Timpview 35-7 in semifinals.


LEHI — Lehi perhaps exceeded most expectations a season ago in advancing clear to the semifinal round round of the playoffs and hopes to do much of the same in 2020, although doing as much won’t be easy.

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Head coach: Ed Larson

Has 15 years of head coaching experience in Utah, including the past seven at Lehi where his teams tallied a 38-33 record including a state title in 2017. His overall head coaching record is 70-82 with stops at Provo (1993-1994), Ogden (2004-2005) and Timpanogos (2010-2013). He’s graduate of Piedmont Hills High School in California and the University of New Mexico.

Only seven starters return for the Pioneers, although Lehi coach Ed Larson feels his new starters are ready and willing.

“I like how guys have worked and developed in the offseason under unusual circumstances,” Larson said. “I feel we’ve been able to develop good continuity in the program so that when you lose all the guys we did after last year, that you’re not left with a whole lot.”

Lehi will certainly need to get up to speed quickly, taking on a brutal front-loaded schedule that includes taking on top 6A teams such as Pleasant Grove and American Fork before turning to Region 7 play. As for that Region 7 play, it won’t prove much easier than the preseason play, if easier at all.

“You look at our region and we had three of the four final teams last year in ourselves, Timpview and Orem, and I know we have a chance to be good again and the other two — they’re loaded,” Larson said. “So it’s going to be difficult, but I like the system we’ve built and I like how the kids have worked.”


Lehi Pioneers at a glance

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

“We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve basically been able to do everything we’ve needed to since late May. I felt like it took 2-3 weeks for most kids to really get going again, and we had some ups and downs during padded camp, but overall, it hasn’t felt that different, but we’ve been fortunate, perhaps compared with other programs.

“That said, we’ve been very careful to follow all the guidelines and all that. I think where it really affected our kids most was the spring, and then not having the recruiting attention and contact that way because of the restrictions. But as for preparing for the season, I feel we’re pretty much up to speed as we normally would be.”

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2020 Schedule


Aug. 14 — at American Fork, 7 p.m.

Aug. 21 — at Crimson Cliffs, 7 p.m.

Aug. 28 — RIVERTON, 7 p.m.

Sept. 4 — at Mountain Ridge, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11 — PLEASANT GROVE, 7 p.m.

Sept. 18 — at Provo, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25 — TIMPVIEW, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2 — ALTA, 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 — at Orem, 7 p.m.

Lehi Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Ed Larson

2019 offense: 34.1 ppg (3rd in 5A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 4 returning starters
  • pro-style/multiple offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Creyton Cooper (QB)
  • Isaiah Tauai (TE)
  • Josiah Westover (TE)
  • Ethan Somerville (OL)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Grady Gonzalez (WR)
  • Payton Faris (WR)
  • Jaxon Christensen (WR)
  • Takeshi Faupula (RB)
  • Peyton Dieters (RB)
  • Chandler Jenkins (RB)
Coach Larson’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“Creyton Copper coming back for his senior year is big. He played coming off of a significant injury last year, and I think that affected his confidence. Now I feel he’s back fully and is throwing it really well for us. The key for us is finding a good running back and for our offensive line to develop like I think it can. I honestly believe we have a chance to be better on the offensive line than last year even though we lost most of our starters.”


Lehi Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Jared Harward

2019 defense: 16.0 ppg (4th in 5A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 3 returning starters
  • 4-3 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Izak Harward (DB)
  • Christian Wren (LB/DE)
  • Kadiyon Sweat (DB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Holden Hughes (DB)
  • Bode Hinckley (DB)
Coach Larson’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“We need to find good depth at the defensive front and these new guys just need to learn and adjust to playing varsity football effectively. We have a few top guys returning for us, like Christian Wren, butt these guys are going to have to learn fast against the tough teams we’re scheduling early before getting to region play.”

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Coaches preseason Region 7 straw poll
  1. Orem
  2. Timpview
  3. Lehi
  4. Alta
  5. Mountain Ridge

Deseret News outlook for 2020

Lehi should prove a solid team, although predicting it to legitimately contend with both Orem and Timpview would be a stretch. The Pioneers lost a lot of key parts off of last year’s semifinal squad, making the prospect of repeating the semifinal feat dicey. Still, Larson has a proven track record, and with enough talent in house, the Pioneers could surprise yet again.


Felt’s Facts for Lehi

  • All-time record: 383-454-22 (98 years)
  • Region championships: 13 (1940, 1944, 1950, 1963, 1990, 1992, 1996 co, 1997, 1999 co, 2000 co, 2003 co, 2004 co, 2017)
  • Playoff appearances: 35
  • All-time playoff record: 27-32

  • State championships: 3 (1980, 2000, 2017)

  • State championship record: 3-2

  • Most played rivalry: 74 meetings with American Fork dating back to 1927. American Fork leads series 51-19-4.


Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 —10-4 (3-2 in Region 7 – 5A Semifinals)
  • 2018 — 5-6 (3-2 in Region 6 – 5A First round)
  • 2017 — 12-2 (5-0 in Region 6 – 5A Champions)
  • 2016 — 8-4 (4-2 in Region 4 – 5A Quarterfinals)
  • 2015 — 3-7 (1-5 in Region 4 – Missed playoffs)

Lehi coaching history


  • 2014-current — Ed Larson (38-33) *1 State Title
  • 2011-2013 — David Hastings (7-13)

  • 2007-2010 — Derrick Peyton (3-36)

  • 2002-2006 — Joe Hays (22-30)

  • 1998-2001 — Steve Clements (33-13) *1 State Title
  • 1995-1997 — Chad Wilson (23-9)

  • 1989-1994 — Jeff Kilts (27-30)

  • 1975-1988 — Lou Andrus (57-78) *1 State Title
  • 1971-1974 — Lloyd Jacobsen (12-24)

  • 1967-1970 — unknown (18-19)

  • 1960-1966 — Jim Crittenden (42-21-1)

  • 1956-1959 — unknown (14-15-3)

  • 1955 — Joe Crammer (2-5-1)

  • 1951-1954 — unknown (14-15-3)

  • 1944-1950 — Dean Prior (25-26)

  • 1929-1943 — unknown (36-54-9)

  • 1928 — Ross Nielson (2-4)

  • 1925-1927 — unknown (3-11)

  • 1921 — Wallace West (0-2)

  • 1919 — unknown (1-4)


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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.

Lehi All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News Mr. Football recipients
  • 2017 — Cammon Cooper, QB
Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
  • 2017 — Dallin Holker, TE
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2019 — Jacob Vasquez, OLB
  • 2019 — Carsen Manookin, ATH
  • 2017 — Will Overstreet, S
  • 2017 — Jeremy Hansmann, MLB
  • 2017 — Drake Knowles, DT
  • 2017 — Kade Moore, WR
  • 2016 — Carson Terrell, TE
  • 2016 — Will Overstreet, CB