Note: Syracuse finished with a 9-3 overall record in 2019 and was first in Region 1 with a 6-1 record. It was RPI seed No. 8 in the 6A playoffs, and was eliminated by Corner Canyon 56-0 in quarterfinals.
SYRACUSE — Since its inception in 2007, expectations for the football program at Syracuse High have basically been the same each and every year: Compete for a region championship and make a run in the playoffs.
Head coach: Mike Knight
Entering his fourth season as head coach at Syracuse, posting an 18-14 record the past three years. He’s a graduate of Murray High School and Southern Utah University.
It doesn’t matter the year or who’s suiting up for the Titans, the expectation at Syracuse is to win and win big.
“We’ve always determined that we are going to compete for a region championship and make a run in the playoffs,” Syracuse head coach Mike Knight said. “That is always our goal and that will never change.”
Thus entering the 2020 season, the Titans are focused on winning the Region 1 championship, or in this case repeating a champs, and making a deep playoff run.
After a tumultuous COVID-19-filled offseason, perspective has changed a little, though.
“This has changed my perspective as a head coach,” Knight said. “We are so wrapped up in winning and losing. Don’t get me wrong, I want to win, but considering what the kids have gone through with school, and how we are going to start the season and not knowing how the season is going to go, I’m thinking the focus should be ‘let’s make this a great experience for these kids and have a lot of fun.’
“You have to win and have success for that to happen. We want these seniors to go out on a high note and hopefully they have the opportunity to do it.”
Key to any success for the Titans this season will be the team’s youth, and there is a lot of it.
Per Knight, this year’s team is the youngest he’s ever coached. “We will be young,” he said.
Any success the Titans have will come from said youth taking a leap forward, spurred by the leadership of the team’s veterans.
“We lost quite a few players from last year, we had a good group of kids, a good group of seniors. I need those older guys or returners to really take the lead and have a great season,” Knight said.
Offensively, Syracuse will rely heavily on offensive lineman Eric Wilder, running back Tre’Vaun Peoples and wide receiver Colin Sierra, while defensively, it’ll be up to defensive linemen Blake Hokum and Sam Pula, and linebackers Micaiah Eteuati, Jordan Davies and Caleb Rosander to lead the way.
If all goes well, the Titans may very well find themselves where they always hope to be.
“Our goal will always be the same, to win a region championship and give ourselves a good position in the playoffs,” said Knight. “We have done that numerous times, so I’m hoping that we can do that again this year.”
Syracuse Titans at a glance
Coach Knight’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:
“We had to shut down for a couple of weeks, so I honestly feel like the kids handled it pretty well, considering we missed a camp and missed a week of conditioning. It was something that they handled fairly decently. I wasn’t around them for those two weeks, but leading up to that they were eager to get back, they were excited.
“The way we look at it is we will be fresh. Obviously in this day and age we won’t take our opportunities for granted. I think the kids responded pretty well considering the circumstances. Most of the kids just want to have an opportunity to play and hopefully we can make that happen.”
Aug. 14 — GRANGER, 7 p.m.
Aug. 21 — at Farmington, 7 p.m.
Aug. 28 — at Layton, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4 — WEBER, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11 — ROY, 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 — at Fremont, 7 p.m.
Sept. 25 — DAVIS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 — at Northridge, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 — CLEARFIELD, 7 p.m.
Syracuse Offensive Snapshot
Offensive coordinator: Braden Hamblin
2019 offense: 32.6 ppg (5th in 6A)
- 3 returning starters
- Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
- Eric Wilder (OL)
- Tre’Vaun Peoples (RB)
- Colin Sierra (WR)
Offensive newcomers to watch
- Chandler Christensen (SLOT)
- Alex Marin (WR)
- Bryson Cortez (WR)
Coach Knight’s keys for offensive success in 2020:
“I think the biggest thing is those younger guys. They need to mature in a hurry. We will be young. This will be one of the younger teams we’ve had at Syracuse. We still have some seniors who we will have to ride, like our running back Tre’Vaun Peoples and my left tackle Eric Wilder, who is only a junior. Those old guys need to bring those younger guys along with them.”
Syracuse Defensive Snapshot
Defensive coordinator: Mitch Tulane
2019 defense: 21.8 ppg (12th in 6A)
- 5 returning starters
- 4-2-5 defense
Returning defensive starters
- Blake Hokum (DE)
- Micaiah Eteuati (LB)
- Jordan Davies (LB)
- Caleb Rosander (LB)
- Sam Pula (DT)
Defensive newcomers to watch
- Kyler Kaufusi (DL)
- Bannock Yeates (DE)
- Miles Draper (LB)
- Daxton Faddis (S)
- Wyatt Humphrey (CB)
Coach Knight’s keys for defensive success in 2020:
“We need to rely, like most teams, on our seniors to make play. Young guys make mistakes, that is part of the deal. I need our older guys or returners to really take the lead and have a great season. When they do well, especially those (defensive) front guys, it makes it easier on the back-end guys, especially when we are going to be so young back there.”
Coaches preseason Region 1 straw poll
Deseret News outlook for 2020
Expectations are always high at Syracuse and this year is no different. The Titans will be young and inexperienced, however, maybe even a little too reliant on untested players. While another region title is always a possibility, the Titans look to be more middle-of-the-region caliber in 2020, rather than serious title contenders. You can’t count them out, but this year has the feel of a rebuild, rather than the customary reload.
Felt’s Facts for Syracuse
- All-time record: 89-53 (13 years)
- Region championships: 3 (2012, 2016 co, 2019)
- Playoff appearances: 11
- All-time playoff record: 12-11
- State championships: 0
- State championship record: 0-1
- Most played rivalry: 11 meetings with Fremont dating back to 2007.
Last 5 Seasons
- 2019 — 9-3 (6-1 in Region 1 – 6A Quarterfinals)
- 2018 — 2-7 (2-4 in Region 1 – Missed playoffs)
- 2017 — 7-4 (4-2 in Region 1 - 6A Quarterfinals)
- 2016 — 7-4 (4-2 in Region 2 – 5A Quarterfinals)
- 2015 — 4-6 (3-3 in Region 2 – 5A First round)
Syracuse coaching history
- 2017-current — Mike Knight (17-14)
- 2007-2016 — Russ Jones (71-39)
Deseret News All-State Archives
Check out our archives of Deseret News all-state teams from 1929 to 2019 at Deseret.com.
Syracuse All-State at-a-glance
Deseret News First Team All-Staters the past 10 years
- 2016 — Brennon Jones, CB
- 2013 — Romney Harker, K
- 2013 — Kavika Fonua, Spec.
- 2012 — Brock Anderson, QB
- 2012 — Cardon Malan, DL
- 2012 — Kavika Fonua, DB
- 2012 — Diante Mitchell, DB
- 2011 — Corey Cook, OL,
- 2011 — Hunter Dimick, DL
- 2011 — Brock Anderson, K
- 2010 — Hunter Dimick, DL