Prep football preview: Syracuse Titans
EDITOR’S NOTE » This is one in a series of previews of Utah’s high school football programs. They will run throughout the summer leading up to the 2014 regular season, which begins Aug. 21.
Syracuse, a football team that is usually near the top of the Region 1 standings, might be a bit of a mystery this season.
While the Titans have a good corps of skill players returning, they have little experience on the offensive and defensive lines. That, according to veteran coach Russ Jones, means it might take the team a few games to gel.
"Our kids are progressing well," said Jones, who is preparing his team for its opener against Box Elder. "We’ve got some young kids on our line. We have our most experience in the backfield and wide receivers. Our line is progressing and making strides."
Quarterback Kole Tracy, who was pressed into action as a sophomore in the state Class 5A title game two years ago to replace an injured senior starter, brings needed experience. And returning All-State kicker Romney Harker offers a dependable scoring threat.
Add to that Dante Atkinson and Colten Yardley, who both play wide receiver and cornerback, and Syracuse could be a threat in Region 1.
"Region 1 is going to be a pretty good dogfight," said Jones. "Everyone is fairly equal. There is not a dominant team. That will play out once we start playing. But what we know from camp is that all of us seem to be pretty equal in Region 1."
Last year » 8-2 overall (5-1 in Region 1; lost in first round)
Key returner » All-State kicker Romney Harker provides a dependable scoring threat.
Player to watch » Quarterback Kole Tracy was pressed into action as a sophomore two years ago when Syracuse played for the state title, and provides experience on a team where a lot of younger players are getting their first taste of varsity action.
Biggest hole » The Titans don’t have a lot of returning players, especially on the lines. For them to be successful, younger guys are going to have to come along quickly.
Need to know » Harker has a good leg, having drilled a 47-yard field goal a year ago.