PLAIN CITY — In 2001, the Fremont Silver Wolves defense allowed 12.3 points per game on the way to the 5A state semifinals.
That 12.3 is the best defensive mark in the football team’s brief history, but this year it appears a good defense could be the theme of the Silver Wolves’ season.
Seven starters return from a defense that held opponents under 20 points six times and only once gave up more than 30.
“And then we have a few guys on defense who weren’t returning starters that’ve gotten some varsity time, so we’re a little more experienced that way,” Ross Arnold said.
It’s easy to think Fremont could be a better defensive team than it was last year. Two outside linebackers — Trevor Hahn and Chaedon Dayton — return, as do linemen Jaxon Whitney, Justin Sagapolu and Jordan McKean.
Arnold has been especially impressed with the team’s offseason commitment in the weight room. Arnold says his team is stronger than it was at this point last year, but another commitment will be key for the Silver Wolves this season, he said.
“Preparation is going to be the key. (If) they buy into their film commitment, their scouting reports and preparation each and every week, I think we’ll have a chance,” Arnold said.
The experienced defense might not be enough for Fremont as it enters 2018 as one of the favorites to win Region 1, along with Weber and Syracuse.
Unless the defense is otherworldly, though, the Silver Wolves will likely need another tenet of success.
“We definitely have to clean up our hustle, keep the tempo up and grind it out. We can’t take any breaks,” senior linebacker Chaedon Dayton said. “If we do that, we’ve got a good shot.”
All the talk about the defense omits one of, if not the best, running back in the area.
Fremont senior Jay Scott led the team with 804 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 5.1 yards per carry last year.
He’s the centerpiece of a pretty new-looking offense that has four new starters on the offensive line, a new quarterback and a couple new receivers.
Scott admires how much work the offensive linemen have done over the offseason to get ready for the new season, so he’s not worried about the offense finding its step.
He says Fremont’s biggest challenge is unity, which is a challenge for any team.
“There’s some kids that might not get along with other kids and that can tear a team apart, but I think right now we look pretty good that way, all the kids are getting along, no one’s butting heads,” Scott said.
The offense will have some new tweaks in it this year as Scott Peery takes over at offensive coordinator after Lance Mimnaugh accepted the athletic director position at Bonneville High.
But when a 5-foot-9, 220-pound senior running back is lined up in the backfield, that really simplifies the thought process.
The offensive coordinator, Scott Peery. He was the receivers coach last year.
Key stretch: The middle of the season presents Fremont with four home games over five weeks, something the Silver Wolves need to take advantage of. It starts in Week 3 against Salem Hills at home, followed by Layton at home, Davis on the road, Northridge at home and Syracuse at home.
Good history: Since 2000, Fremont has a winning record against all of its Region 1 opponents.