Region 1 was close last season. Northridge, Fremont and Syracuse both went 4-2 and tied for second behind 6-0 Weber.
Here’s a quick look at Region 1 and how it could shape up this year:
Weber, Fremont and Syracuse are the three most likely teams to take home the region title. The Warriors won it last year, have a good coaching staff, more interest in the program and plenty of talent and experience returning, especially receivers Hudson Schenck and Sione Moa, the latter of whom has an offer from Idaho State.
Can they keep their eyes on the prize and not get caught up in the fact that everyone is going to give Weber its best shot this year?
Fremont has a bruising running back, Jay Scott, returning along with most of its defense. Can the Silver Wolves mold enough around Scott on offense to score some points and make it easier on their experienced defense?
Syracuse is deep, talented and pretty big. The question facing the Titans is: how will new quarterback Bridger Hamblin play with an offensive line that has new faces and a backfield that hasn’t been settled yet?
Layton was young last year but has some talent and a new head coach, Tyler Gladwell, who was very successful in four years at Davis.
The Lancers will improve from a winless year, there’s no doubt about that. It hinges on how well the offense comes together, and there’s been a three-person quarterback competition throughout the summer and early practices.
Davis has a bit of continuity this year now that the coaching staff has had a full offseason to prepare for the upcoming schedule. Davis was also pretty young last year and returns some key players. Plus, it’s Davis. The Darts aren’t going to go 1-8 again.
Northridge is extremely young this year and has just two returning starters. Everywhere else it’s new faces — kind of the same boat Layton was in last year. Defenders Carson Stokes and Jacob Rhoades will be the names to watch until some more underclassmen emerge.
Clearfield graduated a lot of talented players from a team that missed the playoffs by two games last year. The Falcons are going to be young this year, head coach Andre Dyson said, but they have solid running back/safety Ethan Jones.
Below are some key games to watch for each week:
Roy at Syracuse: Two region title contenders going at it in the first game of the year. This should be a fun one.
Bountiful at Davis: An unknown in Bountiful facing what’s likely to be a much-improved Davis team graces the schedule.
Roy at Weber: An old rivalry with a bit more intrigue this year as both teams enter with legitimate region title hopes.
Northridge at Farmington: A young Northridge team gets the honor of being Farmington’s first ever home opponent. Couple that with the fact that FHS coach Daniel Coats played and coached at Northridge and you have a game with storylines spilling out of the carton.
Layton at Davis: The winner gets a likely leg up on the playoff race, which could very well end up including both these schools. And it’s a rivalry game Davis won 41-0 last year. One has to think that won’t happen again.
Fremont at Davis: Fremont’s region title hopes get a test against a Davis team that’s going to be better than last year. If the Darts are coming off a win against Layton, then this will have all sorts of intrigue.
Weber at Syracuse: Two of the three preseason region title hopefuls collide on a Thursday. Not only should this be a good game, but there’s going to be plenty at stake.
Syracuse at Fremont: Then Syracuse has to play Fremont a week after it plays Weber in an equally massive game.
Northridge at Layton: The city rivalry is always a good one.
Fremont at Weber: This game decided the region title last year and could very well have similar implications again.
Fremont at Clearfield: It’ll be Senior Night for the Falcons, who played the Silver Wolves last season with playoff implications on the line.
Bingham and East are once again on a crash course for the championship game. That makes a crowded field for the other two semifinal spots. Some of the main contenders are Lone Peak, Herriman, American Fork, Weber, Syracuse and Fremont, among others.