Football teams take the field for the start of the seasonAug 07, 2022 09:02PM ● By Greg James
By Greg James | [email protected]
Football in West Valley is back. Hunter, Granger and Cyprus are ready to make the fall season exciting again.
“I think we are a young and talented team and the success we see this season will be based on the buy-in during the offseason,” new Hunter head coach Harold Moleni said after he was hired. “I think the players have been a little nervous.”
Hunter finished fourth in Region 2 with a 3-7 record, Granger was fifth (2-9) and Cyprus sixth (1-10). In 2022 they all hope to improve.
“This season was a learning curve,” Granger head coach Pala Vaitu’u said at the end of last year. “We are a young team that is learning to compete.”
Cyprus was also a young team that gained experience last year. Junior Skyler Armenta played significant time at quarterback for the Pirates. He completed 50% of his passes for 915 yards and seven touchdowns. He led the team in total yards but is not the only player to watch.
Pirate junior Isiah Garcia has been identified by ESPN as a top 2024 collegiate prospect in the state of Utah. He currently has scholarship offers from nine different schools, including BYU, Utah and Utah State. He plays offensive tackle. ESPN wrote, “He possesses good quickness and has good natural skills.”
Granger split time at quarterback last season between Ricky Mamone and current senior Garret Cousins.
“Yea, both quarterbacks were incredible at leading this team,” Vaitu’u said.
Cousins threw six touchdowns in six games. His experience last season could help the Granger offense improve. They averaged 22 points per game, scoring more than 30 in three of their final five games.
Last year as a freshman Hunter’s Uaki Taukieavea played in four games and threw three touchdowns. Junior Kenyon Paea carried the ball 103 times. Moleni said the type of offense the team runs will depend on how the players react this season.
“We want to bring back the Hunter grit,” Moleni said indicating they could rely heavily on the running game.
Cyprus and Hunter are scheduled to begin their seasons Aug. 12. Cyprus will travel to Tooele and Hunter will play at Westlake. Granger starts its season Aug. 19 by hosting Mountain Ridge.
Some interesting facts about each school:
Cyprus won their first-ever game 32-13 over Park City in 1950, at the close of this season they will have competed in 698 games (269 wins). The Pirates have played Murray the most times (53 with a 19-34 record) and, in 2018, they scored a school record 335 points.
Hunter has played in the state playoffs every year but in the school's first year. In 2003, they went undefeated and won its only state championship. In the playoffs, they have a 24-30 record. Hunter has played Granger 30 times (25-5 record) and 2019 was the last time they advanced past the first round.
The Granger Lancers have played in 51 state playoff games, they have recorded 272 victories, they have played Kearns 52 times, Cyprus 51 and Hunter 30 times and starting in 1976 they made the playoffs 14 out 15 years including 10 straight years.