Corner Canyon football still team to beatAug 25, 2021 11:35AM ● By Catherine Garrett
Corner Canyon’s Jett Meine reaches for the goal line on one of his three scores in a 72-21 win over Farmington Aug. 13 (Photo courtesy AStrong Photography)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Corner Canyon has been the standard for 6A football since joining the ranks two years ago and they have three straight titles—one in the 5A classification—keeping themselves with a target on their back.
“It’s something that we definitely embrace,” said head coach Eric Kjar, who has a 51-1 record in his fifth year at CCHS. “It’s good pressure to have and it’s something that we have earned because of the previous years. So the mindset needs to be that it’s something that we have to embrace and be ready to perform.”
The Chargers have won 40 consecutive games and are aiming to continue the legacy that they’ve been building the past few years. The state record of 48 straight wins could be in jeopardy this season while Corner Canyon could also join the ranks of seven other teams who have won four state titles in a row. But, Corner Canyon will still be tested even within its own region as Region 4 boasts the top four teams in the state which also includes Lone Peak, Skyridge and American Fork.
Kjar said the team has been putting in the work since January with early morning workouts. “We’ve had a very similar focus to what we have done in the past,” he said. “The players have worked very hard in the offseason and have prepared the right way with good focus and lots of effort.”
Senior defensive lineman James Lebaron said it has been a “grind” of lifting and running to get ready for the season. “Our team is full of hard workers and dedicated athletes who have been working super hard getting our bodies ready to compete at our best,” he said.
“We’ve worked our tails off this whole off-season and have really upped the level of intensity and physicality in practice,” said First Team All-State outside linebacker Harrison Taggart.
The offense returns First Team All-State senior wide receiver Cody Hagen along with seniors Jett Meine (wide receiver), Dylan Carlsen (running back) and Brody Cutrer and Dawson Jacobsen (offensive linemen). Defensively, Lebaron and Taggart lead a group of nine starters coming back which also includes Second Team All-State linebacker and cornerback Taylor Harris along with free safety Charlie Eberling, strong safety Zach Hale, defensive back Jared Malula, defensive end Tank Mitchell and defensive lineman Hreinsen Vanover.
Kjar also noted senior offensive linemen Cody Christensen and Hugo Ortega-Sanchez, senior wide receivers Blaze DeGracie and Jon King and senior linebackers Owen Berg and Tate Staley as players to watch along with senior quarterback Devin Brown, a USC-commit who moved to Draper from Arizona.
If the season opener is any indication, that offseason work has again shown up on the field and opponents still have some work to do to minimize the gap. Corner Canyon defeated Farmington 72-21 Aug. 13 with the game decided in the first half as Brown threw eight touchdowns in two quarters of play. The defense also put some points on the board, forcing a safety while Hale returned an interception for a score just before the half.
With the Chargers up 65-14, sophomore quarterback Isaac Wilson came in and threw a 55-yard TD pass to Hagen to round out the scoring. Brown passed for 451 yards with Meine recording 178 of those which resulted in three TDs and Hagen hauling in four scores and 167 yards. DeGracie also had a 100-yard night and scored a TD. Nick White’s six tackles and two sacks along with Taggart’s six tackles and one interception led defensively while Berg also recorded six tackles.
“It was a fun game where everything was clicking pretty good offensively,” Hagen said. “Obviously, we have some things to clean up, but we felt good overall.”
“It was awesome to get back out there on the field with the guys and getting to do what we do best,” Meine said.
Also on the CCHS squad this season are seniors Luke Benton, Mason Burden, Cristian Castro, Brad Crtichfield, Josiah Franco and Jack VanWoerkom; juniors Jarin Allen, Jackson Ames, Cooper Barkey, Dave Brinton, Sam Broman, Athan Coberly, Bridger Davies, Champion Edwards, Quinn Hale, Hayden Hall, Luke Henstrom, Korbyn Jackson, Ashton Johnson, Isaiah Juarez, Cooper Kingdon, Spencer Kirkham, Jordan Larson, Eli Maires, Aiden McDonald, Sam Molen, Jackson Naegle, Makana Naleieha, Trevor Ogden, Riley Parker, Drew Patterson, Boston Ross, Karson Salazar, Cole Sexton, Gavin Styer, Matrix Vaituu and Bracken Warburton; sophomores Jackson Beuhler, Dane Bindrup, Sam Chandler, Cole Cottle, Andre Didier, Maximus Edwards, Nick Erasmus, Brayden Eyre, Ryder Florence, Ashton Free, Will Frogley, Moke Gabrielsen, Henry Holliday, Noah Kim, Tate Kjar, Keegan Lester, Tyler McDonald, Luke Petty, Rylan Quintana, Preston Rasmussen, Joseph Ravella, Kash Richards, Tommy Strong, Teag Taylor, Porter Vaituu, Collin Webb, Cole Wignall, Isaac Wilson and Contreras Yitzhak.
Corner Canyon is also scheduled to play East Aug. 21, Bingham Aug. 27, Jordan Sept. 3, Lehi Sept. 10, American Fork Sept. 17, Skyridge Sept. 24, Westlake Oct. 1, Lone Peak Oct. 7 and Pleasant Grove Oct. 13.
“Our coaches have gotten us to where we need to be,” said wide receiver Jett Meine. “Now, it’s our turn to show it.”
Kjar said, “Our players as a whole have worked very hard and we have so much great support from our parents that continues to help build our program.”