High school football: Fremont Silver Wolves 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the Fremont Silver Wolves football team heading into the 2020 season.

Note: Fremont finished with a 6-5 overall record in 2019 and was tied for second in Region 1 with a 5-2 record. It was RPI seed No. 14 in the 6A playoffs, and was eliminated by Bingham 36-14 in second round

PLAIN CITY, Weber County — Region championship or bust. That is the simple truth of it all for the Fremont Silverwolves heading into the 2020 season.

A program replete with a winning tradition — the Silverwolves are 180-114 all-time — Fremont has high expectations every year and those expectations are here to stay.

“We are always expected to compete for that region title,” head coach Ross Arnold said. “The community expects that, other coaches expect that, just from the tradition that we have. We expect that out of our kids.”

The last couple of years, Fremont has fallen short of that expectation, agonizingly so.

“We have been really close the last couple of years,” said Arnold. “A game away each of the last three years. That is our biggest goal (this season). We have to win one more game in region play. Really, anything less than a region title is unacceptable.”

That belief will be put to the test this year. The Silverwolves enter the 2020 campaign rife with inexperience.

On offense, quarterback Mitch Stratford is gone, along with most of the team’s playmakers, save for running back Jayce Storey and wide receiver Jaxon McFarland. On defense, the program is even less well off, having lost its entire starting defensive line, starting safeties and most of its linebacker corps.

Throw in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Silverwolves are not nearly as prepared for the season as usual, with a quarterback competition ongoing and the depth chart in need of finalizing.

“We are behind on just reps,” explained Arnold. “We’ve got kids that need reps. They are young and their timing is just way off right now. We have a lot to do, a lot to work on to get ready for Brighton. We have great numbers across our whole program, just a lot of them haven’t played varsity on Friday nights.”

None of that is any excuse, however. Not for Fremont football.

“Really anything less than a region title is unacceptable,” said Arnold. “No matter what the experience is.”

Fremont Silverwolves at a glance

Coach Arnold’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“We’ve dealt with it with a lot of patience, a lot of flexibility and hopefully a lot of hunger, being ready to go and actually do stuff. It has been crazy. The hardest part is plans change daily. That has been a pain. The other part that has been hard is typically by now we’ve had 7-on-7 competitions, spring ball — things like that — where you install schemes and find out who is going to play where and get your depth chart set and get your reps.

“We are behind on just reps. We’ve got kids that need reps. They are young and their timing is just way off right now. They are excited and hungry, though. They had done quite a bit of work on their own while we were off. A bunch of guys came back and had found creative ways to lift and stay in shape. They showed their commitment level was high coming back on June 1 the way they did.”

Fremont offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Scott Peery

2019 offense: 26.0 (13th in 6A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 5 returning starters
  • Multiple (shotgun/spread) offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Kord Boyle (OT)
  • Davis Stewart (C)
  • Diego Juarez (OT)
  • Jaxson McFarland (WR)
  • Jayce Storey (RB)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Tage Bingham (WR)
  • Kyler Kotter (WR)
Coach Arnold’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“First, we have to figure out who our quarterback is. We have three guys who are fighting for that spot and without 7-on-7 competitions and a ton of scrimmages during camp we are not sure who that is right now. Fall camp is going to be finding that guy. Somebody needs to separate themselves.

“No. 2 is just going to be about the buy-in to unselfish play. We’ve got skill guys, I really like our skill guys and we have a lot of them. Not caring who gets the credit, being a good team player, that is going to be a big part because we have a lot of guys who will rotate in at the skill positions.”

Fremont defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Ross Arnold

2019 defense: 23.2 ppg (14th in 6A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 4 returning starters
  • 4-3 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Jayce Storey (OLB)
  • Bridger Holmes (DT)
  • Kyle Kotter (DB)
  • Levi Thompson (DB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Dakota Argyle (LB)
  • Tage Bingham (S)
Coach Arnold’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“We are going to have to get reps pretty quick. Of the guys who are returning on that side of the ball are my one linebacker, only Jayce Story is coming back with a decent amount of experience. Dakota Argyle was a sophomore last year and played well, but was hurt half the year. One of my corners, really my best corner, Levi Thompson, was hurt half the year.

“The guys who are coming back really have limited experience. We are really new on defense, so we are going to have a lot to do. We have an entirely new D-line, we lost all of them, and we’ll have two new safeties and two new linebackers. We have a lot to do, a lot to work on to get ready for Brighton. We have great numbers across our whole program, just a lot of them haven’t played varsity on Friday nights.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

The Silverwolves seem to always have high expectations and that will again be the case in 2020. Whether Fremont can meet those expectations, namely win the Region 1 title, will come down to a lot of newcomers. The Silverwolves have one of, if not the deepest programs in Region 1, but the roster is littered with inexperience. Past performance suggests Fremont will once again be involved in the battle for the region title, but if the Silverolves are to come away with it they’ll need unknown contributors to pop up at almost every position. A mid-region finish seems the most likely outcome, but you can’t ever count out the Silverwolves.

  • Felt’s Facts for Fremont
  • All-time record: 173-110 (26 years)
  • Region championships: 7 (2002 co, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016 co)
  • Playoff appearances: 21
  • All-time playoff record: 27-21
  • State championships: 0
  • State championship record: 0-3
  • Most played rivalry: 26 meetings with two schools, Northridge and Weber, both dating back to 1994. Fremont leads Northridge 16-10 and Weber 18-8.

Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 — 6-5 (5-2 in Region 1 – 6A Second round)
  • 2018 — 8-3 (5-1 in Region 1 – 6A Quarterfinals)
  • 2017 — 6-4 (4-2 in Region 1 - 6A First round)
  • 2016 — 10-2 (5-1 in Region 1 – 5A Semifinals)
  • 2015 — 6-5 (3-3 in Region 1 – 5A Quarterfinals)

Fremont coaching history

  • 2017-current — Ross Arnold (20-12)
  • 2008-2016 — Kory Bosgieter (56-43)
  • 1994-2007 — Blaine Monkres (101-59)

Fremont All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
  • 2011 — Nick Vigil, RB
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
  • 2018 — Calvin Peterson, WR
  • 2016 — Haze Hadley, WR
  • 2016 — Saxton Morby, ATH
  • 2016 — Bryson Olsen, OG
  • 2014 — Paxton Merrill, TE
  • 2014 — Nate Wadsworth, OL
  • 2012 — Tucker Zanone, OL
  • 2011 — Luke Hollingsworth, DL
  • 2011 — Jordan Preator, DB
  • 2011 — Rowdy Stucki, DB
  • 2010 — Nick Vigil, RB
  • 2010 — Jake Gallegos, DL