Prep football: Stratton, Salvador shine in Taylorsville's tough season

Prep football • Three 99-yard kickoff returns broke the state record.
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It wasn't realistic to think that Taylorsville would be a top-tier football team right away when coach Rod Wells was hired after last season. The Warriors aren't in contention for a region title and they will not be going to the playoffs this season.

With that said, the season hasn't been a total loss. Taylorsville has had a few bright spots that give hope to the future of the program.

One player who has thrived under the new coaching staff is linebacker Jacey Stratton. In past years, Stratton felt that he had the talent to make a difference, but it wasn't until this season that he got his chance to prove it.

"Last year I wasn't really given a shot because the coaches played favorites, so this year was my time to shine," he said.

Stratton made the most of his opportunities, and he was a player opposing teams always had to be aware of. He led the team in tackles and was tied for the team lead in interceptions with three entering the final game of the season.

"He's not the biggest guy, he's not the fastest guy, but he has a great work ethic and he knows what he's supposed to be doing," Wells said. "Fortunately for [the team], I knew nothing about them. The guys that worked the hardest and proved that they wanted to be out there were the guys who were out there."

Kick returner Emilio Salvador fits into that same classification. He combined his natural talent with extra effort to produce incredible results. Salvador earned the designation of being one of the most dangerous returners in the state. He had three 99-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns, which set a state record.

"He's so quick, he's like a greased pig," Wells said. "He isn't very tall and he's only about 140 pounds, but he sees the holes and he is an amazing athlete."

What Stratton and Salvador showed is that having talent is one thing, but that talent is amplified by putting in a little more work. That is a lesson the rest of the team is coming to understand, and if it continues to embrace that philosophy, it can make the turnaround that has eluded the school for a number of years.

Late-season spark

The Buffaloes earned their first victory of the season last week when they pounded Ben Lomond. Tooele scored 45 points in the game after scoring just 48 points in the previous eight games combined. Kyle Fletcher and Zach Coffman both had two touchdown runs in the victory.

'C' is for Cyprus

Cyprus High School is trying to refurbish the letter "C" that sits on a nearby mountain overlooking the school. The school is hoping to invigorate the community in Magna with a sense of pride and unity. The school is pursuing potential donors to fund the project.