Friday night lights turn on. A brisk air, chills across the evening skyline. Helmets clash as mud and grass spray black and red jerseys. High school football is back with Weber High embarking on their quest to pigskin perfection in Region One, classification 6A.
Led by Coach Matt Hammer, the Warriors were ready to win. Hammer said what he loves most about this group is “how humble they are. They just love to play the game and don’t care whoever gets all the touches and attention because they just want to win.”
Since an early non-region loss, it’s been smooth sailing for the Warriors. Senior quarterback Austin Bartholomew is flanked by senior running backs Carter Green and Colton Jones, with BYU, commit Tysen Lewis anchoring the line to provide an offensive attack. The offense only escalates its damage with juniors Hudson Schenck, Sione Moa, and Hunter Neilson providing the aerial assault. Altogether, this offensive group has tallied 42 total touchdowns while averaging a balanced 218.9 receiving yards a game and 197.2 rushing yards a game.
Not to be overshadowed, the defense pulls its weight led by senior captain Jace Campbell as their middle linebacker and senior safeties Cy Denney and Ty Barnett. It’s truly a team effort on defense as they average 55.4 tackles a game and have recorded 20 total sacks and 18 total interceptions.
Most noteworthy is that wall of Warrior defense shut out their first three region opponents: 25-0 vs Clearfield, 33-0 vs Northridge, and 23-0 vs Syracuse. Davis rolled into town the following week and put up nine points to end the streak; however, they still fell to the Warriors 42-9.
“Playing with this group is a special opportunity,” says Campbell. “Not only do we know how to win together, we also know how to get each other through the hard times. We know what each other can do and we hold each other accountable.” He also adds, “The love we have for each other is (truly) a brotherhood. I might be the only child in my house, but I know I have 60+ brothers that will have my back.”
A special Thursday night game popped up next on October 5th as KJZZ TV decided to broadcast the Warriors at Fremont Silverwolves matchup. Fremont went into the game with one region loss, while Weber was undefeated in region. However, if Fremont could pull off the win they’d own the tiebreaker and be in the lead for the region championship.
Weber had other plans. Fremont stormed out to a quick 7-0 lead, but the Warriors found Schenck for three TDs to give Weber a 28-7 lead with nine minutes remaining. Fremont rallied for two more scores, one after getting the ball on the five-yard line after a blocked punt, to make Warrior fans slightly uncomfortable as the score became 28-20 with five minutes left. Safety Barnett picked off Fremont twice in those last five minutes to seal the win for the Warriors.
The win gave Weber their first region championship since 1996, but Weber shared that trophy with Clearfield and Davis. For an outright region champion? Who knows. Even when Weber High won State in 1999, they entered the tournament as #3 seed.
“Our coaches have told us numerous times that we have the opportunity to be legendary and (they) are right,” says Campbell.
A home date with Layton ended region play on Oct. 13, which Weber won 56-7 after scoring on every possession but one in the first half. The region champs will host a state playoff game on Oct. 27 at 4 pm vs. Riverton.
Coach Hammer said that going into the season the “goal was to host a playoff game. If we did that, we should be in the mix for the region title. The goal now is to play as long as possible.”