For Garrett Wilson, this coming prep basketball season is a dream come true. The new Taylorsville High head coach begins his first year as leader of the Warriors, and he’s optimistic and upbeat about his young, but talented, team.
“We’ve got a good group, not a ton of experience, but the team chemistry is great,” he said. “They play well together, and I think that’s going to help as we gain experience in a tough Region 2.”
It will be challenging for the Warriors, who were region champs last year with a 10-0 record, finished 16-7 overall but were eliminated in the 5A state tournament. Taylorsville lost a lot of key players to graduation.
“We’ll be competitive, and we do have a good nucleus to build around,” he said.
It starts with Remi Prince, 6-0 senior forward, a solid returning player and an SBO leader at Taylorsville. “He brings both experience and leadership to us,” Wilson said. Other starters should include:
Thomas Mackay, 6-5 senior center, who got decent playing time a year ago and who Wilson expects to be a major contributor.
Jameson Tonge, 6-1 senior guard, whom Wilson predicts “will have a breakout season.”
Aaron Canepari, 5-10 junior guard. Again, Wilson expects a big season from him.
Prior to coming to the Warriors, the coach was an assistant at West Jordan, and before that, an assistant at his alma mater, Bingham, for nine years. “Both were great opportunities that prepared me for this. When (former Taylorsville coach) Jim Boyce took the job at Highland, I was anxious to come here.”
Since taking over in May, he’s worked with his players in many practices and some summer tournaments. And he’s anxious to get the Warriors on the court for real. They opened with Lehi on Nov. 25 and return to action by hosting Olympus on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
“I felt like this season was never going to start,” he said with a laugh. “It’s nice to be together with these guys every day, and I know they’re anxious to get going as well. Coaching them is really a lot of fun.”
Coaching is in the family. His father Mark was a coach at Cyprus High for 16 years, and brother Skyler is coach at Riverton. In fact, the two brothers’ teams will face off against each other on Jan. 2 (4 p.m., at Riverton).
“This has been a bit surreal for me,” he said. “Taylorsville is the perfect school for me—great kids and a great community. I love the students and the classroom, the faculty and great administration. And the close-knit feel of the community and its support for the Warriors is great. There’s an expectation of success at this school, and any coach hopes for that and loves that.”