Hillcrest ‘successfully’ begins to wrap up fall sports seasonNov 02, 2021 11:40AM ● By Julie Slama
Hillcrest High golfer Keaton Glover competed in the River Oaks tournament, which was the Huskies best finish of the season. (Dave Richardson/Hillcrest High)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Hillcrest High School student-athletes’ focus may be shifting to lacing up their basketball high tops and concentrating on their wrestling moves and drill routines as fall sports season wraps up. Here’s a look at how Hillcrest High did in three of its fall sports.
With a third-place region finish, and sitting in the top 10 of 5A in goals scored, girls’ soccer coach Eldon Brough said it was a “really positive season.”
“We have a big senior class and we’ve been through a lot so we wanted to be able to send them out in a positive way and I think we definitely accomplished that,” he said, speaking of the 11 players who will graduate.
With a balanced team—several players able to score, assist and defend—they were competitive, he said.
“We played a much more aggressive style. We played a really dynamic and team-oriented style that made it difficult for teams to shut us down if they tried,” he said, adding that this year’s success included hosting the first-round of the state tournament, which they lost to Viewmont, 0-2.
The team was led by senior Grace Pruden, who ended regular season second in region in goals scored and eighth in state 5A in goals, and also was fourth in assists in the region.
“What she did was really impressive. Teams obviously realized how good she was and by the last five, six games of the year, she was having two, three defenders really focus on her, so that’s where it really opened some things up for other people. She’s a good leader and good teammate and realized that was helpful (for the team),” he said.
Pruden, who amassed 15 goals and eight assists, also said it was a good season.
“I was really proud of us, especially coming off last year when we only got one win; toward the end of the season, we were distributing a bit more, so it was just good to have other people step up and get there,” she said. “It was a good senior season to top it all off with a few more wins. Personally, I had a good season and good to see all the hard work paid off for the past four years. This group of seniors, we were all just so tight, and it was so fun, especially this year. I’m going to miss all of it.”
Brough anticipates his returning varsity team, as well as several strong JV players, will continue to improve and practice in the offseason so next season, “we should be a good, competitive group again.”
This season, the team shot 332 for fourth place at the Sept. 8 River Oaks tournament, their best tournament finish. They edged out Cedar Hills by two, and Uintah by six, and defeated Payson by 78 stokes.
“This was the best score we had in three years,” said coach Dave Richardson. “I saw a lot of improvement this season.”
Another highlight was junior CJ Poulson qualifying for state, at Soldier Hollow’s silver course.
“It’s a super hard, long course, just really tough and it was really windy. If I shot a 79, I’d be pretty happy,” Richardson said, referring to the 80-stoke cut Poulson needed to make. “He’s shot that before, but not that day.”
Poulson finished with an 87.
“I’m excited about next year,” Richardson said. “We’re losing two seniors, but Cottonwood and Stansbury will be graduating a lot of talent and we’ll still have a good group of guys.”
“We had a great season,” first-year head coach Creighton Chun said.
His team finished second in region, behind Uintah, with No. 1 singles player freshman Fabiana Gonzalez and No. 3 singles player senior Erin Zhang, being region champs. No. 2 singles player junior Sowmya Paritala and No. 1 doubles players junior Lily Greenwood and senior Shay Minoughan finished second in region.
At state, the team exited in the first round, facing tough matchups, Chun said.
In the offseason, he hopes the team will be able to practice, and even have the school’s courts be completed so they will be able to host home matches next year.
“The season was successful, top to bottom,” he said about his JV as well as varsity players. “Each position did better from the beginning of region to the end of season tournament. They either won more games than the first meeting against Uintah or beat them. So, I would say it was very successful.”