Hillcrest High soccer kicks off season on top under new head coachSep 04, 2022 09:57AM ● By Julie Slama
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
After the first game of Hillcrest High’s girls soccer season, new head coach Brett Davis was positive.
“Great first effort,” he said, adding that they “got a look at a large number of players.”
The Huskies had three players score goals in the 5-0 win over North Sanpete High from Mt. Pleasant, each goal scored by a different player assisting. JV won 7-0.
One week later, the Huskies won 2-1 on Juab High’s field in Nephi.
“Our senior class is small, but it's pretty good quality and a lot of them play together on club so that's going to help us hit the ground running,” he said. “That senior class is invested in the program; they’re here early, they’re helping on the fields. They’ve got a lot of great qualities to be able to lead for us. Teya Snowder is instrumental to the team and Emma Cecil is quite a good player who didn’t play last year. We have Laura Curtis, who is a good, solid player and a couple other seniors.”
Davis said that even with graduating a dozen players, he likes what he sees in this team.
“So far what I have seen is looking pretty good. I’ve got some good juniors and the sophomore class that came in last year is pretty good. The freshman class that's coming in is very, very good, so there will be some freshmen and sophomore playing varsity this year,” said Davis, who replaces former coach Eldon Brough, who moved to help coach Colorado Northwestern Community College. “I think we've got a nice, strong skilled core up the center of the field, in a central back, the central midfield, right up that spine. So that's going to be a nice, senior core that runs straight up the middle. I've got a junior and a sophomore goalkeeper returning and a new incoming freshman goalkeeper, so we'll be OK in that regard. Last year, we scored a lot of goals. So hopefully we can continue that trend and build upon that.”
Davis and the team have been watching training and scrimmage video to “talk about systems of play and movement as a team and put that together.”
Region play was scheduled to begin on the first day of school, Aug. 15, at Uintah High in Vernal. State tournament begins Oct. 6.
Davis isn’t new to soccer nor new to Hillcrest. He has coached the Husky boys’ soccer for 15 of the last 19 years, including the last five.
He grew up in California and started playing soccer at age 12, before the sport was popular in the states.
“I played all the way up through semi-professional,” Davis said adding that the soccer system was different back in the day. “I played in college, but we didn't have a full-sanction program at the time. We did travel, we did play other colleges, but it was more of a club level.”
He has coached high school through semi-professionals.
“The thing that that appealed to me most in coaching high school is helping fill the need for young people to have role models and people to support them alongside their parents. Sometimes teenagers don't want to listen to Mom and Dad, but if coach says the exact same thing, suddenly it becomes gospel truth. So this is an opportunity I can have, a positive influence on the growth and development in human lives and help develop them as people first, before we develop players,” he said.
That will extend from the girls supporting one another academically to creating a team culture. As the COVID-19 pandemic allows, team dinners will return.
“It's a great bonding opportunity to get the players together,” he said. “We'll look at some other avenues in addition to team dinners to build a cohesiveness. Creating the culture is a big deal in my programs.”
The team has two assistant coaches, Kimmy Wiley and Tawsi Rohner, who grew up playing soccer before getting into coaching. Wiley, out of Wisconsin, played for Carroll University, while Rohner was a player for Mesa Community College in Arizona.
This is expected to be the last season played at East Midvale Elementary. The Huskies began playing there fall 2018 when their field was torn up for the rebuild of the school. The new field has been laid down and now is expected to be ready in fall 2023.