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Midvale Journal

Husky soccer coach’s hopes to challenge young team

Apr 09, 2024 12:14PM ● By Julie Slama

Hillcrest High senior Collin Scarbrough dribbles the ball against Hunter High. (Brett Davis/Hillcrest High)

In 4A region 10 boys’ soccer, the competition got a bit deeper with the addition of Layton Christian Academy.

“We got Layton Christian added to our region, so it gives them a little more competition, but for us, we only have 14 games so it gets tough to have a preseason,” Hillcrest High coach Brett Davis said. “So, our region coaches decided to split our region into two groups and we’ll play the teams in our group of four twice and the other group of four we will play once. That’s the only way we could get preseason.”

For Hillcrest, its division includes Murray, Park City and Layton Christian schools. The other side is Stansbury, Tooele, Jordan and Cottonwood high schools.

The Huskies kicked off the season, winning a double overtime game against Mountain Crest High in a tournament in St. George.

“It was a good eye opening for our young team. We completely outplayed Mountain Crest, but we couldn’t figure out how to score even though we had several chances. Then, we got a red card and had to play a man down the last 15 minutes or so of regulation time and then through overtime,” he said. “We usually try to space out playing at the tournament with its cost, but we felt that last year it was such a positive influence on our region championship, our first in 30 some years, that we decided we would go again this year. It’s a big deal in team bonding and influential in our development early in the season.”

The second tournament game, Hillcrest played “a very good Lone Peak team who is expected to be one of the top two or three teams in the entire state of all divisions. They’re 6A and that game gave us some lessons to learn,” Davis said. “We expect all of our preseason to intentionally challenge ourselves; every game counts for the RPI, even the preseason. We’re going to be playing other solid preseason games with Hunter and American Fork. I expect them to be very competitive and that will give us good preparation as well as potentially good RPI.”

Much like college sports teams rankings, the RPI will be used to rank the Huskies based upon its wins and losses and its strength of schedule.

“If you’re in the top half of the RPIs, you play at home in the first round of state. I think we have a good chance of it because our RPI will take our record and that plays in along with the record of our opponents,” Davis said about the state tournament that begins May 1.

The Huskies were ranked fourth in region in preseason by the coaches, he said.

“I think we’re going to finish higher than that. It’s going to be more difficult to win the region, but I’m not taking that out of the equation. I think we’re capable. If our younger players gain the maturity to be able to do what they need to do, then I think we’re on the hunt,” he said adding that Layton Christian and Murray also will be in the mix. 

The team likely will be led by senior Collin Scarbrough, one of nine seniors on the team. 

“He’s probably our top individual player. We’ve moved him to a role where he can be more influential in the game. He’s matured a lot as an individual and as a player and has really stepped up to become more of a team leader. He is very strong on the ball; he’s solid,” Davis said about his four-year varsity player who will play in the midfield.

Joining him as a team leader will be senior Kayden Burton, who has been on the team’s midfield since his freshman year.

“We’ve moved him a bit to the outside more this year, but he does play some in the center where the bulk of our most creative and effective players are so he will get a lot of minutes. He has been very dynamic and influential player for us,” he said about the versatile player who has played all positions except keeper. 

Davis foresees a bright Husky soccer future.

“I’ve got a good junior class and a really good sophomore class. Our JV team is almost all freshmen and sophomores. Our next two years of freshmen coming in are also very good. We should be good in the future,” he said. “When I started here, we were always the school that people left our boundaries to go play at Brighton or Alta or wherever. We potentially lost players who could help us win region or go to state. We’re now at the point where our players stay at Hillcrest and we’re getting others coming to Hillcrest for the school’s IB program or other reasons who are good players and that is helping our program.”

Along with the girls’ soccer team, the boys were slated to hold a clinic for every grade at Midvale and Copperview elementary schools in late March, like the skills clinic they held after the Midvale’s Harvest Day parade.

“We’re part of the community and want to give back to it,” Davis said. “It gives our players a chance to share their joy of the sport.” λ