3A: Sarah Henderson, Snow Canyon
This season, the Snow Canyon roster listed 10 seniors, all of which had played together since fourth grade. Those girls had led the Warriors to the quarterfinals or semifinals each of the previous three seasons, but could not break through to the finals.
Their senior year, the 10 girls decided it was time to change that trend.
They led Snow Canyon to its first ever appearance in the final match and its first ever girls' soccer championship with a 1-0 victory over Park City.
Henderson scored that lone goal. She was the difference between victory and defeat, just as she had been in multiple games throughout the season leading up to that big day.
"Sometimes you've got to get lucky, but you also have to take advantage of the opportunities — and Sarah did that," Snow Canyon coach Ken Kunde said after winning the title match.
"(She) is the student body president, an Academic All-State (recipient), and she is an all-around tremendous girl," Kunde added when asked about his senior leader. "She comes from a great family and, no doubt, she is the heart and soul of this team."
Henderson totaled seven goals her senior season, and scored 20 in her four-year career at Snow Canyon. She is a player who used her leadership abilities to positively influence her team in ways much greater than scoring.
"I really thing that the greatest emotion that overcame all of us (after winning the championship) was gratitude," Henderson said. "I can't say it enough: So much thanks to the coaches and the parents and the fans, and everybody that has put so much into this team, so much time, money, effort into helping us do this. It was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude."
2A: Grace Sponaugle, Waterford
Sponaugle is just a sophomore, but she is already playing like an experienced veteran.
Twice during the 2A state tournament, the young defender moved forward on the field to score game-changing goals.
Sponaugle scored both Waterford goals in the 2-1 victory over Maeser Prep in the semifinals, sending the Ravens to their fifth straight appearance in a championship game.
The next day, after facing a one-goal deficit to region rival St. Joseph for much of the championship match, Sponaugle tied the score late in the game and forced a shootout.
"She hit both goals yesterday and the one today," Waterford coach Tim Dolbin said after his team won its second consecutive championship.
"She's only a 10th-grade player, and she's got a long soccer future ahead of her."
Her growth on the field over the past season has been noticeable. As a freshman, Sponaugle scored two goals. She recorded nine goals this season as a sophomore, the second-highest total behind teammates Caroline Coats and Mitsu Miyashima, who each scored 10.
"With all the soccer she plays in and out of high school," Dolbin said, "she is going to be a very good player."
- BYU football: Fan-developed software gives...
- Bodyguards allegedly beat up 2 fans who took...
- Utah Jazz: Team is a long shot to win NBA's...
- Deseret News to live stream Utah high school...
- High school baseball: Logan's Chase Nelson...
- High school baseball: 5A, 4A state tournament...
- Utes football recruiting: Polynesian players...
- Utah State football: New coach Matt Wells...
- Utes football recruiting: Polynesian... 122
- USA Rugby: 'What BYU won ... was a... 78
- High school baseball: 5A, 4A state... 52
- Utah Utes football: Dr. Chris Hill... 39
- Brad Rock: USU athletics can go home again 22
- Bodyguards allegedly beat up 2 fans who... 18
- Dick Harmon: BYU coach Mike Littlewood... 12
- Utah State football: New coach Matt... 11