The giver: Brighton's Matt Coffey named Mr. Soccer after shining on and off the field
This past spring, the team conducted a tour of Rio Tinto Stadium — including a field day and lunch — for those served by the Utah Association for Intellectual Disabilities.
“Our players, especially Matt and the captains, wanted to make it important,” said Boyer. The coach also teaches a class, service learning and leadership, in which he educates students on creating similar service projects.
“Matt was in that class this year, and he really took ownership of making it a good experience for those we served,” Boyer continued, noting that Coffey directed an event in which class members taught elementary students about sportsmanship.
On top of everything else, Coffey also earned his Eagle Scout during his senior year by collecting used soccer gear and donating it to local refugees.
With high school soccer and graduation now behind him, Coffey will turn his attention toward his next chapter: playing collegiately for the University of Portland and working toward a degree in business.
Alongside him at Portland will be friend and Inter FC club teammate Aaron Caprio, a defender for the state champion Lehi Pioneers.
“I decided to go there my sophomore year. I love it up in the Pacific Northwest. I love the weather. I love the school,” he said. “It's been comforting knowing I know where I'm going. I just have to keep working to get better.”
Boyer noted that it is not just Coffey awaiting a great opportunity — but the University of Portland as well.
“I think he will be a big asset to that team and that campus,” said Boyer. “Every campus needs people like him who put themselves in a position to be successful.”
It seems that working to improve has monopolized Coffey’s time for as long as he can remember, as the combined soccer seasons have turned into a year-round event. For Mr. Soccer, however, dedicating that much time has not been a problem.
“It’s a pretty big sacrifice, but it’s worth it,” he said. “Soccer is everything.”
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org