High school boys soccer: Teams would not have been the same without 2014 Deseret News MVPs
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
The quintessential quiet leader. Like having a coach on the field. A workhorse.
Among the variety of qualities that make up a team’s most valuable player, one thing is certain: The team would not have been the same without them.
The four 2014 state championship boys soccer teams know how true that is. For that reason, their leaders, captains, driving forces behind their successes have also earned the honor of being recognized as the best in their class.
For the 2014 boys soccer season, the Deseret News MVPs are Hunter McFall of Riverton, Teagan Ricks of Skyline, Caesar Perez of Dixie and Tristan Broadbent of Waterford.
Hunter McFall, Riverton
Multiple times during the season, Riverton coach Paul Moizer and his staff noticed McFall pulling teammates aside to talk. As it turns out, the senior was offering pointers, bridging the gap between athlete and coach.
“It's almost like having a coach on field,” Moizer said. “He controls the defense, talking people into position.”
Like most leaders, McFall recognized what needed to be done and took it upon himself to see that the necessary adjustments were made.
“He would tell them, 'You need to be here when we're doing this,'" Moizer said. “Other players respect him so much, they welcome it. He has been a fantastic leader.”
Throughout his career with the Silverwolves, McFall has always been a leader within his age group. As he moved up the ranks, however, he became more of a force, using his postseason experience to guide the team.
“Last year, he took some big steps and this year he took it to another level,” Moizer said of the player who was with the team for two quarterfinal losses and a first-round exit a year ago before the team earned its first state title in Riverton boys soccer history this season.
“It was his mission that the other team wasn't going to score,” Moizer said. “He directed the defense in that and worked his guts out to make it happen.”
As a team, the Silverwolves allowed just 11 goals throughout the entire 20-match season. They only allowed three in their final 12 games, two of which were in one contest, and led the state with 12 shutouts.
“The shutouts were a whole team effort, but he was probably the focal point,” Moizer said of the Riverton defense, which did not allow a single goal during the state tournament. “He is the one who made defense the priority. He made everyone else buy into the fact that, 'They're just not going to score, guys.'"
Teagan Ricks, Skyline
From the very beginning of the season, Ricks’ greatest goal was to play at Rio Tinto Stadium. All year long, he hoped and worked and took advantage of every single opening presented to him, vying for the opportunity to reach the state finals.
By the end of May, he had buoyed the team through wind and rain games, two shocking losses at the end of Region 7 play, and through a tough tournament run to reach his target.
And then he pushed the Eagles over the edge there, too, leading them to the first boys soccer state title in Skyline history.
“Teagan did an outstanding job as captain this year,” said Skyline coach Shawn Kennedy. “He was a strong leader and example for the team.”
Ricks saw plenty of time moving around the field, serving primarily as an outside back or defensive midfielder but also stepping in when the Eagles’ center back was sidelined with an injury.