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Herriman Journal

Senior-heavy Mountain Ridge boys soccer team approaching season with confidence

Apr 09, 2024 10:16AM ● By Josh McFadden

The 2024 Mountain Ridge boys soccer team has high expectations for the season. The Sentinels have 11 seniors leading the team. (Photo courtesy Eric Arthur)

In high school boys soccer, Region 2 is quite a powerhouse. 

There is no shortage of talented teams: Bingham, Copper Hills, Riverton, Corner Canyon and Herriman. Mountain Ridge is certainly in the mix, and Sentinel players and coaches believe the team has what it takes to contend for a championship—not just in region but in state. But before Mountain Ridge is going to worry too much about those big accomplishments, the team is focusing on doing the little things.

“The No. 1 expectation as a team is to grow as a team each day,” head coach Eric Arthur said. “Our other big goal and expectation is to win the Region 2 title. We have enough talent that taking a run at a state title isn’t a stretch either. However, our focus is game to game, improving each time we hit the field.”

Mountain Ridge has 11 seniors on the varsity team leading the squad. The veteran leadership provides valuable experience for the Sentinels. But Arthur also likes his underclassmen. 

“Our senior class is loaded with talent,” he said. “They are the backbone of the team. We will rely on them heavily throughout the season. But we also have some real strength in the junior and sophomore classes.”

Senior goalkeeper Gabe Del Barra, senior defender (and captain) Tait King and defender Zach White make things difficult on opposing offenses. Senior midfielders TJ Lightfoot (another captain) and Tony Campos direct the attack and distribute the ball well for the Sentinels. Senior strikers and wings Alan Dedic, Owen Gaisford, Marcos Padilla and Brody Laga are capable finishers and scorers. 

Mountain Ridge opened the season with a 2-2 record. The Sentinels lost to Farmington 2-1 on March 8, followed by a 3-2 win over Westlake a week later. After losing the Region 2 opener to Bingham on March 20 by the count of 1-0, Mountain Ridge beat rival Herriman 2-1 on March 22. The Sentinels took a hiatus for spring break and then return to the pitch April 2 at Riverton. 

The final regular-season game will be May 7 against Salt Lake Academy. The Class 6A state tournament gets underway May 10. Mountain Ridge lost in the quarterfinals a year ago and went 12-7 on the year.

Arthur believes the sky’s the limit for the Sentinels, as long as they play up to their capabilities.

“The biggest challenge for us will be to get out of our own way,” he said. “We need to play the game the way we know how in a fast yet simple way and with a trusting mindset. If we can put our egos aside and play as a true team every time we step on the field, we will truly be unstoppable.”

Arthur added that the players will need to trust one another. He also said how much he appreciates watching the players improve and develop, both as soccer players and as individuals. 

“By far the biggest reward from coaching is watching the growth of the person, not just the player,” he said. “Being able to watch a young 14 year old become a young adult with growing maturity over the span of a few years is an amazing facet that is often overlooked in coaching youth sports. The relationships built with the players over the years make this worth all of the other challenges that come with the coaching title.” λ



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