The Morgan High School soccer team wrapped up their region play in a game against Tooele on April 25.
At this time, Morgan was in fifth place in Region 11. If they were to lose, they would be out of the playoffs. But if they were to win, they would secure a place in the games that started in St. George on Thursday May 2.
Morgan’s team was playing better than at any other game all season. Every player proved himself. It was beautiful to watch, but after a grueling 65 minutes, the score was still 0-0.
With five minutes left on the clock, Camen Gray took a free kick 30 plus yards from Tooele’s goal. Everyone else was lined up in front of the net to either head the ball into the opponent’s goal or clear it out from in front of the goal.
“Camen’s kick was wicked! The ball went up, began to curve to left toward the goal, the ball spun on its own axis it began to bend downward,” beamed his dad, Zane Gray. The kick’s accuracy placed the ball so tight in the upper far corner that not even the keeper could get to it fast enough to stop it from banging against the inside of the net.
Four minutes left and Morgan was winning 1-0. With a great show from all the players, that was the last score of the game.
With this win under their belts, Morgan was off to the state playoffs.
Soccer mom Courtney Gualco said, “The boys have learned great new skills this year that we are all proud of. With a little teamwork, they will go far.”
This game was also senior night for Morgan High soccer players. Eight seniors and their parents were honored during half time. Tandemlove, P.C., provided gifts for the graduating players.
Among those honored was senior Thomas Brynbesen, a Norwegian foreign exchange student staying with Craig and Elaine Marsden, who aspires to attend college and graduate with a degree in finance.
Camen Gray, son of Zane and Iris Gray, spent four years on the soccer team. Camen is an Eagle Scout and member of the National Honor Society. He has been offered academic and athletic scholarships and plans to study accounting and business management before he leaves to serve an LDS mission.
Just before the second half, Camen Gray sat at a portable table on the field, pen in hand with the other seven seniors behind him, and signed his contract to accept a scholarship and play for Western Wyoming University in Rocks Springs. Western Wyoming soccer players were the 2012 Region 4 champions.
Dallin Hoffman, son of Kent and Juli Hoffman, spend two years on the soccer team. He maintained honor roll grades, has participated in Ovation choir and FBLA and is an Eagle Scout. He also played for the high school football, basketball and track teams. He plans to serve an LDS mission and attend BYU Idaho.
Dallin’s brother, Kevin Hoffman, also spent two years on the team. He attended state with Ovation choir, was a member of the National Honor Society as well as FBLA and is an Eagle Scout. He also played for the high school football, basketball and track teams and will join his brother in serving an LDS mission and attending BYU Idaho.
Zach Holman, son of Deb and Byron Holman, played four years on the soccer team. Along with his academic success, his parents say he is a “darn good kid.” Zach will attend Montana State University of Chemical Engineering on scholarship.
Morgan Kotter, son of Paul and Melissa Kotter, has played soccer for Morgan for three years. He maintained a 3.95 overall GPA, lettered in cross country, is an Eagle Scout and speaks Japanese. Good thing, too, because he will be serving a mission to Kobe, Japan upon graduation. After he returns, he plans to attend Utah State University majoring in computer science.
Kade Loveridge, son of Brian and Janise Loveridge, spend four years on the team. He is a member of the National Honor Society, placed second in state debate and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Kade will be serving an LDS mission to San Antonio, Texas and will attend Utah State University upon his return.
Jackson Ward, son of Jeff and Amy Ward, spent three years on the soccer team. He also served as a team captain for the cross country team and qualified to run at the state meet. He is a member of the National Honor Society and FBLA and holds leadership positions in both organizations.
Jackson actively helps in his community, is involved with Special Olympics and is an Eagle Scout. He will serve a mission to Wisconsin in July and will pursue a degree in engineering at Utah State University when he gets home.
Chamen Abplanalp, along with other surrounding proud parents, chimed in saying, “We are so happy with the new coaching. He has brought a lot of new ideas to the table. There has been a great energy and the boys have improved their soccer skill so much this season. We are proud of the leadership that has been shown to the younger boys.”