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Draper Journal

Corner Canyon Boys Soccer Preps for a New Season

Apr 07, 2016 01:52PM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Draper - Corner Canyon High School is still a relatively new school. As such, all of the sports teams are still trying to find their footing. The boys soccer team is no different. Their first year, the team only won one game. Their second year, they improved to win five. Now in their third year, the boys team hopes to not only increase the number of wins but also make it to the state tournament. 

While the team has yet to have a winning season, they explained they always fought hard against opposing teams. 

“Coming out last year, we put up a fight every game. We were always in a fight. We never gave up. We had multiple overtime games where we always fought hard,” Braeden Cutler, one of the seniors on the varsity team, said. “We didn’t always get the results that we wanted, but we took down some really good teams last year and we’re really proud of that.”

The players on the team have become more used to playing with each other over the past few years. They openly admit their first year was a rough year, mainly because they were a new program. 

“We had a lack of almost everything. We didn’t have a team. We had to start from scratch. Everyone was from different teams that we pulled together. Our first year was a mess. We were just scrambling to get a win,” Cutler said. “Last year we were really brought together, and the coaches bring their input, and [our coach is] really good at talking to players … about what we should do to work well as a team, and it’s improved our chemistry a lot.”

Coaches Russ Boyer and Andrew Van Wagenen agree with their players. Boyer, who is the head coach, said he knew putting together a new program was going to be a process, but he believes the players are becoming a more cohesive team. Van Wagenen said a lot of time has been dedicated to figuring out what style of play is best for their team. 

“As well as helping the kids develop, we still have to find our style of play. We’ve kind of been searching for that the past couple of years,” Van Wagenen said. “We’re looking for that style of play and helping the kids build and work on [it].”

When Corner Canyon opened in Draper, a lot of students from Alta High in Sandy ended up in the new school. Additionally, this year Alta High dropped down into the same region as Corner Canyon. This has led to a natural rivalry that has grown over the years. The Corner Canyon team is excited to play their new rival. 

“I’m super excited to play them. It’s going to be a big game. I feel that we can take them,” senior Avery Goodrich said. “They’ve lost a lot of great seniors. We’ve got a lot of good seniors and so do they. I don’t hate Alta. It’s just a huge rivalry and everyone is excited.”

While big games like Alta High are important, the team is focusing on getting to the state championship. In their three years, they’ve failed to make it, even though they came exceedingly close. The team has centered in on not only the state tournament but also what the team has to accomplish to get there. 

“We’re trying to focus more on the process of getting to the championship rather than just getting to the championship as a goal,” senior Blake Bell said. “That’s what our coach was talking about at the beginning of the semester. He was saying that as a coach, he thinks we need to work on honoring the process of getting to be the best team we can be. I think that’s what we’re going to focus on more this year.”

Boyer believes this year is the year the team finally reaches the state tournament because of the team’s dedication and commitment. 

“Our guys want to work hard and want to improve and be the best team they can be. They’re willing to work hard. That’s always the first ingredient. I think we’re becoming a more united team. That takes a bit of time,” Boyer said. “I would say our strengths are our work ethic and our unity, and hopefully our character as a team is a big strength. We’re hoping that translates onto the field as well.”