Corner Canyon off to competitive start in tough Region 7
Apr 29, 2019 08:24AM
● By Catherine Garrett
First Team All-State defender Baldimir Cuevas (right) and junior defender/midfielder Trevor Dillon have scored three goals to help lead the Chargers this season. (Photo courtesy Nickie McNeil)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
First Team All-State defender Bladimir Cuevas leads a talented group of returning players for the Corner Canyon boys soccer team, who were quarterfinalists at state last season.
Senior defenders Connor Neff and Jackson Barney along with junior midfielder/defender Trevor Dillon are expected to be key contributors for the Chargers, according to head coach Andrew Van Wagenen, while he will also rely on a “strong junior class” and a few sophomores to help the varsity squad.
“The talent is there, but the team needs to come together and gel quickly in order to be successful,” said Van Wagenen, who is in his third year as head coach and sixth with the program.
Van Wagenen said his team’s goal is always to reach the state finals, but he notes that it could be a reality this season. “This year it feels closer than ever,” he said. “For us, it starts with daily and weekly goals for each game and practice.”
Corner Canyon began the season with a 3-2 win over American Fork March 6, breaking a 2-2 halftime score with a second-half goal. Neff, senior midfielder Cameron Mills and junior forward Max Olsen recorded goals in the close win. The Chargers have since recorded wins over Lone Peak 1-0, Cottonwood 3-0, Brighton 2-1 and Timpview 2-1 while they tied Pleasant Grove 2-2. Its five losses this season have been by one goal — to Olympus 2-1, Skyridge 1-0, Riverton 1-0, Jordan 2-1, and Alta 2-1.
Six different players have scored for Corner Canyon so far this year, led by Olsen with three goals and Cuevas, Mills and senior Colin Johansen with two each. Junior goalkeeper Jagen Allen has recorded two shutouts.
“I feel very positive about our season this year,” Johansen said. “I have no doubt that this will be our best year so far. We have a very good opportunity this year to do better than we ever have. There are great things coming.”
Neff also has been pleased with the year at this point. “Every game and every practice we improve on how we play,” he said.
Also on the 2019 squad are seniors Will Avila, Mugabo Blaise, Zack Elkebbi, Ashton Jensen, Riley Kraft, Luke Lillywhite, Jack McNeil, Noah Rawle and Griffin Watts; juniors Jake Bond, Caleb Edmunds, Josh Hurt, Elias Marshall, Kaelan Maxfield and Kesler Noble; sophomores Garrett Allred, Carson Compton, Dillon Griffin, Sam Harbertson, Cannon Reading and Alex Zoumadakis; and freshmen Aiden McMullin and Gunner Osthed.
Van Wagenen is being assisted on the coaching staff by Nate Murphy, Garrett Losee, Fodé Doumbia, Edixon Cuevas and Wade Nielsen.
Johansen said the team is focused on their chemistry and “working for all the guys next to you” on its way to its goals of a Region 7 championship with eyes also on the final prize.