Throughout the 2018 season, and really throughout their respective high school careers, the Deseret News boys soccer MVPs were simply invaluable.
They played different positions and had different responsibilities and roles on their title-winning teams, but each and every one played a vital part in a historic championship run.
Here’s a list of this year’s MVPs as picked by the Deseret News. The first-second-and-third-team selections were voted on by the coaches:
Carson Ecalono, Pleasant Grove
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Pleasant Grove and American Fork play in 6A soccer semifinal action at Woods Cross High on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Pleasant Grove won 1-0.
It takes an army to win a state championship and as such the state champion Pleasant Grove Vikings had quite the collection of players this season.
Stalwarts like Cameron Pennock, Tyler Ashby, Conor Ecalono, C.J. Wiggins and Jorge Valdizan who helped the Vikings proved themselves the best team in the 6A classification.
Each of the aforementioned players played a vital role at some point during the championship run.
Ashby, a wide-back, scored goals, eight over the course of the season, and often marked the best-attacking player on the opposing team.
Pennock, after moving from a holding midfield position to defensive back, helped Pleasant Grove create a nearly unbeatable defense.
Wiggins did the dirty work, ala Draymond Green, while Valdizan showed off nearly unparalleled creating ability. Really, the list of contributions and contributors could go on and on.
No player was of greater import, however, than Carson Ecalono.
Despite missing a sizable chunk of the season to injury, as well as illness, Ecalono was the team’s leading scorer and assist man, with nine goals and sixteen assists.
Those numbers, while impressive, are but the tip of the iceberg as far as Ecalono’s importance.
Simply put, he was the very best of the Vikings.
“Our front line was the catalyst to our title run and that was mainly Carson,” Pleasant Grove head coach Chris Ecalono said. “We had 42 goals this season, he had to do with 27 of them. It wasn’t coincidence that we hit our stride when he got healthy. Carson was always the one creating. He was our leading goal scorer. He was our set piece taker. He had the ability to make plays that no one else could make.”
In almost every game after his return to the lineup, Ecalono scored or assisted on a Viking goal.
His presence was especially felt in the playoffs, where, from …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News