ETV News stock photo by Dusty Butler
The Spartans are full of optimism as they make their way back on the pitch. “Our program is very competitive,” said head coach Troy Winter. “We will compete for a region championship.”
Emery has several returning starters and is loaded with a talented underclassman group. “I’m pleased with the development of our underclassman,” Winter said. “We have a lot of underclassman that will come in and push for spots. That makes our program better and makes us stronger. I put the best team on the field, I don’t have a problem playing an underclassman over a senior if they are better.” Colton Childs and Alex Puente are two of these players that will be vying for starting spots. Goalkeeper Eli Morris also has a lot of potential. “I feel [Morris] could play at the next level if he wanted,” commented Winter.
The Spartans also have several seniors that hope to play big roles in the team’s success. Brenden Johansen has put in several good years of soccer and is ready for his final year. Brett Olsen is coming off an injury and the Spartans would like him to come back and make an impact. There are also a number of exchange students that will enter the mix.
Richfield and Carbon look to be the toughest teams standing in Emery’s way. In fact, competition between the Dinos, Spartans and Wildcats is so close that Winter said, “it could go either way on any given game-day.” Grand is a “sleeper,” according to Winter. The Red Devils won the region last year but lost quite a few key senior players. San Juan is entering the region for the first time with an infant program that is just entering its third year. The hope is that the Spartans’ internal competition will push them over the edge to capture the region title.