"If you ever want to know how it is done, that is it," Newman smiled. "Some people want to win, but not to the degree that Kennedy does."
The Wildcats' leading scorer with 32 goals, Yost willed Woods Cross to countless victories. An excellent shooter with pinpoint accuracy, Yost's ferocity set her apart in Region 6.
"She's the adage, 'the harder you work, the luckier you are,'" Newman said.
Clearfield | Junior | Forward
The battle royale that was Region 6 was the setting for Brinley Adams. Clearfield's junior striker thrived in the day-in, day-out grind of one of Utah's toughest regions, and she loved every moment.
"She is very competitive," coach Lauren Clifford said. "She wants to be the leader and for her team to be the best."
Adams utilized finesse and grace to find the back of the net 23 times this season. A team captain and a verbal commit to Utah State, Adams was second in assists for the Falcons. Throw in some nerves of steel, and Clifford said Adams was the perfect player for Clearfield.
"She doesn't get intimidated very easily. She really has her head on straight," Clifford said. "Brinley loves playing at the highest level and is focused for next year."
Rowland Hall | Senior | Forward
With Rowland Hall senior forward Grace Veghte, you can start checking off the boxes. Great student? Check. Multi-sport athlete? Check. Fiery competitor? Better double-check that box.
"She's got the complete game and worked real hard to get to that point," coach Bobby Kennedy said. "More than that, she has grit that is often something in short supply with players. She is a very tough player."
Kennedy praised Veghte's toughness and ability to play without the ball. Because teams were forced to double down on Veghte, she was able to feed the ball to teammates for goals.
Veghte finished with 11 goals, and added an assist in their 2A championship game.
"Grace is a vocal leader," Kennedy said. "When we played through her, great things happened."
Stansbury | Junior | Forward
Most players coming back from an ACL tear would tread gingerly on a rebuilt knee. Michaela Didericksen is not most players.
After being taken out her sophomore year, the Stansbury striker came back stronger and tougher than ever. Didericksen lead all of Class 3A this year with 39 goals.
"They'd man-mark her and Michaela would get everyone involved," Coach Jeremy Alverson said. "She played so unselfishly that everyone became a scoring threat."
Didericksen finished with 10 assists.
Alverson said that her complete game starts in the classroom. A 3.8 GPA student, Didericksen is looking forward to another state run her senior year.
"I tell her, 'Keep doing what you're doing and we'll all benefit,'" Alverson said.
Timpanogos | Senior | Midfielder
Three for four.
That's Jordyn Chung-Hoon's record for state championships. Stepping on the pitch for Timpanogos as a freshman, Chung-Hoon has always been an impact player.
"She is a great leader. Jordyn helps lifts the intensity of her teammates," coach Megan Fereday said. "Whether it's on the practice field or in the classroom, Jordyn presses her team to do their best, to make sure they handle their business."
The Utah State commit had 15 goals and eight assists on the season. Fereday said that Chung-Hoon has an instinctive ability to penetrate defenses to either set up her squad or put the ball away.
"She's leaving a legacy of hard work at Timpanogos," Fereday said. "Nobody lifted her team as much as Jordyn."
Juan Diego | Junior | Midfielder
Juan Diego's Ashley Buck eats, breaths and dreams soccer.
Her versatility and competitive drive make her an irreplaceable asset, and coach Myriah Fankhauser credits her uncanny vision for the team's success.
"She can turn on a dime and fire a powerful shot or lace a ball between defenders for easy goals," Fankhauser said. "Her ability to set up her team for success with a pass or corner kick is unmatched."
Even with 10 goals, Buck's primary responsibility was to feed the strikers and keep her midfield ready to stop attacks. Fankhauser said she would draw double- or triple-teams, and Buck had the wherewithal to slot the perfect pass to forwards.
"There's no nonsense on the field; it's all about getting it done," Fankhauser said. "She plays with a great amount of humility and not for the praise or glory."
Cedar | Junior | Midfielder
Of the 19 goals Nicole Jenkins scored this past season, none were bigger than the one that came in the 50th minute at Rio Tinto Stadium for the 3A state championship.
Breaking into Desert Hills' backfield, Holly Carpenter crossed the ball to Jenkins, who put on the perfect touch for the 1-0 victory.
Jenkins has been making a huge impact for Cedar all season. She scored the most goals in the cutthroat Region 9 and did so with authority. Kamachi said Jenkins is an incredibly hard worker, putting in extra time to develop her game and improving her left foot.
"She knew it was her time," Coach Scott Kamachi said. "Nicole stepped up and took on a real leadership with the team. She works really hard to be a role model."
Skyline | Senior | Defender
Headlining a defense that made a run for a state title, Gordon's ability to break up plays and frustrate opponents played a major role in Skyline's return to the 4A title game.
Coach Yamil Castillo credited Gordon's unselfish play for Skyline's success. Gordon would sacrifice her body to make tough tackles and was relentless in stopping the opposition. Working with her fellow fullbacks, Gordon could play two steps ahead of the other team and be in position to make key stops.
In addition to her run-stopping, Gordon's big foot started Skyline's offense, and her height made her a threat during corner kicks. But even with the multiple dimensions to her game, Castillo said first and foremost Gordon was a team player.
"She always puts the team and her teammates ahead of her," Castillo said.
Waterford | Senior | Defender
Grace Sponaugle is much more than a fullback for Waterford. Sponaugle also has a foot that can clear the ball to the other side of the pitch, and is the first strike in any of Waterford's set pieces.
But more than that, she is a leader. She motivated, organized and set the tone for the Ravens. Sponaugle meant so much to Waterford that last season she was elected a captain even though she sat out with a torn ACL.
"She's a slam-dunk selection as an MVP for Waterford, if not all of 2A," said coach Tim Dolbin. "She completely anchored our defense and came up huge with many of our set plays."
Dolbin said that she dominated any 50-50 ball and was a threat in the box off of corner kicks. Sponaugle scored Waterford's lone goal in the 2A championship game off a header.
Cedar | Junior | Defender
Seek and destroy. That's Jade Zerkle's mission.
The junior from Cedar dominated the backline and was an instrumental component of Cedar's 3A state championship.
"She is one tough player a really physical, determined player," Coach Scott Kamachi said. "She has no problem in making the crucial tackle or laying her body out for the team."
Beyond what Zerkle does for Cedar in shot defense, Kamachi said there has been real improvement with her, starting the offense. With Region 9 so competitive, Kamachi said Zerkle was instrumental in keeping league rivals to only 16 goals scored.
"She's steady, doesn't hound herself after mistakes," Kamachi said. "She's the kind of player that plays real hard and keeps moving forward."
Timpanogos | Junior | Goalkeeper
Most goalkeepers are lucky to survive a single PK shootout in state tournament play.
Carly Nelson isn't most keepers. The junior for Timpanogos bested Woods Cross in the second round of the 4A state championship tournament, 4-3. But her real test would come in the final round.
After holding Skyline scoreless through regulation and overtime, Nelson bared down for the title. Coach Megan Fereday knew Nelson's will to win would come through at the critical time.
"She has such great tenacity in the net," Fereday said. "We had the confidence of the world in her that Carly's abilities would win that game."
The University of Utah commit progressed all season. After a rocky start against American Fork, Nelson registered five shutouts while anchoring the defense.