Six Miners earn 3A soccer All-State honors |

Six Miners earn 3A soccer All-State honors

Park City High School forward Gunnar Stray-Gundersen wasn’t a starter when the 2013 boys’ soccer season began.

But the relentless sophomore earned his way into the starting 11 with endless energy and a tendency to find the back of the net. Earlier this week, he found himself on the Deseret News’s 3A first-team all-state team.

After scoring 15 goals, it’s not surprising that he is remembered by many of the high school coaches who voted on the awards.

"He made a huge impact on the team this season," PCHS coach Jesse Blais said. "A lot of the coaches seem to remember the kids who score goals on them."

Stray-Gundersen and the Miners played well enough to amass a record of 12-6-1 and earn a trip to the 3A state finals, where they lost to rival Wasatch 1-0.

Wasatch forward Ben Powell was named the 3A MVP for leading the Wasps to a 3A state title and an undefeated season.

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Two Miners landed on the second team goalkeeper Casey Sederman and center back Sully Tesch. Blais said Sederman played well enough to land on the first team, but didn’t have the stats some of the other goalkeepers had.

"Towards the beginning, he was splitting time with another goalie and he was OK with that," he said. "So in the stat book he doesn’t come out with as many shutouts as other goalies. But Ogden and Wasatch had amazing keepers as well, so it’s hard to argue with those choices."

Tesch was the anchor of the Miners’ defense, Blais said, though he added that the entire unit did a fantastic job all season.

"There were some good defenders this year and Sully was definitely up there," he said. "Brett Mueller and Mitch Martino also did great jobs all year. But people don’t remember defenders as much as guys who score goals."

Midfielders Jesus Valeriano and Alejandro Vieyra earned honorable mention honors for their play this season. Both were instrumental in feeding the ball to Stray-Gundersen and the other forwards, providing plenty of goal-scoring opportunities.

Though Blais said the Miners had plenty of deserving players who didn’t make the all-state cut, he’s happy with the way the teams turned out.

"It’s always hard doing the all-state teams," he said. "Obviously, you don’t play all the teams, but I was definitely pretty happy with what we had on the all-state team."

Blais said the Miners are poised for another strong season in 2014.

"I’m really excited for our team next year," he said. "I think we’ll definitely be a state contender again."

He added that Park City will keep its rivalry with Wasatch going, but things will be different now that the Wasps have moved up to 4A.

"We won’t be playing them three times again," he said. "But we’ll play them once in a preseason game."

The Miners will once again face a challenging non-region schedule as Blais tries to prepare his team for Region 10 and the playoffs with games against teams like 4A state champion Bountiful and 5A powerhouse Weber.