Six Miners named to All-State teams
June 20, 2014
Though the Park City High School boys’ soccer team lost a close home semifinal match against Cedar in the 3A quarterfinals to see its season end a little sooner than expected, the Miners were still well-represented on the Deseret News’s 3A All-State team.
Leading the way for the Miners was senior defender Tanner Cartwright, the only member of the team to earn first-team All-State honors.
Park City coach Jesse Blais said he didn’t expect Cartwright to be honored before the season, but added that the first-team award was a testament to how hard the converted midfielder worked all year.
"He’s been a midfielder the last three years," Blais said. "But we needed a smart player who was solid on defense. He made a huge impact on the team and helped us have one of the best scoring differentials in 3A."
Blais added that Cartwright was so important to the team it was hard to take him off the field.
"He played some of the most minutes on the team," he said. "He helped direct things and I think he made a lot of improvements."
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Earning second-team honors were seniors Garrett Magie and Sully Tesch. Blais said those two players have been staples of the squad for a long time.
"They were huge parts of our team," he said. "When either of them was out, you could tell our style changed. For them to be honored, especially when we only made it to the quarterfinals, it shows how much of an impact they had especially when you consider how competitive 3A was."
Senior Brad McNeely and juniors Mitch Martino and Gunnar Stray-Gundersen earned honorable mention recognition to round out the group of Miners receiving awards.
Blais said that after Stray-Gundersen earned first-team All-State honors last season, the fact that the forward slipped to only honorable mention recognition was a product of other Miners stepping up and not Stray-Gundersen regressing.
"Last year, because we went to the final and Gunnar was a big part of that, he made the first team," he said. "We had some good forwards this year. He kind of got the short end of the stick, though he had a good year. We had more of a balanced attack, so we didn’t rely on one striker as much."
As for McNeely and Martino, Blais said they were two players he could pencil into the starting lineup as often as he needed to.
"Brad and Mitch probably played the most minutes on the team," he said. "They were two players I didn’t have to worry about very much."
Though four of the six honorees have graduated, Blais is thrilled to have Stray-Gundersen and Martino coming back next year.
"It’s exceptional to be able to build off those two," he said. "They’re great leaders, very passionate and want to win. One’s on offense and one’s on defense, so they’ll direct the play on either end of the pitch. That’ll be nice to have sometimes you only have defenders or you only have forwards coming back."
Overall, Blais was happy with the recognition the Miners got on the All-State teams. But, he added, he wished senior Will Macfarlane would have been recognized for his outstanding season.
"He had a great season," he said. "He’s not a flashy player, but he caused so many turnovers and helped our flow of play. It’s hard to recognize that type of stuff it’s all the little things he does. He was one of our best players, though."
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