BOUNTIFUL--It’s the nature of high school sports: With players graduating and coming into the program, every year there’s turnover. It’s definitely the case for the 2017 Viewmont High School girls soccer team.
Of course, some years see more turnover than others, and some teams may have the good fortune of fielding a more experienced team. The Vikings bring back just four returning starters from a year ago. Yet head coach Spencer Keddington is trying to take an optimistic approach.
“We graduated a lot of starters,” he said. “But you can look at it as a positive for others to step up.”
Viewmont will break in a largely new lineup with different surroundings. The Vikings stay in Class 5A but move down to Region 5 to join fellow Davis County schools Bountiful and Woods Cross. There will be no trips for league games to Salt Lake County this season.
“We’re excited to be in the same region as Bountiful and Woods Cross,” Keddington said. “We’ve played them in the preseason in the past, but now it means more.”
The Vikings will square off with their crosstown rivals twice each this season. They’ll also face Region 5 opponents Box Elder and Roy.
Though Keddington has few experienced starters at his disposal, he does have the goal-scoring duo of Jaci Cook and Sailor Uffens. A senior, Uffens was an All-State performer last season, netting 19 goals on the year. Cook, also a senior, scored 12 of her own, as Viewmont had eight games in which it scored at least four goals during last season’s second-place run in Region 2.
Defender Madi Toole is a dominating presence in the back end.
Keddington is confident in his young Vikings.
“I feel pretty good,” he said. “The girls work hard. I’m excited to see what we have. We have tough competition in the preseason. We do that on purpose so we can have a sense of where we are and what we are capable of. The preseason will gauge what we’ll be like.”
Keddington said he would use the first few games to experiment with different lineups and give a lot of girls the chance to see some action. Once region play begins, he’ll settle things down more.
The Vikings began the season with a 2-2 tie with Skyridge, followed by a pair of 2-0 wins over Desert Hills and Orem. Uffens had both goals in the first two games and one goal in game three.
Keddington knows it’s a long season, and a lot can happen, especially in a new region with unfamiliar faces. Still, his approach is no different than it has been in previous seasons.
“It’s the same every year: We want to qualify for the playoffs,” he said. “Once you’re there, you take it one game at a time—anything can happen. We’ll focus on getting better every game.”
In the early stages of the season, Keddington couldn’t be happier with his young team.
“The girls have done everything we’ve asked,” he said. “They have great attitudes, and they’ve worked hard. I couldn’t have asked for a better group. They’re ready to go.”