By Chris Megginson, assistant sports editor
HUNTSVILLE — In its fifth season as a program, Springville High School boys’ soccer finished its 2019 season as runner-up in the AHSAA Class 4A/5A State Championships, falling 5-0 to Briarwood Christian School on May 10 at John Hunt Park.
“To be able to able to come this far with this group of kids is fun to be a part of,” said Coach Cody Wilkerson. “Briarwood is really, really good. The boys represented their community well. They played hard. We were down 4-0 in the first half and could have quit and hung their heads, but they fought until the end.”
Briarwood took a 4-0 lead at halftime with goals from Logan Frost, Trent Malloy, Jackson Stubbs and a goal deflected by the Tigers’ defense. Springville goalkeeper Evan Paddock kept Briarwood out of the net until Hamilton Bowen added a late goal with six minutes to play.
Entering the championship, Springville outscored its opponents, 11-5, through the first four playoff games and won the North with a 2-1 semifinal victory over St. John Paul II on Thursday, May 9.
In the semifinal, Brantley Miles tied the game, 1-1, in the first half and Louis Keil scored the game-winner five minutes into the second half. Paddock had eight saves.
Springville, which finished the year with a program-best 18-6 record, went undefeated in area play and scored 130 goals during the season. Senior captain Caleb Utsey led the team with 28 goals and 12 assists, while Keil finished the season with 25 goals and 13 assists and Mills scored 21 goals and assisted 20.
All of the seniors have built playoff experience since playing as freshmen four years ago, including taking the Tigers to the quarterfinals in 2017. Chase Galloway was the lone player on this year’s team who was a member of Springville’s first team five seasons ago, alongside current junior varsity coach Kelly Ryan.
“The kids just bought in all season and have worked hard from 6 a.m. summer workouts and conditioning in November to now,” Wilkerson said.