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South Jordan Journal

Bingham boys soccer chipping away after a state quarterfinal exit last year

Apr 03, 2022 07:13PM ● By Brian Shaw

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

The preseason is all about tinkering, according to head coach Leo Gonzalez. Fine-tuning lineups with the ultimate objective of reaching a decision about which 11 players will take the field for the Region 3 opener. And who better to tinker and chip away at something than a miner? Namely, a Bingham Miners boys soccer team that lost more than a few players due to graduation.

“We lost about 14 to 15 seniors last season,” Gonzalez said. “Pretty much the whole varsity team, so the fact that we are where we are; we’re pleased with the progress.”

According to Gonzalez, who is now in his fifth year at the school, his 2022 seniors are responding. Kids who played largely on the Miners’ junior varsity team last year—13 in all, he added, are stepping up to the varsity role

Of those senior players, Gonzalez said that he likes what he’s seeing from his backline at Bingham thus far and believes they will form the backbone to this year’s team.

“Our whole defense is key [to success],” added Gonzalez, whose team has had two overarching goals — win region and advance deep at state — every season that he’s been Bingham’s coach.

The four-man backline consisting of Bridger Heyward, Adam Goodrich, Connor Youlton and Gabe Morris — all seniors — is critical to what Gonzalez hopes his team will accomplish.

Behind this backline stands the goalkeeper, a position whose full-time starter is still undecided, Gonzalez said. At this point he’s been rotating between two boys: freshman Riley Whicker, who has had the Miners’ only shutout to date, and Collin Canning, a junior who just moved into the area and is new to Bingham.

“We’re excited with what we have, but definitely the defense will be key in giving these goalies a little time to settle and grow into their position,” added Gonzalez.

To date, Bingham [3-1] has played highly competitive games this preseason, never allowing more than two goals in any game.

Another reason the Miners have been seeing some success, said Gonzalez, is due to a very talented and deep midfield/forward line. Led by senior midfielder/forward Ethan Beckman with three goals, one in each of the wins at Pleasant Grove and at Westlake, he has been helped by the play of senior midfielder/forward Hampton Davis, who has a goal and assisted on the two goals that Beckman scored. 

The dynamic duo has combined to help lead the Miners to a 2-1 victory over a red-hot American Fork team on March 14, a 2-1 win at Westlake March 16 and the 1-0 shutout victory at Pleasant Grove.  The only blemish on the Miners' record has been a 2-1 defeat at home to Lone Peak on March 23, in which Beckman continued his torrid scoring pace [3 goals in 4 games] with another goal for Bingham.

Other attacking contributors thus far in the preseason, according to the coach, include senior midfielder Caleb Nance, who scored a goal in the American Fork game, and senior midfielder J West Lee, who combined on the goal with Davis in that game as well.

“I think these boys will be crucial to the way we’re going to play this season,” added Gonzalez, who said he has a few returning varsity players in this year’s squad, including Beckman.

“We keep finishing second every season [in region] but we have what it takes this year, from what I’m seeing, to progress further at state, and the kids understand what we want to accomplish.”

Along with the 13 seniors these Miners will bring to the pitch in 2022, two juniors made the varsity squad as did one sophomore and one freshman.

In order of their jersey numbers the Bingham boys soccer varsity for 2022 will be: Riley Whicker, Andres Weller, Mason Guymon, Bridger Heward, Gabe Morris, Caleb Nance, Jaxon Simister, J West Lee, Kade Davis, Hampton Davis, Adam Goodrich, Kade Whipple, Chase Kartchner, Brendan Parker, Connor Youlton, Ethan Beckman and Collin Canning.