Jordan soccer looks to be tough in Region 3
The boys soccer team at Jordan High School poses for a photo before practice. (Nelson Glassett/Jordan Head Coach)
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The boys soccer team at Jordan High School began the 2017 season on a strong note, and it hopes to keep up the pace for the year. The team made the playoffs last year after having missed out since 2013. The 2016 squad finished third in 5A’s Region 3 going 8-4-1 overall and 5-3-1 during region play. That squad lost its first round match in the state tournament to top seeded Weber High School. The 2017 Beetdiggers are a little more experienced and are looking to go even further.
“We would like to get to the playoffs again and make it to the second round, and ultimately to the championship game,” Jordan head coach Nelson Glassett said.
This year’s team is led by many returning players, three of whom are seniors with years of experience. There are also eight juniors and one sophomore who logged heavy minutes last season. Senior goal keeper Jose Rios, who is also a team captain, will be protecting the net again this season. Midfielder Adolfo Bruno, also a captain and a senior, will be back on the pitch, as will junior defender Graden Reber, also a captain. Sophomore Talon Hathoway is also returning after a string freshman season at striker.
“This is a very special group of young men,” Glassett said. “These boys have been playing the game for a long time, they know how to play, yet they are willing to be coached.”
Jordan started the year against West High School on March 7, getting the early springtime win, 3-1. The Beetdiggers lost their second game to Olympus on March 14, getting blanked, 3-0. They came back with a brilliant, double overtime victory over region rival Cottonwood, on March 17, winning 2-1. Jordan won their next two against a couple of other region foes, Taylorsville, March 24, 6-0 and West Jordan, March 28, 1-0.
This year’s team is focused on getting better and learning from their mistakes. The coach also emphasized the importance of playing as a team, comradery and building a family-like environment. According to the coach, the practices are meant to push the kids, yet are fun and extremely positive. The approach seems to be working for the Beetdiggers.
“They are incredible individuals, they can do anything, not just individually, but as a brotherhood,” said Glassett.
The state tournament’s first round begins on May 16, and Jordan will have had to play their best in order to get there. The Beetdiggers played nine region match ups through the month of April and into early May, squaring off against Region 3 power Bingham twice, the always tough Copper Hills Grizzlies twice and the Bengals of Brighton two times as well. All of those teams are efficient and can play well enough to win when their opponents don’t show up ready to play. But, Glassett believes that his group of players will put their game faces on any day.
“The players come ready to learn and improve,” Glassett said. “They are very positive.”
The Beetdiggers are hopeful that their approach, their hard work, the tight-knit demeanor of the players and the positive attitudes will result in not only a state tournament berth, but a game in the second round, and, possibly a chance at the trophy playing under the lights at Rio Tinto Stadium the last week of May.
“I am honored every day to think that they give me and the other coaches the time and respect to listen to our thoughts and allow us to share insights with them,” Glassett said. “That says a lot about the boys.”