PLAYER OF THE YEAR
F Saydree Bell, Sr. (Highland)
Highland was the epitome of dominance this season. The Rams entered the state tournament with a 16-0 record and little stress. Highland did not eke out matches, it commanded them to the point that opposing fans roared if their team got so much as a shot on goal.
Despite being tripped up at state, the Rams still finished the year with an obscene goal differential of 95-11. And at the forefront of Highland’s treacherous attack was senior forward Saydree Bell, the 2021 All-Area Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“Saydree is very versatile. When she isn’t scoring goals she is assisting goals,” Century coach Matt Shutes said. “She attracts so much attention from defenders it gives space and opportunities for other players around her. Definitely the most impactful player in our area and one of the best players in the state.”
A veteran presence on the Rams’ front end, Bell’s superlatives are longer than the U.S. tax code. She’s physical, speedy, intelligent, unselfish, on and on and on. And Highland benefitted mightily. A year after finding the back of the net two dozen times, the recent Weber State signee scored 30 goals and added 21 assists.
“Her combination of speed, strength, and technical ability made her second to none as a goal scorer,” Preston coach Brandon Lyon said.
GK Seanee Still, Sr. (Pocatello)
Still is not the tallest goalkeeper in the area by any stretch but as Pocatello coach Mark Wetstein said of his senior goalie, “She can explode across the goal in an instant and make these leaping saves you expect a 6-foot keeper to make.” Behind incredible instincts, Still allowed just nine goals on 43 shots.
QUOTABLE: “I thought she was the best goalkeeper in the area. Made some big-time saves in some big games.” – Preston coach Brandon Lyon.
D Grace Fisher, Sr. (Highland)
At times, Fisher had the easiest job on the planet: Play defense for a Highland team that rarely let teams get past midfield. But with incredible soccer IQ, Fisher still found ways to impact the game. The 5A District 5-6 defender of the year, she scored a quartet of goals and anchored a Rams defense that gave up only 11 goals.
QUOTABLE: “She is a very smart player who reads the game well and shows leadership in the back line. She is fast and strong which makes it tough for attackers to get by her.” – Highland coach Korbie Vaughan.
D Angel Jessen, Sr. (Century)
Opposing coaches raved about Jessen’s ability to make plays on the back end. An incredibly intelligent player, Jessen always seemed to position herself in a spot to intercept the ball and was rarely ever beat off the dribble.
QUOTABLE: “She is a smart and solid defender that works her guts off.” – Highland coach Korbie Vaughan.
D Maycee Lunt, Sr. (Marsh Valley)
Lunt could play anywhere on the field and be productive. For a Marsh Valley team that went to state, she was the defensive stopper. With a beautiful combination of speed and aggressiveness, Lunt had 83 defensive saves on an Eagles\ back line that only gave up 17 goals on the season.
QUOTABLE: “Maycee is one of those vital players you never take off of the field. She is so incredibly fast and such an aggressive player. She has disciplined footwork and read on the ball.” – Marsh Valley coach Jacinta Johnson.
MF Kjerstin Bunderson, Sr. (Pocatello)
The star of Pocatello’s midfield, Bunderson was a next-level decision-maker. In the most compact and hurried situations, the Thunder senior was so cool and collected. She had great defensive prowess and the ability to set up Poky’s offense.
QUOTABLE: “Kjerstin was very calm on the ball. She has a very good first touch and, as a result, she didn’t turn balls over. Kjerstin made really good decisions with the ball and was able to play her team out of pressure and allow them to get forward.” – Century coach Matt Shutes.
MF Kayzee Vaughan, Sr. (Highland)
A first-team all-state selection who just signed with Southern Utah, most of Highland’s games usually ran through Vaughan. With extremely sound technical skills, she created scoring opportunities for her team, racking up eight assists and seven goals.
QUOTABLE: “Such a smooth player in the middle of the field. Very talented a threat whenever she was on the ball.” – Preston coach Brandon Lyon.
MF Morgan Christensen, Sr. (Highland)
A leader in the middle of the field, Christensen was one of the most physical midfielders in the area. She had a tenacious knack for winning 50-50 balls, which led the charge for Highland’s offense. The Southern Utah signee scored 11 times and assisted on a half-dozen goals.
QUOTABLE: “She was such a presence in Highland’s midfield and really set a tone for them and their style of play.” – Preston coach Brandon Lyon.
F Allison Horsley, Sr. (Century)
With quickness that put pressure on defenses, Horsley was able to create myriad opportunities for a Century team that narrowly missed out on state. The senior attacker scored 11 times and assisted on seven Diamondback goals.
QUOTABLE: “Allison was the type of player you watched on the other team and immediately wished she played for you. She is fast and aggressive, creative offensively, and cool and composed when presented with goal opportunities.” – Pocatello coach Mark Wetstein.
F Abby Marshall, Sr. (Marsh Valley)
Behind Highland, no team had a better goal differential than Marsh Valley’s 80-17 difference. At the helm of the Eagles’ offensive attack was Marshall, who led Marsh Valley with 23 goals while picking up a half-dozen assists.
QUOTABLE: “She is an amazing finisher with disciplined shots one on one. She is a very smart forward who can create offensive opportunities and does what she needs to do to score.” – Marsh Valley coach Jacinta Johnson.
F Keli’a Tatom, Sr. (Pocatello)
A track star who destroyed opponents with her speed, Tatom was one of the more unlucky forwards in the area, Poky coach Mark Wetstein said. She only had four goals but probably should have triple that number. Regardless, opposing coaches are glad they don’t have to face her again.
QUOTABLE: “She has a drive to win and is hyper focused on the moment. She’s the type of player that won’t hesitate to punish the other team for making the slightest mistake.” – Pocatello coach Mark Wetstein.
F Abby Satterfield, Jr. (Highland)
Working off each other, Satterfield and Bell twisted defenses into a pretzel and capitalized with easy goals. A speedy forward who has no trouble beating defenders off the dribble, Satterfield notched two-dozen goals in her junior campaign and tallied a quartet of assists.
QUOTABLE: “She is a very technical player who is so quick with the ball at her feet. She beats players with her footwork and can finish well.” – Highland coach Korbie Vaughan.
GK Leila Jackson, Fr. (American Falls)
In just her first high school season, Jackson was superb. The A.F. goalie only allowed just over a goal a game and came up big in the Beavers’ biggest games.
QUOTABLE: “She is an amazing goalkeeper. Like one of the best I’ve seen and as a freshman!” – Marsh Valley coach Jacinta Johnson.
D Emma Crystal, Jr. (Highland)
Even playing in a Highland defense that was rarely challenged, Crystal was able to set up many of the Rams’ scoring chances from the back end.
QUOTABLE: “We call her the silent assassin. She is a very strong defensive player and her touch on the ball is impeccable creating opportunities for her teammates.” – Highland coach Korbie Vaughan.
D Hailey Buffat, Sr. (Pocatello)
A two-year team captain, Buffat has been a mainstay in the middle of Pocatello’s defense. A smart player with the skills to compliment her instincts, Buffat recently signed with Walla Walla CC.
QUOTABLE: “Buffat has been a solid foundation for the high school varsity back line since she was a freshman. She is a leader, has a solid work ethic, and the best role model for all of her teammates, especially the younger players. She is eager to learn and ambitious with her goals.” Pocatello coach Mark Wetstein.
D Rachel Phillips, Sr. (Century)
Alongside Jessen in Century’s back line, Phillips made life tough for opposing offenses. The Diamondbacks gave up less than 20 goals on the season – and Phillips was a big reason why.
QUOTABLE: “Rachel is a very physical center defender. She never backed down from a challenge and won those challenges. Rachel was a captain along with the other seniors and provided the leadership we needed especially in training sessions.” – Century coach Matt Shutes.
D Yulissa Palacios, Jr. (American Falls)
In her three years at American Falls, Palacios has continually improved her defensive skills and anchored the Beavers’ back end this season.
QUOTABLE: “Yuli is a huge asset to our team by not only digging deep and coming up with some amazing defensive plays in big games but she helps bring our whole team family together as a leader.” – American Falls coach Brett Reed.
MF Camri Campbell, Jr. (Marsh Valley)
Playing on the left side, Campbell was one of the Eagles’ most aggressive players. The junior scored five times and had five assists, the top midfielder for a Marsh Valley team that went to state.
QUOTABLE: “She always gives 110% in games whether healthy or injured there’s no stopping her! She has an amazing left food and is a very competitive opponent physically.” – Marsh Valley coach Jacinta Johnson.
MF Sari Shutes, Sr. (Century)
Shutes was the calming presence for Century. The senior midfielder helped control the game and scored a half-dozen times.
QUOTABLE: “Sari moved the ball around very well and was the “quarterback” for our team. Other teams recognized this and started to man-mark her later in the season to try and keep her off the ball.” – Century coach Matt Shutes.
F Cami Harris, Sr. (Marsh Valley)
A senior forward, Harris was a nightmare to game plan for. Scoring 14 times and notching eight assists, she had an arsenal of skills to help the Eagles.
QUOTABLE: “Cami is such a hard worker and pushes herself every game to make plays and score goals. She has impeccable dribbling skills, can cross the ball beautifully, and can find the goal from anywhere.” – Marsh Valley coach Jacinta Johnson.
F Kaylee Hunt, Jr. (American Falls)
The leading scorer on an American Falls squad that went 12-3-1 and narrowly missed out on state, Hunt found the back of the net almost 30 times.
QUOTABLE: “Kaylee has a strong and never give up attitude towards her objective in each game: to win and score. She spends hours outside of practice fine-tuning her skills and abilities that manifest themselves on the pitch.” – American Falls coach Brett Reed.
F Raquelle Trogden, Sr. (Pocatello)
With good speed and elite ball-handling, Trogden had extreme offensive versatility for Pocatello. The recent Walla Walla signee had seven goals and notched a trio of assists for the Thunder.
QUOTABLE: ”Raquelle is the type of player that every coach wants to work with. She has an incredible work ethic, is always aiming to improve, listens and responds to feedback, and is intelligent on and off the field.” – Pocatello coach Mark Wetstein.
F Kamailee Singh, Fr. (Marsh Valley)
As just a freshman, Singh became one of the most vital pieces for the Eagles. The forward led the team with 10 assists and finished second with 17 goals.
QUOTABLE: “Kamailee was a Freshman starter for the Eagles this year and so much fun to watch! She is lightning fast and hungry to score. She may be small but her abilities are big.” – Marsh Valley coach Jacinta Johnson.