<strong>SMITHFIELD—</strong>The Sky View girl’s soccer team was one of the best in Region 5 last season and featured one of the top players in the state in Stacy Bair. Bair easily led the Bobcats in scoring with 32 goals last season, and Sky View made a trip to the second round of the 4A state playoffs. Despite losing Bair to graduation, SV has its sights set even higher in 2012.
“We expect to go even deeper this season,” SV head coach Doyle Geddes said. “It was wonderful to have Stacy, but I’m very excited about this team for a lot of reasons. We have multiple weapons, and we’re deep, we’re deep at every spot, and that’s a luxury we haven’t had in a few years.”
The Bobcats do return plenty of talent from last year’s team, including seniors Jessica Brooksby, McKenley Hellstern, McKell Martin – who will probably miss the first couple weeks of the season with a jaw injury – and track state record holder Brenna Porter.
Brooksby is the Bobcats leading returning scorer, as she tallied eight goals in 2011.
“Teams aren’t going to be able to focus on any one player. Brooksby will be coming out of the midfield for us, but she’s intelligent about the way she operates up there, she’ll make runs,” Geddes said. “They’re not going to be able to key on her like teams were able to do with Stacy as a forward up top, and she’s also very accurate from distance and on set pieces.”
Geddes also said other scoring threats include Hellstern, Martin, Porter, Brittney Merrill, Kaylee Young, and sophomore Madison Siddoway.
“I think we’ll all have to work a little harder to get the goals – Stacy was a very good player, outstanding, we’ll definitely miss some of her scoring abilities – but I think as a team we’ll be more well-rounded and we’ll all work harder towards the goals that we earn.”
While it remains to be seen who will lead the Bobcats scoring punch, both Geddes and his players are excited about Sky View’s defense – particularly its back line. Junior Tierra Shaffer will serve as the point of the Bobcats’ defense as a stopper, and will be joined by junior Rachel White and senior McKenzie Schultz on the corners.
Sky View is also expecting big things from junior sweeper Abby Veibell who missed the entire 2011 season after tearing her MCL at a summer tournament in Southern Utah. Veibell said she is back to 100 percent and ready for the season.
“I think we have a really good team. We have a really good shot if everyone plays the way that we know we can play, then I think we have a shot to take state,” Veibell said.
“We’ve been anticipating Abby Veibell coming back and being 100 percent,” Geddes said. “We’ve known all along that that’s where she belongs. She’ll be the anchor of our defense at the sweeper spot.”
Backing up the Sky View defense is a pair of experienced goalkeepers in senior Kylee Hellstern and sophomore Kaley Brooksby. Brooksby led the Bobcats as a freshman with 3.5 shutouts in 2011, while Kylee Brooksby recorded 2.5 shutouts for SV.
“We love what we have in goal. We think we have two outstanding talents in the net,” Geddes said. “We’re pretty much going to approach the start of this season like we did last year. I’ve got a senior in Kylee Hellstern who wants that spot and she’s here to prove that she deserves it, and (sophomore) Kaley Brooksby.
“Last year we platooned them most of the season, so we’ll take that approach again this year, because we feel their just both tremendous talents in the net. We’ll see if and when one of them emerges as our go-to keeper.”
The Bobcats open the season Thursday night at 7 p.m. with a home game against Fremont. Sky View will continue its three-game season-opening home stand Friday with a game against Skyline at 3 p.m.
“We’re definitely a legitimate region contender. I think it’ll be us, and probably Bonneville and Mountain Crest there at the top of that race. I think we’ve got every bit of right to it as anybody else with the talent we’ve got,” Geddes said. “I’m most excited about those two things, our scoring depth and our position depth everywhere. I think it’s going to take us a long way this year.”