Payson Soccer Players Score 3a East Victories


The Payson High School soccer teams have ended their seasons, but the accolades continue for team standouts.

Both the Payson boys and girls varsity teams were eliminated early in the state playoffs. But the voting done by coaches throughout the 3A East for their All-Conference Team prove that Payson had a number of players who were well-respected by opposing schools.

Seven of Payson's boys made the list, with Branden Peters and Karri Liikkanen both capturing first-team honors. Tyson McKee and Nick Sanders were both named to the all-conference second team, and Travis Sanders, Zack McQuain and Jonas Nielsen all received honorable-mention titles.

"I'm really proud of all these guys," coach Byron Quinlan said. "They did a really good job and played very hard all season,"

In girls soccer, four players on Payson's varsity squad made the all-conference first team. LeAnn Owens, Ashly Hallobaugh, Trista Carlton and Amy Wilcox all received top individual honors in their conference. These girls were at the heart of a team that grew together as the season wore on.

At the team's end-of-the-season banquet, Payson's teammates voted amongst themselves for the titles of Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player and Best Sportsmanship. When the votes were tallied, there was a tie for MVP, with Ashly Hallobaught and LeeAnn Owens sharing the title. The Most Improved award went to Shana Vaught and the Best Sportsmanship title was split between Jana Knighton and Amy Wilcox.

The team's strong leadership also attracted state recognition. Coaches throughout the 3A East voted Linda Gibson of Payson 3A Coach of the Year.

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