MVP Benton Kemp led Snow Canyon boys to region soccer title; other all-Region 9 players named

File photo shows Snow Canyon's Benton Kemp, later named Region 9 MVP, kicking the ball against eventual state 4A champion Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, April 10, 2018 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Snow Canyon forward Benton Kemp heads the 2018 all-region boys soccer team as Region 9’s most valuable player.

Snow Canyon’s Benton Kemp (2), Snow Canyon vs. Salem Hills, St. George, Utah, May 3, 2018 | File photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Kemp, a junior, scored 12 goals and had numerous assists this year, helping the Warriors to an overall record of 10 wins, one loss and five ties. Although Snow Canyon won the Region 9 title, the Warriors ended up getting upset 1-0 in the 4A quarterfinals to Park City, their only loss of the season.

“Benton is a forward, but he can play midfield, on the back line or anywhere else that we need him,” his coach, Marc Wittwer, told St. George News. “He is a selfless player who creates scoring opportunities for those around him. His only weakness is that he needs to be a little more selfish at times and take it in to score himself.”

“He works hard every day and even though he is a star on our team, he’s the first one to shag balls and clean up after practice,” Wittwer added. “He’s a good student and a great example of winning on and off the field. He’s also involved in student council and other activities where he is developing strong leadership skills.”

Best of all, Wittwer said, Kemp just finished 11th grade, meaning he will get to play one more year.

It was a competitive spring season for Region 9, with each of the top teams battling through multiple tie games and other close contests.

At the end of the regular season, Snow Canyon finished atop the standings with a record of 9-0-3, but Dixie (8-1-3) and Desert Hills (7-1-4) were not far behind. Desert Hills, which entered the playoffs Region 9’s No. 3 seed, ended up winning its first-ever boys soccer state championship with a 4-0 win over Park City in the title game May 12 at Real Salt Lake Academy. Desert Hills had edged Dixie 2-1 in the semifinals the day before.

Following are the Region 9 all-region soccer team selections, as voted upon by the coaches:

Region 9 first team all-region

Desert Hills’ Walker Heaton (8) and Snow Canyon’s Yetzel Carrillo (23), Snow Canyon vs. Desert Hills, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Apr. 10, 2018 | File photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

MVP: Benton Kemp, Snow Canyon.

Goalkeepers: Ryley Duckworth, Pine View; Matt Bench, Canyon View.

Defenders: Alex Tholen, Snow Canyon; Jace Bennett, Dixie; Jesse Wilkinson, Dixie; Bryant McCoy, Desert Hills; Naosuke Tanaka, Pine View; Dylan Avedinar, Cedar.

Midfielders: Yetzel Carillo, Snow Canyon; Cole Trotter, Snow Canyon; Anthony Depaz, Dixie; Ben Simister, Desert Hills; Scott Sanders, Canyon View; Dayton Elison, Hurricane.

Forwards: Benton Kemp, Snow Canyon; Oscar Quintero, Dixie; Walker Heaton, Desert Hills.

Region 9 second team all-region

Goalkeepers: Austin Mild, Snow Canyon; Kieren Atkin, Dixie.

Defenders: Sean Keatch, Snow Canyon; Richard Nino, Snow Canyon; Garret Cottle, Desert Hills; Jonny Rodgers, Desert Hills, Louie Frausto, Pine View; Justin Brown, Cedar, Keenan Bryner, Hurricane

Midfielders: Cameron Morris, Snow Canyon; Jose “Tauri” Morales, Dixie; Kelton Holt, Desert Hills; Kelvin Armenta, Pine View; Kaden Bowden, Canyon View.

Forwards: Trey Hoskins, Dixie; Alex Rodriguez, Pine View; Mark Gibson, Canyon View; Tito Garcia, Cedar.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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