All-Area Boys Soccer Coach of the Year

With loads of talent across the pitch, Hillcrest High School boys soccer coach Bryan Johnston earns the Post Register’s boys soccer coach of the year accolade after coaching the Knights to one of their highest finishes ever at state.

The Knights tied a program best state finish by taking third at this year’s 5A state tournament and ended the season 14-2-3 overall. Hillcrest’s semifinal round appearance was its first since 2009.

Its season ended with a 2-0 win over Boise.

“He’s been there a long time,” Idaho Falls coach Ryan Cook said. “They should’ve won … and it’s hard when teams expect you to win. His heart and soul is with Hillcrest.”

With first-teamers Seth Redd, Jackson Monk and Ethan Hatch, Hillcrest dominated local 5A competition including a 10-1-2 record against District 6 teams. The only District 6 team to beat Hillcrest: Blackfoot (a 3-1 loss on Sept. 25).

Regardless of that one blemish, though, Johnston coached the Knights to a season to remember.

“We set a goal before the season and focused on what we had to do to accomplish that goal,” Hillcrest’s Jesse Arellano told the Post Register earlier this season.