Hadrien Pena, Hillcrest sr.
THE PLAYER: The High Country Conference’s player of the year, Pena gave the Knights an electric scoring punch, totaling 22 goals — including a staggering five in a district tournament win over Shelley. Defenses paid extra attention to Pena all season, and it didn’t always matter. That helped the Knights take fourth at the 4A state tournament.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “It was his ability to find a hole in the defense, either in the channels in the defense or dropping into the hole between the midfield and attack — his ability to find that hole killed us.” — Blackfoot coach Liam Pope
Johan Gaytan-Hernandez, Hillcrest jr.
THE PLAYER: A versatile, all-around player, Gaytan-Hernandez paired well with Pena to form one of Class 4A’s most lethal scoring combinations. Gaytan-Hernandez, a four-year starter, also made first-team all-conference.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He’s a really good defender, but he also gets up in the attack. Johan is a really intelligent player, and he knows where to be on the field to help the team.” — Hillcrest coach Ryan Ellis
Kohner Dixon, Skyline sr.
THE PLAYER: Coaches around the area speak glowingly of Dixon, who racked up 21 goals and 16 assists across his senior season, making him one of District 6’s most versatile players. Unfortunately for Dixon, an injury shelved him toward the end of the season, but not soon enough to prevent him from making a huge impact for the Grizzlies.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He was quick, moved the ball with his feet really quickly too, so you struggled to challenge him because he’d move the ball quickly, get past you if you jumped in. He was strong as well. I thought he was a complete player.” — Blackfoot coach Liam Pope
Cade Slagle, Madison sr.
THE PLAYER: Slagle, a first-team all-conference selection, registered 22 goals and one assist this season, making him one of the area’s top scorers — regardless of classification. That’s a big reason why Madison reached the 5A state tournament this season.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He was a real standout player.” — Thunder Ridge coach Corey Toldson
Luis Zamora, Thunder Ridge sr.
THE PLAYER: A rare four-year starter, Zamora made an impact all over the field for the Titans, who secured their fourth straight 5A District 5-6 title and returned to the state tournament this season. Zamora — better known as “Chuy” — logged nine goals and 11 assists.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He was a really big playmaker. Played a big role.” — Thunder Ridge coach Corey Toldson
Kyle Brunson, Sugar-Salem sr.
THE PLAYER: Brunson combined with Ricardo Contreras to fuel Sugar-Salem’s offense all season long. A first-team all-state selection, he totaled 22 goals and 18 assists, making him a devastating scorer and a key distributor.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He’s very well-rounded. He’s not just scoring goals; not just doing assists. He had a really good combination of both.” — Sugar-Salem coach Scott Terry
Misa Reyna, Blackfoot sr.
THE PLAYER: A long-term starter for Blackfoot, Reyna played a critical role in helping the Broncos return to state, the program’s second straight trip.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He had really good vision. He could see the field well. He’s a natural leader. He just kind of took control of that middle.” — Hillcrest coach Ryan Ellis
Landon Bingham, Sugar-Salem sr.
THE PLAYER: It’s always hard to quantify the impact of defenders, but consider this about Bingham: He helped the Diggers surrender just three goals across three games at the 3A state tournament, which became a huge reason why Sugar-Salem captured its first state title this fall.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He really held together our back line, and we wouldn’t have had the success that we did this year without him.” — Sugar-Salem coach Scott Terry
Jojo Soto, Idaho Falls jr.
THE PLAYER: Soto led Idaho Falls in goals (12) and placed second in assists (6), which helped the Tigers finish a game over .500 this season.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “Really good on the ball. Really good scorer.” — Hillcrest coach Ryan Ellis
Tyler Thompson, Thunder Ridge jr.
THE PLAYER: If you can fly under the radar while scoring 14 goals and eight assists, Thompson found a way. One of the scoring leaders for a Titans club that went 1-2 at the 5A state tournament, the junior played a key role for Thunder Ridge.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He’s just a force. He’s got a heck of a leg.” — Thunder Ridge coach Corey Toldson
Fabian Castro, Rigby sr.
THE PLAYER: Rigby went just 1-2 at the 5A District 5-6 tournament, but the Trojans might not have gotten so far without the services of Castro, who totaled five goals and eight assists across the season.
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING: “He was their standout player who seemed to control their game. He was an important part of their team — kind of held things together.” — Thunder Ridge coach Corey Toldson
Israel Mendieta, Thunder Ridge
Fabian Castro, Rigby
Spencer Thompson, Thunder Ridge
Manny Bartolo, Blackfoot
Joscha Maier, Skyline
Adrian Rivas, Skyline
Gunner Watson, Idaho Falls
Junior Vega, Shelley
Gabe Batacan, Blackfoot
Devin Petterson, Sugar-Salem
Andre Casteneda, Bonneville
Gavyn Cornell (Blackfoot), Thomas Endsley (Hillcrest) Isaac Woolley (Hillcrest) Jeron Mouser (Madison), Tegan Wages (Skyline), Andy Hanosky (Shelley), McKay Rindfleisch (Idaho Falls), Zach Lowe (Idaho Falls), Junior Valenzuela (Thunder Ridge), Kylan Mower (Rigby), Andrew Abeyta (Rigby), Luke Williams (Madison), Adrian Trejo (Thunder Ridge)