Varsity soccer Miner awarded Matt Knoop memorial trophy

PARK CITY, Utah — The Park City High School soccer program ended its year, making it all the way to the State Playoff Semi-Finals against Olympus but didn’t advance beyond Friday’s game at home at Dozier Field. Their season ended 10 and 7 overall and 8 and 4 in the region.

Head Coach Anthony DiCicco told TownLift, before the game, “We went one on one with Olympus this year where we won at their place, and they won at ours. We know that every team we play in May is a good team, and we have a lot of respect for Olympus. I tell the boys, we want to play our best soccer in May.”

He went on to discuss the season’s historic amount of snowfall. “It was a wild winter. I’m proud of the athletes for their adaptability, which is what allowed us to get this far into the season. Miner’s soccer had to play our first seven games on the road. It was often a struggle logistically too, we had to figure out playing field space with all the snow on the ground juggling with all the other sports, but the whole town banned together and made it work. I wouldn’t say it was easy, it was unprecedented.”

The night before the final game of the season, the Miners Soccer program held its banquet at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, where many awards were given out.

Among the accolades was the Matt Knoop Memorial Trophy given to a student-athlete who embodies the best of what the school, sport, and students have to offer this soccer-loving community. Matt’s mother stood up and spoke to the crowd of parents and students.

She said, “When a parent loses a child, one of their worst fears is that their child will be forgotten. Therefore, it’s a privilege to be included in this banquet every year, allowing my son’s memory to live on. Matt loved being a part of the Park City community; he was a Parkite through and through. He was also very passionate about the game of soccer and was proud to play for Park City High School, it gave him pure joy. Matt made it his personal goal to keep the team united, and I’m happy to see here tonight that that is still really important.” The trophy was then announced to and handed to the recipient, Varsity Boys Co-Captain Bryce Stone. 

After heartfelt hugs all around, respectfully the heavy hearts in the room were made lighter by DiCicco who quipped, with his full mustache and beard and thick hair down to his shoulders. “We’re all Miner’s here in this room tonight, I”m just the only one who looks like one.” He proceeded to command the room by communicating about and to each and every member of the PCHS soccer program.

Following is a partial list of award winners:

  • Liv Skyling – Coaches Award
  • Merritt Jones – Most Impactful Award
  • Charlie Taylor – Most Impactful Award
  • Ben Sidlow – Coaches Award
  • Alex Opandri – Coaches Award
  • Tory Hoffman – Most Consistant Player Award
  • Silas Miller – Coaches Award
  • Quinn Kelly – Most Impactfull Player Award. He also is the only freshman player, boy or girl, to have played on the Varsity team in the post season. Sophomore Abby Hanton plays with the Varsity girls team.
  • Alex Katz – All-Academic Region Six Award
  • Ruby Richards – All-Academic Region Six Award
  • Riley Barnhart – All-Academic Region Six Award
  • Cate Defa – All-Academic State Award. She also won the Coaches Award
  • Evan Sandies – All-Academic State Award 
  • Alex Taylor – All-Academic State Award
  • Hudson Smith – All-Academic State Award
  • T.R. Books – All-Academic State Award
  • Tommy Manwaring – All-Academic State Award. He also won the Defensive Player of the Year Award
  • Al Hopkins – Young Player of the Year

High School Letters were handed out and special mentions went out to the senior varsity boy and girl goal keepers who are both playing soccer next year at Cal Poly and to Ricki Davis who will be playing at Centralia College. To Jennifer Janssen for her team photography and her daughter Kennedy for not only helping put together the framed photos for all the seniors but for creating the banquet’s slideshow before accepting her own varsity PC Letter. Varsity player Maria Pena was the assistant varsity coach and a player and was was mentioned as already giving back to her community by coaching younger soccer players.

DiCicco told the crowd, about the girls varsity team, “I wanted to tell you just how special they’ve been this year not only in their pursuit of their own goals, but in their pursuit of a healthy, vibrant, compassionate program that they would leave for future classes, and I could not be more proud of not only our seniors but the entire girls soccer program and what they accomplished this year.”

In his fifth season with the Miners, he’s the head coach of the varsity boys and girls soccer teams. After attending high school in Connecticut, he worked for the first national women’s professional league. His father, Tony, also worked for the league coaching the USA Women’s National Team to victories in both the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and the 1999 Women’s World Cup in Los Angeles. Anthony has been coaching High School soccer for 20 years.

He’s started a new tradition at Park City High School. Last year he gave a book to the graduating boys soccer co-captains for some summer reading. It’s a book his father gave to him just after he graduated high school. It’s a nonfiction book containing many anecdotes about leadership. Last year’s boys were encouraged by Coach Anthony, as everyone in Park City calls him, to write meaningful notes inside and so after they did, they handed it on to this year’s seniors, and now after being read by the senior boys soccer co-captains it was literally handed down at the banquet to the girls varsity co-captains Remy and Kendall, and so on and so forth. 

The night ended with the players handing out gifts to the coaches of team photos signed by all the athletes. No senior wanted to leave the place or the program without a selfie of them next to Coach Anthony. 

The final honor was when DiCicco had the kids give a round of applause for all the parents. 

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