ST. GEORGE — Snow Canyon girls soccer, the defending state champions, are at the top of the Region 9 standings with two games left, and Heidi Smith is leading them into the postseason.
“I love it,” Smith said. “It’s been something I’ve been looking forward to since I was a freshman. It’s going to be hard to let go. We’ve had some ups and downs for sure, but I’m very proud of my team.”
Smith, a senior forward for the Warriors, is their main goal scorer and points leader. According to Maxpreps, she leads the region in both of those categories and is one of the top players in all of Region 9 soccer.
Last season Smith was named the Class 4A MVP by Deseret News, and she was also named to the first team all-region, which is voted on by the coaches.
While she excels on the field, Heidi also handles her business in the classroom. Her favorite class is English, and she loves to write.
“My teacher, his name is Joshua Jackson, he’s definitely one of my favorite teachers because he is really good at making you feel like you don’t have to write in a certain style,” Smith said. “You can use your own style and add some of your personality in there.”
Heidi is not sure what she will pursue her degree in come next year, but one thing is for sure, she’ll be playing soccer.
“Last year, actually the day we won the state championship game, I drove up to Utah State and verbally committed to go play there,” Smith said. “I’m so excited. Everyday that I play here, it just gets you more excited because I am ready to have a new beginning and a fresh start. To go play with new players and be a part of a new culture, I am definitely very excited about it, and I am not regretting it in any way.”
Snow Canyon head coach Ken Kunde hasn’t spoken with the coaches at Utah State, but he knows what Smith needs to expect when playing at the next level.
“They’ve got to have good field sense, they have got to be technically good with the ball so they can fit into any kind of system that they’re going to go play in at that next level,” Kunde said.
For Smith, there isn’t much going on outside of soccer. When she isn’t playing in a game, she’s training, working out on her own or spending time with her friends. She also dances during the off-season and has been dancing since she was 3 years old.
Her work ethic and competitiveness can be seen by anyone who watches a Snow Canyon game, and Kunde sees that rubbing off on her teammates.
“She wants to be the best soccer player that she can,” Kunde said. “She’s got a commitment to go get some free school playing soccer for them, and that’s Heidi. Soccer has been her life since she was probably 8 years old or younger. She’s been playing forever, and that’s just what she loves to do. Her competitive drive, and her desire to be the best that she can is evident. That rubs off on our players. They can see the work ethic that she puts in and the results that it can create, but hopefully that example kind of motivates the kids to do the same thing.”
As a person, Kunde described Smith as funny, grounded, having a lot of life and just being a fun kid to be around. He also mentioned that her teammates love to be around her.
With the postseason rapidly approaching, Smith said their goal is to keep the energy up.
“The main goal for us right now is just to make sure we keep the intensity that we have for 80 minutes of the game,” Smith said. “We need to make sure we keep that fire to play that hard, because that is what we’re going to need going into every game in the playoffs.”
Smith is excited to go to Utah State, but she is also sad to be leaving Snow Canyon, a place where she has made many memories.
Region 9 play will wrap up next week, with the Class 4A state tournament beginning on Oct. 12. The bracket will be revealed next Wednesday at 9 a.m.
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