Whether they excelled in offense, defense, scoring or assisting, these 2024 soccer players of the year stood out above the rest in their respective classifications. Whether they were able to lead their team to the state title or they just fell devastatingly short, these players had a standout season.

Here’s a rundown of the 2024 Deseret News boys soccer Players of the Year.

Pleasant Grove's Jon Fritcher shoots the ball agaisnt Farmington in the 6A semifinal boys soccer game at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Farmington won 4-2, after double overtime and a shootout. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

6A Player of the Year

Jon Fritcher, Pleasant Grove, MF, Sr.

Pleasant Grove standout midfielder Jon Fritcher had a season to remember, helping lead his team to the semifinals of the state tournament, where their season ultimately ended in heartbreak, losing to Farmington on penalty kicks. Fritcher’s record-setting season, with 18 goals and 13 assists, showcased his talent and ability. Beyond his scoring feats, Fritcher showed tremendous leadership and skill throughout the regular season. A true leader on the field, his presence drove his team to success.

Pleasant Grove head coach Chris Ecalono knows that while the amount of goals and assists that Fritcher had is what everybody will remember about the season, what makes him so special is his leadership capabilities and the composure that he showed throughout the season and is something that no doubt rubbed off on his teammates.

“Jon had the best statistical season in Pleasant Grove’s history with 18 goals and 13 assists. But what makes him truly special is his competitive nature and leadership. In my 20 years of coaching, I’ve never seen a player have a bigger drive to win and make his teammates better. Jon is the consummate leader and captain,” said, who highlighted Fritcher’s dedication and the influence as well as impact he has on his teammates.

Wasatch’s Jayden Cosper scores in penalty kicks in a 5A boys soccer semifinal game against Hunter at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Monday, May 20, 2024. | Spenser Heaps, for the Deseret N

5A Player of the Year

Jayden Cosper, Wasatch, F, Jr.

Wasatch’s Jayden Cosper helped push his team to back-to-back state championships in the 5A state tournament. With 19 goals and eight assists in 17 games, Cosper showed that you will be hard pressed to find anyone who is much better at finding the back of the net and getting his teammates involved than him. Cosper scored the winning goal in the 5A title game against Roy with under two minutes to go in the game.

“Jayden has played a pivotal role in securing our consecutive state championships, yet his contributions often go unnoticed. His unwavering work ethic shines through in every training session, driven by his relentless pursuit of improvement and excellence on the field,” said Wasatch head coach Lance Cosper.

The consistency and quality that Cosper possesses will be a welcome sight in the coming season.

“Jayden scored crucial goals in both the semifinals and finals, concluding the season with an impressive tally of 19 goals and eight assists. His ability to deliver when it matters most has been consistent, marked by exceptional runs and a knack for finding the back of the net. As we look forward to another season, we are grateful to have Jayden with us once again,” added Cosper.

Ridgeline’s Tate Hickman kicks the ball in front of Murray’s Bracken Overby during the 4A boys soccer state championship game at America First Field in Sandy on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Ridgeline won 4-3. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

4A Player of the Year

Tate Hickman, Ridgeline, F, Sr.

Ridgeline’s Tate Hickman has the type of skill and craftiness that made him a standout on Ridgeline’s team that won the 4A state title this past season. Ridgeline defeated Murray 4-3, with Hickman scoring a goal in the championship game.

Overall, for the season, Hickman led the way for his team with 17 goals and 10 assists. When faced with adversity, whether it be needing to come from behind, or the team needing a lift, Hickman was always there to lead his team to victory.

Ridgeline head coach Richard Alexander talked about what makes Hickman so successful and such a menace to opposing defenses.

“Great players know that the work makes them great, and Tate is indeed a great player. He is shifty, dynamic, determined and powerful. He is an absolute nightmare for defenses. His ability to create attacks and score under pressure is what made him such an important player for our team,” said Alexander.

Alexander says that there is no question that his team was more successful when Hickman was on the field.

“You always have a chance to win with Tate on the field. I’m so proud of the player and man he has become.”

Ogden Tigers’ Lincoln Barnes battles Manti Templars’ Parker Anderson as the two teams play in the 3A soccer championship at America First Field in Sandy on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Ogden won 4-1. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

3A Player of the Year

Lincoln Barnes, Ogden, D, Sr.

The glue of the Ogden High School boys soccer team, four-year starter Lincoln Barnes is someone who was always locked in and focused on the task that he and his teammates faced. Barnes had a captivating season for Ogden, scoring seven goals and five assists as a center back. With three Division I college offers, the future could not be brighter for Barnes.

Ogden head coach Todd Scott raved about Barnes, the teammate he was and the example he set for his teammates.

“The Ogden High School boys soccer program wouldn’t be the same without Lincoln Barnes. A three-year captain, he’s a leader both on and off the pitch. He inspires his teammates to excel in academics and soccer alike, always setting a positive example.”

Scott goes on to say that Barnes’ character and on-field IQ is what sets him apart from others.

“Lincoln’s intensity and focus are contagious, fueling the team’s drive while his intensity is unifying, fostering a family-like atmosphere. His physicality and field IQ make him a force to be reckoned with. An outstanding student and young man, Lincoln has been a true asset and leader for Ogden High Soccer. I couldn’t ask for a better person, player, and brother to have the privilege to coach him for so many years.”

Maeser Prep's Aidan Simmons was voted the 2A boys soccer player of the year.

2A Player of the Year

Aidan Simmons, Maeser Prep, F, Sr.

Maeser Prep senior Aidan Simmons had a memorable high school soccer career that will be etched in the Utah high school soccer record books. Simmons finishes his high school career with a total of 82 goals and 53 assists, making him the No. 2 all-time goal scorer and No. 1 all-time assists leader in state history for all classifications.

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The undisputed captain for his squad, Simmons was his team’s long throw-in and free kick specialist. Finishing the season with 21 goals and nine assists, Simmons leaves a lasting impact on the Maeser Prep soccer program.

“Aidan grew up around Maeser soccer and started wearing the No. 10 jersey for our middle school team back in seventh grade. He’s been our free kick specialist since his freshman year, and he’s had some absolutely world class set piece goals. His set pieces and long throw-ins allowed us to be dangerous from anywhere on the attacking half,” said Maeser Prep head coach Dustin Simmons.

Coach Simmons goes on to say that the program would not be at the level that they are at today if it wasn’t for Aidan and his outstanding leadership.

“He ends his career as the best striker to ever put on a Maeser jersey, and his leadership, maturity, and mentorship have lifted Maeser‘s soccer program to new heights,” added coach Simmons.

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