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‘Unheard-of career’: Weber’s record-breaking goaltender Stockton Short called Deseret News 2022 Mr. Football

For a long time, Stockton Short and his family weren’t really football fans. Their attention—and his attention as a child—had always been on the football field and the basketball court when it came to athletics.

The Weber High goaltender said he never played serious football until his sophomore year in high school.

At 6’3″ and superbly athletic, Short possesses all the intangible qualities required of a great goalkeeper. Realizing that football was the sport he felt most connected to, Short decided to make sport his top priority and set himself the goal of becoming the best goalkeeper he was capable of.

Result?

State and regional championships, breaking records and the Deseret News Mr. Soccer 2022.

Short becomes the first goalkeeper to receive “Mr. Football” recognition.

“Winning the Mr. Football award, or any other Mr. Athlete award, is something young athletes dream of all their lives,” Short said. “It means a lot to me and I hope it motivates other goalkeepers because they can win an award if they give it their all and give their best.”

Weber head coach Gavin Flitton said he was initially surprised when he was notified that Short would receive the award, not only because the goaltender had never received it, but also because the Warriors’ playoff series this year was short. Flitton, however, said the more he thought about it, the more he realized that Short was the obvious choice.

In his two years starting in goal, Short conceded just 0.3 goals per game and recorded shutouts in 25 of his games (third in state history). Short has conceded one or fewer goals in 35 of 36 career games (97%).

When Short shut down, the Warriors set a state record last season by conceding just three goals in 19 games, and Short himself set a single-season state record for most clean sheets in a season (16).

The Warriors went undefeated, winning their third state title after Championship Game 6A, in which Short made a game-tying save in the shootout.

Short continued his historic season with a senior season in which he recorded as many strikeouts as conceded goals (9) – the lowest in the 6A classification.

“I looked back on his season and high school career and realized that no kid deserves this award more than Stockton,” said Flitton.

“What he did for the Weber High program and what he did for goaltenders in general in the state — I had no doubt that he should receive (an award). … It makes you proud as a coach, but I can’t be that proud of it because it’s all him.”

In his first season as Weber’s head coach, Flitton said that when he started working with the players, Short’s ability was immediately apparent. Short displayed what Flitton called “incredible athleticism”, demonstrating his ability to read and react to opponents’ attacks, which of course translated into actual games.

But Flitton said it was the senior goaltender’s coaching ability that impressed him the most. Flitton said he challenged Short to become better with the ball at his feet, and by the end of the season he was playing the ball regularly.

Short quickly admitted that he was lucky to have the perfect physique and the skills needed to thrive as a goalkeeper, but given that he came to the football scene so late, Short said he had to train constantly to become a goalkeeper. play at the level where he is today.

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Weber High School curator Stockton Short poses for a photo at Pleasant View on Monday, June 13, 2022. Short was named Deseret News Mr. soccer for 2022.

Scott J. Winterton, Deseret News

“Being a goalkeeper is not easy, but being solid and consistent is a challenge,” said Short.

“Consistency is a top goalkeeper priority because what’s the point of playing well in one game if you make three mistakes in the next? So my hard work and practice really helped me smooth my game and allowed me to play at the level that I played. … Hard work will win over talent at any moment.”

Flitton, who did not have a goaltending coach on staff, said Short’s drive to improve showed up in practice, where Short essentially acted as the Warriors’ goaltending coach, guiding his teammates through practice while the rest teams and coaches focused on training. outfielder training.

Although Short devoted himself to development on the football field, he was busy during the off-season, turning into a tri-sport athlete for the Warriors.

Senior was the starting wide receiver on Weber’s 10-win football team, where he had 711 yards (second on the team despite it being his first year in high school football) on 40 shots before he became a key player. . school basketball team.

Short said his involvement in both football and basketball has undoubtedly paved the way for him to improve and prosper as a goaltender.

“Stockton is one of those kids who is good at everything they do,” Flitton said. “He’s one of those kids that you look at and think, ‘Dude, why can’t I be like this and be good at everything?’ but that’s exactly who he is. He’s confident, outgoing, and the boys look at him that way.”

Despite playing exceptionally well in goal for two years, Short was quick to point out that he would not have won the award were it not for the outstanding defensive play he received from his teammates throughout his high school career. games in which he had to do the “minimum” and touch the ball just a few times.

But a game within a game and a game at the end, Short was always there, backing up his defense when they needed him most – a prime example being last year’s 6A Championship game.

“There are some great high school football players in Utah, don’t get me wrong, but he had an unheard-of career and the fact that it’s unheard of and stands out so much just shows that he truly deserves the title of Mr. Football. ‘ Flitton said.

Short will continue his football career on a full scholarship to the Utah Institute of Technology, and despite having many games ahead of him, the record-breaking goaltender has already built a legacy for himself at the Hive State.

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