It's probably a good thing Ethan Cash's high school career is over. Otherwise, he might expect every year to be like this.
State championship. Class 4A MVP. What's not to like about high school soccer?
Cash did not play for two years at Olympus, as he failed to post the minimum GPA. He debuted this season, thanks to other Titans pushing him in school, and was the state's most important player, making critical saves throughout a late-season push that included a 3-2 win over Murray in the May 24 title game.
"Not playing for two years is a huge motivation," Cash said.
His biggest game may have come in a 1-0 shutout against top-ranked Mountain View in the 4A semifinals on May 22. Cash recorded 11 shutouts third highest in the state but on that day at Woods Cross High School Cash had his best day. Twice in the second half he found himself in one-on-one situations against the Bruins' star forward Chris Reyes. Both times, Cash charged Reyes and halted the scoring opportunities.
"I love playing against the best player, the best team," Cash said, "because you really get to see how strong you are as a player."
On a Titans team that did not reach the playoffs in 2010, Cash made a huge difference. However, that difference paled to the one the Titans and soccer made for Cash.
It's not hard to see the connection: Without the possibility of playing soccer, Cash likely would not have raised his grades, and therefore he would have been less likely to play in college. Now, he has several offers from small schools that want him to play goalkeeper.
"It went from a hope," said Jared Cash, Ethan's father, "to more of a reality."