Kaysville • When Davis coach Soulivanh Phongsavath found Tyler Bishop in the halls of Davis High School on Monday afternoon, he reminded his junior varsity goalkeeper to be ready.
Not for action between the pipes, but for a chance to play his first varsity game with the defending Class 5A champion Darts in their preseason showdown against 3A powerhouse Juan Diego, a 2-0 victory by the Darts.
"Make sure you have a white uniform, white socks and white shorts, and we’ll call on you if we need you to play," Phongsavath said about his message early Monday. "A lot of keepers dream of that."
Sporting a No. 39 jersey and a dated shirt that was noticeably different from those teammates running around the turf at Davis, Bishop made good on his coach’s selection. Bishop buried the ball into the corner of the net when a shot deflected in his direction two minutes before halftime.
"I didn’t know what to do," Bishop said just minutes before taking the field as the JV goalkeeper. "I’ve never been on the other end of that. It’s a pretty big deal to me."
The junior helped the Darts continue their unbeaten start to the 2013 season. Junior midfielder Davis Owen doubled his team’s lead after finishing off a picture-perfect cross across the face of the goal from senior forward Cody Heaps late in the second half.
Forward-turned-center back Chance Parker said the Darts must rely on several unsung heroes going forward because the team that won the Class 5A crown a year ago is in the process of replacing eight departed seniors.
"We’re a lot different this year," said Parker, a senior who also starred on Davis’ football and basketball teams, "but I think what we lost in experience, we’re picking up in aggression."
Phongsavath said this year’s team isn’t as nearly as deep as last year’s title-winning bunch, but the team is off to a positive start with a plethora of players — especially those lacking significant varsity experience — seeing time at various positions.
"Through necessity," he said, "we need them to step up."
As was the case with Bishop, who scored his first varsity goal in his first varsity match of his career in a win over a Juan Diego program that has made it to back-to-back 3A state championship games. Phongsavath said he noticed Bishop’s different set of skills during his time playing club soccer and said he’s always been a good finisher.
Monday’s result proved one thing: the scouting report is out on Davis’ backup keeper.
"The only chance he got," Phongsavath said, "he buried it."
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