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Girls’ soccer: Davis High’s Olivia Wade named 2016 Tribune Player of the Year

First Published      Last Updated Dec 06 2016 11:03 pm


Wade led Utah in scoring as her team won yet another championship.

Kaysville • She was born to play basketball. She watched as her elder brother Jesse excelled on the hardwood, something both of their parents had done at the collegiate level, too. Her grandfather was a renowned basketball coach in Idaho. It was almost a foregone conclusion she'd follow suit in the linage of hoopers.

But Olivia Wade was the black sheep in terms of her athletic path. Turns out, she wasn't born to play basketball. She never enjoyed it, never got the feel for her jump shot. Her hand-eye coordination never developed. It wasn't for her.

"Everybody would always tease me. They're like, 'Are you sure you're not adopted?'  " Wade said about not playing basketball.




Soccer, however, was something she could do.

"It was something I totally fell in love with from the very first game," she said.

The communication between her eyes and feet was impeccable, and the adrenaline rush of breaking down a defender and scoring a goal — that was something she loved.

"It was such a natural high," she said.

So, as it turned out, Olivia Wade was born to play soccer. And after leading the state in scoring as a junior and helping Davis set numerous team records en route to the program's third consecutive state championship and second straight national title from USA Today, Wade has been named The Salt Lake Tribune's 2016 Player of the Year as the best player in the state of Utah.

"It's such an honor to know all your hard work is recognized," said Wade, who became the second player in her family to win The Tribune's highest award after her brother earned the title in basketball in 2015.

Wade, a junior, finished the season with 39 goals, the sixth-most in state history, as the Darts upped their active winning streak to 44 games — a state record. Her offensive output this season was a far cry from an anomaly, as Wade has always been a prolific threat on the pitch, scoring 30-plus goals as a sophomore despite missing action to play for the U-17 National Team.

But her dominance stretches back years. According to her father, Eric, she was the youngest player to ever be offered a scholarship by BYU, at age 14. She has been committed to the Cougars ever since.

"That's been my dream, to play at BYU," Wade said. "It was one of the happiest feelings ever knowing my dream school wanted me to be a part of their program."

Wade may be dressed in blue might be the next time local fans are able to see her play, however. Despite having an opportunity to become only the second player in state history to capture four straight titles, joining former Alta star Kealia Ohai, Wade might forgo her senior year at Davis to compete year-round with her club team, La Roca.

She needs to make the decision in five months, she said.

"Club is more competitive," Wade explained. "You're playing against other really talented girls. As for high school, you're playing against people that are around the area. I feel like high school is more fun, because you're playing with your best friends."

tphibbs@sltrib.com

Twitter: @trevorphibbs

 

AT A GLANCE

About Olivia Wade

School » Davis

Class » Junior

Position » Forward

Noteworthy » Wade finished the season as the leading scorer in the state, with 39 goals, after helping Davis capture its third straight state title and second consecutive national championship from USA Today. She joins her brother Jesse as the second person in her family to win The Tribune’s highest prep sports award, after he received the honor in basketball in 2015. Wade could become the second player in state history to win four straight state titles if she passes on an opportunity to play year-round with her club team next year.


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