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South Valley Riverton Journal

Cole doing it all for Riverton boys soccer

May 07, 2024 12:10PM ● By Josh McFadden

Senior Peyton Cole runs onto the field for the Riverton boys soccer team. Cole is a key member of the team and has helped lead Riverton to a strong season. (Photo courtesy of Peyton Cole.)

In the sport of soccer, a team can never rely solely on any one player. But one player sure can make a big difference. 

For the Riverton boys soccer team, senior Peyton Cole is a utility player who brings a lot of skill, talent and tenacity to the field. Head coach Paul Moizer describes Cole as an “attacking fullback,” meaning, while he’s a defensive player, he’s allowed to (and not afraid to) help with the offensive attack. 

“He’s a great leader and has grown so much as a player since his freshman year,” Moizer said. “He loves to get forward into the attack. He is really good at delivering set pieces and setting up others.”

Many defensive players in soccer rarely get a chance to score or even get many shots on goal. This season, Cole scored two goals and dished out three asissts in the team’s first 12 games in leading the Silverwoves to a 7-5 mark. He is also a big reason why Riverton held seven opponents to a single goal and had one shutout in the first 12 contests. By the end of April, the Silverwolves were 6-3 in Region 2, just half a game behind first place. 

Cole has high expectations for the postseason and for his own game. 

“Some of my individual goals this year are to make first team All-Region this year because I fell just short last year getting second team. I also hope I can lead the team to a state championship.”

Cole’s soccer career began at a young age. In fact, he said he’s been “playing soccer for as long as I can remember.” He loves being able to play the game he loves and not worry for a short time about other things going on in life. Cole is also grateful for the people he has met along the way. 

“I love how soccer is a distraction from everything else,” he said. “Nothing else matters when we're on the field—not my job, not a test, nothing. I also love the friendships that have been created through soccer; two of my best friends have come from playing soccer.”

The Riverton team enjoys a tight bond where the players trust one another and hold one another accountable. There is a feeling of unselfishness on the squad where everyone contributes. Cole said this attitude carries from the field into other aspects of the day and the players’ lives. 

“My favorite thing about being on the team is the friends on the team and being able to be with them all day, every day,” he said. “It's awesome to be able to be with my team in the classroom then go straight to the field and play soccer after class.”

Moizer is fortunate to have a multi-faceted player on his team such as Cole. On the field, he’s able to do a lot of things that other players can’t do or can’t do well. Cole said he also has the leadership skills a team needs. 

“I think what I’m best at is being able to contribute both on offense and on defense,” he said. “As an outside back, I’m able to not only play defense and help contribute to what I think might be the best defense in state, but I can also get forward and join in and help out with the attack. I also think that I am a leader on the team, and I have an important role to help the team jell and have a good energy every single day.”

He isn’t complacent, however. 

Cole is eager to improve his game and become an even more valuable player. The season is coming to a close, but heading into the postseason, he wants to get better at certain aspects of his play. 

“I’m really hoping to improve my left foot,” he said. “It's really important to be able to use both feet, and it's something I wish to be great at.”

The Class 6A state tournament will begin May 10 on the home fields of higher-seeded teams. The highest-seeded teams will get first-round byes and second-round home games. As of April 29, Riverton was ninth in the RPI standings. 

With his career winding down, Cole has reflected on what he has accomplished and worked so hard to achieve. He acknowledges that he couldn’t have such a meaningful, enjoyable career without so many people in his corner. 

“I've been really lucky to have a lot of great mentors and role models in my life,” he said. “Obviously, my parents are a huge influence in my life, and I can't thank them enough. I've had some really great coaches throughout my life. My club coach Matt Speckman also played a big part in shaping me as a player. My success has come from a large collage of people. I think that each and every player and coach I've come across has had a unique role in shaping who I am as a player and person.”

Cole is focused on closing out the season with the deepest run possible at state. But he is also thinking about the future. After graduating, he plans on serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After this two-year commitment, he intends to begin his college studies. 

Riverton finishes the regular season May 3 at home against Salt Lake Academy. The Silverwolves will then have a week to prepare for the state tournament. λ