Two doubles teams and one singles

netter win Manti 4th tourney

 

7/19/2018

Division A finalists in Manti’s Fourth of July tennis tournament (L-R): Doubles teams Brady Aste and Paul Dyreng defeated doubles team Paul Braithwaite and Quinn Allred.

            MANTI—Five winners emerged victorious in the annual tennis tournament held in Manti City on the Fourth of July, and all 38 participants braved the 95-degree temperatures.

            The participants were divided according to their abilities, with the 20 who had college-level tennis-playing experience in A Division.

            These 10 doubles teams, who were randomly paired, competed in modified two-out-of-three sets with a 10-point tiebreaker as the deciding set.

            According to Douglas Dyreng who ran the tournament, “The matches were very competitive in the A Division with all but one match going into a third-set tiebreaker.”

            The A Division winners were Paul Dyreng and Brady Aste, defeating Paul Braithwaite and Quinn Allred 4-6, 6-4, (10-2) in the finals.

Division C finalists in Manti’s Fourth of July tennis tournament: Thane Thompson (left) defeated Preston Thompson.

            In B Division, 12 participants were paired randomly in doubles teams, and most of these individuals had significant high-school-level tennis-playing experience.

            The B Division played a pro set (first to win eight games ahead by two) and was won by Bennett Thompson and Grady Thompson, defeating John Willmore and Kent Larsen 8-1 in the final.

            “Six young netters who are just beginning to enjoy the great lifetime sport of tennis,” Douglas Dyreng said, each played a regular set in the C Division.

            In this C Division singles contest, Thane Thompson defeated Preston Thompson 6-2 in the final to win.

Division B finalists in Manti’s Fourth of July tennis tournament (L-R): Doubles team Kent Larsen and John Willmore were defeated by doubles team Bennett Thompson and Grady Thompson.

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Manti softball team takes third place in state

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

5-24-2018

 

SPANISH FORK—The Manti High School softball team advanced to a third place finish in the 3A state playoffs, knocking off North Sanpete along the way in a thrilling 11-inning game last weekend.

            Manti started the weekend in the winner’s bracket, playing against defending state champ Grantsville on Friday in the quarterfinals. Then the Lady Templars had to play two more games on Friday to advance to the semifinal game in the consolation bracket on Saturday.

            “The girls had a strong desire to win every inning. They knew they had to give 100 percent every play to get closer to that goal,” said Manti Coach Susan Hatch. After a slow start, the Lady Templars finished strong at the end of the regular season and made an electric run through the 3A playoffs.

            Grantsville was a tough match-up for the Lady Templars, with a stingy defense led by pitcher Bailey Frischknect. Frischknect was nearly unhittable for Grantsville, striking out 16 Manti batters. Frischknect would later pitch Grantsville to a championship win. Manti tried to stay close, but Grantsville pulled away late to record the victory, 5-0.

           

Kiana Pogroszewski swings for the ball during Manti High’s victory over North Sanpete in the 3A state playoffs on Friday.

That put Manti in the consolation bracket twenty minutes after their loss to Grantsville. Their first matchup was against their region nemesis, North Sanpete. North Sanpete had won both games during the regular season, so the Lady Templars were extra ready for this game. According to Coach Hatch, “We knew that we had not played to our potential, so this game was extra special – especially being in the state tournament.”

            Early in the game, Manti not only stifled North Sanpete’s explosive offense, but took the lead going into the seventh inning, 5-3. But then, following a pattern that would be repeated through the rest of the game, the Lady Hawks responded by scratching out two runs in the top of the seventh to tie up the game. When Manti could not score in the bottom of the inning, the marathon was on.

            Neither team could score in the eighth. In the ninth, North Sanpete was able to sacrifice in a run in the top of the inning, and then Manti matched it in the bottom of the inning. The tenth inning was the same, with both teams scoring one run.

            In the 11th, the drama got kicked up a notch. North Sanpete not only scored the runner starting on second base, but then loaded the bases, looking to blow open the score. But Kiana Pogroszewski, who had come on in relief, was able to limit the Lady Hawks to only one more run. At the bottom of the eleventh, Manti was down 7-9.

            Manti once again matched North Sanpete. Manti was able to load the bases, with no outs. Manti got one run on a walk, making the score 8-9. And then, after North Sanpete was able to erase a base-runner and threatened to get out of the inning with a win, Manti catcher Jayda Shaw jacked a home run over the center field fence for three runs and the victory, 12-9.

            After that gripping, and exhausting, game, Manti had to play once again on Friday night. Because of the long game before, Manti did not start playing their game against Carbon until after 9 p.m., and did not finish until after 11:30 p.m.

            And also once again, Manti had to play until the final at bat to get the victory over Carbon. This time, Manti had to play catch-up. Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Manti was behind 6-8. Amie Squire, hitting out of the ninth position in the order, hit a rocket over the left-field fence for a two-run home run to tie the game, 8-8.

            In the seventh, Carbon surged ahead 8-10. And then Manti went to work again. A single with runners on base gave Manti a run, to make the score 9-10. And then with two runners on, Kiana Pogrowszewski knocked in a double to score two runs and end the game, 11-10.

            The Lady Templars came back the next morning to face the Union Cougars at 10 a.m. for the consolation bracket semifinal. It was evident that the drama and exertion from the day before had taken its toll. “The girls were drained mentally, emotionally and physically,” said Coach Hatch.

            The game started out fairly tight, with both teams playing well and scratching out runs. By the middle of the third inning the score was 2-3 in favor of Union. But then, fatigue began to tell on the Lady Templars. Starting pitcher Kate Mackey could not locate her pitches, and a throwing error by shortstop Lexi Alder allowed the inning to continue into a big score by Union. By the end of the game, Manti had committed six errors and allowed 11 runs.

            Coach Susan Hatch said that a third place finish for the Lady Templars was very gratifying. “We had a great season! Our team had to overcome some challengers that slowed us quite a bit at the first of the season. But we didn’t let that stop us from improving each week. Although we didn’t finish as we wanted, we were pleased with a third place finish in 3A – especially since this was our first year in this classification.”

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North Sanpete’s Luis Cruz, #38, controls possession against Richfield last Thursday April 19.

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North Sanpete’s Cesar Lemus goes up to bat for the Hawks against Emery last Friday.

 

Bulldogs ranked near top;

Manti loses; Hawks split

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018

 

MT PLEASANT—Area baseball teams are preparing for the final week of the season, leading up to the playoffs.

Manti

Templars had a tough week, going 0-3, losing against Summit Academy and losing a double-header against Grand County.

Against Summit, the Templars and the Bears traded the lead back and forth all game until the bottom of the sixth, when Summit took the lead for good, to win 12-13. In the double-header against Grand, the Templars could not get going offensively, scoring only 2 runs in both games combined, losing 1-8 and 1-3.

At time of press, Manti was 2-7 in region play, and in danger of not making North Sanpete’s Cesar Lemus goes up to bat for the Hawks against Emery last Friday. the playoffs. With three region games left, versus region-leading South Sevier and a double-header against San Juan, the Templars need to focus in order to make the post season.

North Sanpete

The Hawks split their season series with Emery last week, winning the away game 3-2, and losing the home game 6-4.

With the end of the season looming, and only one region game left, North Sanpete is assured of making the playoffs, albeit with a lower seed. Sitting at 4-7 in the region, and in fifth place, the Hawks will likely travel to their first playoff game next week.

Gunnison

The Bulldogs played two non-region games last week, before finishing up the regular season this week. It did not seem to make much difference, as the Bulldogs continued to dominate their opposition, beating Monticello 12-2 and Juab 9-3.

Currently 7-1 in the region behind first place North Sevier (10-1), the Bulldogs have three region games left to try to catch the Wolves. With games against Layton Christian and Rowland Hall, the Bulldogs are certain to have a high seed for the playoffs.

They will be looking to make it back to the state finals and maybe get another shot at North Sevier along the way.

Manti’s Kiana Pogroszewski winds up to strike out a Grand County batter during Manti’s 5-4, 6-4 double-header road victories in Moab on April 20.

 

Softball teams ending season

play, readying for playoffs

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018

 

MANTI—Area softball teams are wrapping up their regular season and ramping up preparations for the playoffs next week. All three Sanpete County teams are on track to get into the playoffs, with North Sanpete and Gunnison both holding down first place in their respective regions, while Manti is staging a late season push to catch up.

Manti

A successful road trip to Moab, winning two games in a double-header against Grand County, has pushed the Lady Templars into third place in Region 15 at 6-4. With a game against second place South Sevier and two against San Juan left in the regular season, Manti has an opportunity to improve its seeding in the upcoming playoffs.

Manti Coach Susan Hatch points to the team’s improved focus in making a difference recently. “The team is trying to focus on staying consistent offensively, and making each at bat count. We are seeing less strike outs each game.”

Without the overwhelming offense possessed by North Sanpete and Gunnison, Manti must rely on defense and pitching. “Our defense has been strong, and our pitching has improved,” she said.

North Sanpete

The Lady Hawks only had one game last week, but they pummeled Emery 15-2. North Sanpete has dominating offensively all year, and Coach Landon Bailey credits his talented hitters for that. “We have some very talented girls who work very hard, and it is really showing. We focus on swinging at good pitches and trying to hit the ball up the middle. I knew we would have a tough hitting team coming into the year, but our entire lineup, top to bottom, has done really well and it makes up a tough team to pitch to.”

With two region games left (at time of press) left in the regular season, the Lady Hawks almost have the regular season title wrapped up. “If we are able to win region, we would get to host the first round of the playoff. That would be a big deal for us, and we really hope we can do that, but we still have some work to do.”

Gunnison Valley

Last week, the Lady Bulldogs went 2-0 to maintain their perfect region season, with big wins over Parowan, 17-0, and Rockwell, 18-0. Sitting at 6-0 in Region 2A Central, and with only two games left, Gunnison is looking ahead to the playoffs and another run at the state title.

Coach Tyson Brackett credits the all-around good effort of his team for its success. “Our defense and pitching have been solid the last few weeks,” he said. “Our hitting has come around, and we are seeing the ball better and hitting more line-drives. I told my team a few weeks ago if they can put runs on the board every inning, it will put more pressure on the other team and they have done just that.”

Looking ahead, Coach Brackett sees some good teams ahead of the Lady Bulldogs in the playoffs. “I feel good about the playoffs,” he said. “We should be able to host our first round game at home. Millard has a pretty solid team, along with Enterprise and Beaver. You never want to overlook any team. Our team is only focused about the next game. I don’t hear them talking about other teams, just the teams we are facing next.”

Snow excited to sign five new

women basketball players to join

returning players for next season

Apr. 26, 2018

 

EPHRAIM—Five new freshman players join six returning players on the Snow College women’s basketball team.

Mike Russell, their coach, is happy and excited about the five who have signed on—and about the upcoming season.

He said, “This is the most complete class—top to bottom—that we’ve signed in my three years here. We’re adding size and length, more athleticism and a lot of scoring firepower.”

He attributes a lot of the team’s success last season to the five players who stayed on: “We feel strongly that having six players with experience, while adding five very capable freshman to the mix will be the perfect combination for continued success.”

The Lady Badgers finished last season 22-8 and came in second in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

The five freshmen added to the team are 5-foot 9-inch guard Claire Newby from St. George (Pine View High School), 5-foot 11-inch forward Samantha Barnett from Highland (Lone Peak High School), 5-foot 7-inch guard Rachel Richards also from Highland (Lone Peak High School), 5-foot 8-inch guard Tia Heggie from Cardston, Alberta, Canada (American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek, Ariz.) and 6-foot guard Rachel Roberts from Carlsbad, Calif. (San Marcos High School).

Newby was a four-year varsity starter in high school, and she averaged 11.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game as a senior.

Russell said, “We’ve been recruiting Claire since her freshman season, which is longer than any other player we have coming in.”

He added, “She is of high character, a great student and a great player. Claire is also very versatile, and we believe that she’ll be able to help our team in a lot of areas because of her ability to play several positions.”

Barnett averaged 7.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as a senior (2014-15) then suffered a knee injury. She served an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Alpine German-Speaking Mission).

Russell said Barnett “brings a lot of maturity and leadership, as well as a toughness that’s hard to find. She plays so much bigger than she is because of how strong she is, and once she gets her legs back, I think it’ll be difficult for anyone (other than her) to get a rebound.”

In high school, Richards was a two-year varsity starter and averaged 7.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game as a senior.

Russell said of Richards, “She is an awesome, extremely under the radar, ball player,” and “she flat out does whatever she can to help her team win, and, quite frankly, we need more of that in our program.”

 Heggie averaged 23 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 6.2 steals per game as a senior. She scored over 1,000 career points, scored over 40 points in a game three times and was a varsity starter for three years at her high school.

Russell said of Heggie: “Tia’s an unbelievable scorer, but the thing that makes her so good is that she gets it done on the defensive end,” and “she scores, she defends, she rebounds, she distributes,” and more.

Roberts averaged 13.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.8 blocks per game as a senior. She scored over 1,000 career points and was a varsity starter for three years at her high school.

Concerning Roberts, Russell said, “I think we’re getting a steal of a deal with Rachel because I believe she’s a Division-I talent. To have a kid that can literally play all five positions on the court is extremely rare.”

Summing it all up, Russell said, “I feel like we have done a nice job recruiting kids that fit our culture. From a character standpoint, academically and, of course, on-court ability, these new freshmen will fit right in with what we have established here at Snow. We are really excited about this 2018 class.”

Gunnison’s McKaylyn Edwards goes to bat against the Delta Rabbits last Tuesday in non-region action. The Lady Bulldogs earned a convincing victory at home, 10-0.

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Above, the Wasatch Academy Swim Team that competed at the recent Utah State 3A Swim Championship. Back row left to right- Coach Trish Rasmussen, Emanuel Flores, Zane Rasmussen, Sam Leavitt, Ben Cottam, Jake Quakenbush, Oliver Wood, Francesca Boyer, Clista Galecki, Assetou Diop, Rokiatou Diop. Front Row left to Right- Monlam Tehshar, Camilla Taysi, Sam Wood, Angelica Varillas.

Wasatch swimmers host first swim meet

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Apr. 19, 2018

 

MT. PLEASANT—Area high school swim teams reaped the rewards of a new swim facility this year at the 3A State Swim Championship.

This was Wasatch Academy’s sixth season fielding a swim team, but the first time the academy hosted a swim meet in Mt. Pleasant. Wasatch Academy and North Sanpete shared the new Aquatic Center facility that just opened this year.

North Sanpete Coach Brittany Adams said the new facility helped the team prepare and compete at a higher level. “It definitely played a part, “she said. “It allowed the team to practice with less stress and travel.” Adams also said it was a new feeling to have a home pool. “It represented their home, and it gave them something to try harder for.”

Wasatch Academy Coach Trish Rasmussen agreed: ‘This was by far the most fun, most positive, successful season of my six years coaching at Wasatch Academy,” she said. Rasmussen believes the advantage of having a pool in Mount Pleasant will enable the returning athletes to improve their times next year.

The Wasatch Academy swim team successfully competed in the 3A State Swim Championship with two swimmers, Oliver Wood and Clista Galecki, leading the way for the boys and girls teams, respectively. Oliver Wood took 4th place in the 100-yard breaststroke and 5th place in the 200-yard individual medley. Clista Galecki took fourht place in the 200-yard individual medley and sixth place in the 100-yard backstroke. The men’s 200-yard medley relay team of Sam Wood, Oliver Wood, Jake Quakenbush and Monlam Teshar took fifth place. The combined score for the boys and girls teams was 167.5 points, which was good enough for 12th place overall.

The North Sanpete High School swim team also did well at the 3A state meet, with three swimmers, Allie Boyer, Eli Crittenden and Porter Hellander placing during the meet. Allie Boyer took fifth place in the women’s 200-yard freestyle. Eli Crittenden placed fourth in the men’s 50-yard freestyle, and third in the men’s 100-yard freestyle. Porter Hellander placed fourth in the men’s 100-yard freestyle. The combined score for the girls and boys teams was 22 points, good enough for 19th place.

Manti softball team wins 16-1 over

Emery, now in third place in region

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Apr. 19, 2018

 

MANTI—The Manti High School softball team swept a Region 15 opponent last week to advance in the region standings, anticipating a possible post-season bid.

On Tuesday, the Lady Templars traveled to Emery for the first game in the series. Manti exploded for nine runs in the second inning alone, en route to a 16-1 victory. Hits were scattered up and down the Manti lineup, but Tyra Hermansen led the team with three RBIs on two hits. Kiana Pogroszewski picked up the win for the Lady Templars.

In the return game in Manti on Friday, the Lady Templars once again scored a nine run inning to run away with a 14-4 victory. Tyra Hermansen once again had three RBIs, but so did Lexie Alder on two doubles. Pogroszewski again got the win for the Lady Templars.

Manti Coach Susan Hatch credits the offensive explosion in last week’s games to “improved discipline at the plate, and being consistent throughout the entire game.”

With five games left in the region schedule, the Lady Templars sport a 4-3 region record, and sit in third place in the region. There is enough time for them to catch up to region leading North Sanpete before the end of the season, with a little help.

Manti baseball team splits games

with Emery, now 4-10 overall

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Apr. 19, 2018

 

MANTI—The Manti High School baseball team split its season series with Emery last week to remain in contention for a playoff spot in the post-season.

In the first game on Tuesday in Emery, the Templars struggled to put hits together to score runs, only managing to score two runs all game. Meanwhile, the Spartans were able to put together a few big innings, and put seven runs across the plate to win the first game 2-7. Adam Huff had a triple and Jace Miller had a double in the losing effort.

At the return game on Friday in Manti, Coach James Nelson handed the ball over to senior Matt Nelson, and he did not disappoint. Nelson pitched seven innings of one run ball, and allowed the Templars to walk away with a 2-1 victory. “Splitting with Emery was very important for us, as it keep us in playoff contention,” Coach Nelson said. “Matt pitched a gem in going all seven innings at home on Friday striking out seven without any walks. Our defense being error free was the difference.”

Manti sits at 2-5 in Region 15, 4-10 overall. Manti is in sixth place in region standings with five region games left. If the Templars can keep their position in the standings, they will qualify for the post-season.

In series against No. Sevier,

Gunnison wins one game, but

also suffers first loss of season

 

By James Tilson
Staff writer

Apr. 19, 2018

 

GUNNISON—In two “emotional” rivalry games, Gunnison and North Sevier split their season series, with North Sevier giving Gunnison its first region loss of the year.

The series started last Tuesday at Gunnison, with the Bulldogs hosting the Wolves. The Wolves struck first, getting a run across in the first inning, and holding onto its slim lead through the first three innings. But the Bulldogs struck back in the bottom of the fourth and took a 2-1 lead. That lead held until the top of the sixth, when the Wolves jumped on some Bulldog mistakes to score six runs for the eventual final score of 2-7.

Bulldog Coach Jared Anderson agreed the series with North Sevier was “very tight and very emotional.” “We held a slim 2-1 lead in that game going into the top of the sixth, but we ended up making a couple of costly mistakes and they capitalized on them and took game one,” he said.

On Friday, the teams met up again in Salina for the rematch. Coach Anderson was determined to not let his team get down: “We really emphasized after the loss of staying energized but focused.”

The team’s approach led to a fast start for the Bulldogs, as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead by the third inning. Once again, the Wolves tried to make a come-back attempt, but came up short this time, losing 5-4.

In the second game, Ty Hill had a double, and Janzen Kiesel picked up the win.

The loss to North Sevier put the Bulldogs in second place in Region 2A North to Rowland Hall. However, Rowland Hall has only played three region games, and four games overall, and has a lot of region games to play still. Gunnison sits at 6-1 with five region games left.

Coach Anderson feels his team is on the right track for post-season play. “Our team is doing really well. We still have some fine adjustments to make so that we can be executing well as we enter the post-season.”

Hawks go 2-1 last week

to preserve top ranking

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Apr. 19, 2018

 

MT PLEASANT—The North Sanpete High School softball team went 2-1 last week to preserve its lead atop the Region 15 standings and started to look ahead to post-season play.

The Lady Hawks, starting the week undefeated in region play atop the Region 15 standings, hosted the Richfield Lady Wildcats on last Tuesday.

What has become a signature performance this year, the Lady Hawk offense took control of the game early, scoring 15 runs in the first two innings and 16 overall for a 16-1 victory. Addelyn Brotherson accounted for five RBIs, with a double and a home run. Freshman pitcher Graciee Christiansen got the win for the Lady Hawks.

On Wednesday, the Lady Hawks traveled to Grand County to take on the Red Devils in a double-header. In the first game, the Lady Hawks uncharacteristically struggled at the plate, and could not put together a big inning on their way to their first region loss of the year, 5-8.

But in the night-cap, the Lady Hawks got back to their strong offense with a 11-4 victory. The Lady Hawks jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning, and did not look back. Addelyn Brotherson, Kelby Henry and Brooke Price all banged in home runs for the Lady Hawks. And Christiansen got another win as well.

At 8-1 in Region 15, the Lady Hawks still hold first place in the region. With only three games left in region play for the Lady Hawks, they are in good position to draw a high seed for post-season play.