Badger football fights to 56-43

victory over tough Trinity Cardinals

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

ATHENS, TEXAS—The Snow College Badgers traveled to East Texas for the first game of the 2018 football season, and came away with the victory, albeit a somewhat closer win than they would have liked with the final score 56-43.

In Head Coach Paul Peterson’s second year, he has quickly established an explosive offense as one of Snow’s trademarks. And this game was no different.

Early on, the Badgers dominated play, taking a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The Cardinals finally managed a drive in the late second quarter to put up their first points and then were able to recover a Badger fumble on Snow’s 2-yard line.

That made the score 24-14 with only 52 seconds left in the quarter. Snow was able to drive the length of the field to tack on a field goal and go in at half up 27-14.

The third quarter started out much like the first, with Snow dominating the early scoring, going up 43-22 by the end of the quarter. However, by this point, both defenses had played many snaps and were getting gassed.

Both teams traded touchdowns to push the score to 50-29, and then Trinity scored again to narrow the lead to 50-36. However, a missed receiver assignment led to a Snow interception that gave Trinity another short field, and the Cardinals were able to get within a touchdown, 50-43.

The Badgers calmly went back on the field, and marched to another score, taking nearly 7 minutes off the clock, to go up two scores, 56-43. Snow’s Leon Morgan intercepted Trinity’s last drive, and sealed the victory.

Coach Peterson praised Trinity’s talent, while noting how well the Badgers responded to adversity. “They had some really good players, and made some big plays,” he said. “We gave them some short fields by some miscues, but you have to adjust to the adversity. I think we responded well. It is easy to panic in situations like we faced, but our guys stuck together and finished strong.”

Quarterback Braxton Kerr, making his first start for the Badgers, went 25-38 for 367 yards. “He did a great job managing the offense. He played smart and didn’t force the ball. He made good decisions for our team,” said Coach Peterson.

Running back Jaylen Warren picked up where he left off last year, gaining 237 yards on 31 rushes. His stable mate, D’Armon Notoa, did not play, after breaking his foot in practice earlier in the week. Coach Peterson estimate he will miss 4-6 weeks.

The Badgers will open their 2018 home schedule by hosting the semi-pro team USA Revolution from Las Vegas, Nev. The game is on Saturday Sept. 1, with kickoff at 7 p.m.

Bulldogs lose game to Wolves,

but gain valuable experience

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

GUNNISON—Another week, another top-ranked team.

The Gunnison Valley Bulldogs hosted the North Sevier Wolves, ranked No. 5 in 2-A, last Friday Aug. 24 and lost 14-53.

Bulldog Head Coach Jake Pay sees a silver lining to facing top-ranked competition to start the season.

“Both Milford and North Sevier are going to make noise in the post season,” he said. “This will help us down the road, because we see the things we need to work on to be successful.”

One of the things the Bulldogs will need to improve on is incurring costly penalties. In their game against the Wolves, Gunnison racked up 11 penalties for a total of 111 yards lost. This contributed to their inability to finish drives, going 3-13 on a third-down conversion, and 0-2 on a fourth down.

This coming week, Coach Pay said the team will focus on eliminating mistakes. “The big thing moving into this week is playing mistake-free. We did some really great things; we just could not sustain it like we needed to because of the mistakes.”

With the offense unable to sustain drives, the defense stayed on the field too long, and wound up giving up a lot of yards through the air for the second week in a row.

It doesn’t help that North Sevier’s quarterback Taylor Crane is one of the top passers in 2A. He went 20-31 for 282 yards passing against the Bulldogs.

There was a point in the second quarter where the Bulldogs had scored two consecutive touchdowns and were behind by only one touchdown, 14-21. However, North Sevier ripped off five straight touchdown drives that the Bulldogs could not match.

Quarterback Caden Madsen led the Bulldogs with 61 yards passing and 42 yards rushing. Linebacker Brandon Tucker led the team in tackles with six unassisted and three assists.

This week, the Bulldogs host the South Sevier Rams on Friday Aug. 31, with kick-off scheduled at 7 p.m.

North Sanpete’s Connor Jorgensen, No. 34 above, runs through the Union line to score the game’s first touchdown last Friday night in the Hawks’ matchup against the Union Cougars. North Sanpete won 16-3.

 

Hawks Grind out 16-3 win

at home over Union Cougars

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete Hawks, whose motto has been “Grind,” did exactly that last Friday night in a gritty win over the Union Cougars, 16-3.

Describing the Hawk’s winning strategy in its home opener Friday, Aug. 24, Coach Rhett Bird said, “Our philosophy is exactly that we chew up time and keep our defense off the field. We believe we can play with anyone in our classification if we can control the ball.”

The Hawks started the scoring early when they recovered a Cougar fumble at mid-field and drove for a touchdown, which made the score 6-0. (The extra-point attempt was blocked.)

Union countered later in the half and drove the length of the field, but came up with only a field goal. The score stayed at 6-3 for the rest of the half, as both teams struggled to get any consistent offense going.

After the half, the Hawks put their adjustments into play and started moving the ball. Running back Maison Burgess and quarterback Chance Clawson kept the ball on the ground and in the first drive of the second half scored the second touchdown of the night to make the score 13-3.

“It all started with our offensive line,” Coach Bird said. “We have a mutual trust with them and have told them if they see gaps in the game to let us know and we will exploit them, and that is exactly what happened.

“During halftime, they felt like we could run an inside blast. That was our very first play [after halftime] which went for 17 yards. All the credit goes to our guys up front.”

After exchanging possessions, North Sanpete took over at the end of the third quarter and starting driving. And driving. And still driving. The Hawks wound up driving the length of the field, using all of the rest of the third quarter and all but 3:04 of the fourth quarter, to kick a field goal and put the game out of reach for the final score 16-3.

Burgess ran for 78 yards in the game, and Clawson chipped in for 60. The Hawks concentrated on their running game, and passed infrequently (5-11 for 37 yards), although Clawson left some points on the field when he overthrew a couple of open receivers early in the game. But the name of the game for the Hawks was efficiency, as they went 7-14 on 3rd down conversions, and 1-2 on 4th down.

The Hawk defense was also very effective containing the Cougar spread offense. The Cougars would often line up with four and five split receivers. But the Hawks countered by dropping five linebackers into zone coverage with the defensive backs, frustrating the Cougars’ quarterback with very few openings. “We have exceptional linebackers, and the 3-4 allows us to use those guys,” Coach Bird said. “They are more athletic, but are still able to stop the run.”

The Hawks travel to Cedar City this week to take on the Cedar Redmen on Friday Aug. 31 with kick-off scheduled at 7 p.m.

Snow’s Ashlen Bell, No. 14, and Bridgett Triplett, No. 15, go up for a block against Eastern Arizona in their match Monday night at the Horne Center on the Snow College campus. Snow won the match 3-1.

 

Lady Badgers volleyball team wins again, now 5-0

 

By  James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

EPHRAIM— The No. 13 ranked Snow College women’s volleyball team has jumped out to a great start of their 2018 season, after going 4-0 at the Snow College Invitational at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield last weekend and then defeating Eastern Arizona 3-1 Monday night at the Horne Activities Center.

Eastern Arizona took the first set, 23-25, in a closely contested set. But Snow re-grouped and came back to win three sets in a row, 25-22, 25-18, and 25-23.

“I was pleased with the way our team came back after dropping that first set,” said Head Coach Jeff Reynolds. “We made some mistakes that really cost us, so it was nice to see our team respond, make the necessary adjustments, and come out and take care of business over the next three sets.

“Eastern Arizona is a very good team. They won the Region I title last year and earned a trip to the NJCAA National Championship. To beat them on Saturday down in Richfield, and then turn around and beat them again on Monday is a nice way for our program to start the season.”

Ashlen Bell led the Badgers with 11 kills on 32 attempts, for an overall percentage of .313. Autumn Spafford had 10 kills, hitting .216 for the match. Bridgett Triplett led the team with six blocks.

During the invitational tournament on Friday, the Badgers faced Western Wyoming, winning 3-2, and then Eastern Wyoming, defeating them 3-0. And then on Saturday the Badgers defeated Eastern Arizona 3-1 and Central Wyoming 3-0.

“We had the opportunity to get a good look at our team,” Coach Reynolds said. “We were able to work through a bunch of different lineups in an effort to see what worked and what didn’t. I am pleased with how we managed to come together at the right moments and put points on the board when we needed to them the most.”

Snow is getting ready for a long road trip, starting with a trip to Prescott, Ariz., to compete in the Dalton Overstreet Invitational at Yavapai College on Aug. 31 – Sept. 1. Then on Sept. 3 the Badgers travel to Phoenix College.

“Our next 13 games will be on the road,” said Coach Reynolds. “This will be a big test for our team. We’re looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can continue to build off of our early success.”

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Manti little league

team takes state

 

Katelyn Allred

Staff writer

7/26/2018

Back row (L-R): Head coach Kyle Bailey, Kayson Bailey, Kort Cox, Bo Stevens, Sutton Sorensen, Kelan Layton, Coach Shaun Layton. Front row (L-R): Kane Christiansen, Lane Cox, Chase Keisel, Kyan Mickelson, Brayden Thomas

            MANTI—The Manti Astros won the Utah Boys Baseball Association state championship last week.

            The championship took place in Springville on Wednesday, July 11 and included teams from all over the state. The Astros played teams such as the Springville Nationals, the Lehi Mariners and the Salem Dodgers before defeating the Salem Indians in a tense championship game.

            The team was undefeated during the season, but faced a challenge in Springville. They were down six points during their last game before they managed to score the runs needed to take state.

The Astros ride the fire engine down Manti Main Street to celebrate winning state.

 

“They loved it,” says Manti City Recreation Director Josh Jensen. “It was a great experience for the kids.”

            The Astros are made up of 12 boys in fifth and sixth grades, and they played in

the pool A Division. To celebrate their victory, they rode the fire truck down Manti Main Street the next day. “They enjoyed it,” Jensen said.

The other Manti team, the Angels, took third place in the tournament.

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.”