Archives for December 2017

Jesus Emmanuel Carrasco


Hearing date set for second defendant in Maverik robbery


By James Tilson

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


MANTI—Jesus Emmanuel Carrasco, 18, of South Jordan, co-defendant of Jose Luis Cuevas, a defendant in the Maverick robbery and car theft crime spree in Sanpete County last October, appeared in the 6th District Court in Manti last Wednesday, Dec. 13, on charges of aggravated robbery, theft, obstruction of justice and arson.

The crime spree began in the early morning hours on Oct. 9 in Ephraim as several individuals broke into vehicles around the Snow College campus and stole a number of items.

The individuals then stole a white 2011 Kia Optima and drove it to Mt Pleasant.

Two of those individuals then used another vehicle to drive up to the Maverick in Mt. Pleasant and rob it at gunpoint.

Those individuals then drove to 350 W. 100 South in Mt. Pleasant, set the get-away vehicle on fire and drove away in the stolen white Optima. Those individuals then drove to Utah County, where some of those involved were arrested after a high-speed chase, including Cuevas.

While Carrasco was not arrested at the same time as Cuevas, he is alleged to have taken part in the robbery of the Maverick store, the vehicle theft and the burning of the get-away car.

Carrasco appeared in court pursuant to an arrest warrant.

Following a waiver of preliminary hearing, Judge Marvin Bagley set Carrasco’s next hearing for Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 10:30 am.

Alison Boudreaux sentenced on new charges


By James Tilson

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


MANTI—Judge Wallace Lee of the 6th District Court sentenced Alison Boudreaux, co-defendant to convicted murderer Logan McFarland, to prison for new drug charges and violation of probation last week in Manti.

Boudreaux had been sentenced earlier this year for her part in the 2011 LeRoy and Dorothea Fullwood murder case.

She had received a lenient sentence of probation due to her willingness to give her testimony against McFarland, the primary defendant in the murder case.

However, on July 12, Boudreaux was charged with new drug possession crimes, which also were alleged to violate her terms of probation. On Wednesday, Dec. 6, Boudreaux appeared in front of Judge Lee for sentencing on both cases.

Deputy County Attorney Kevin Daniels addressed the court to explain why the State was asking for a prison term.

Daniels said Boudreaux had been an “absolutely horrendous example” while on probation. Daniels explained that even though Boudreaux had finished Drug Court twice previous to being sentenced to probation in this case, she had been found guilty of drug use again, and this time in the presence of her minor daughter (who also had pending drug charges).

“When the community looks at her, it loses confidence in the drug court program,” Daniels opined.

Daniels reminded Judge Lee that when he sentenced her to probation before, Lee had told Boudreaux that she was on a “very short leash” and that a violation would very likely lead to a prison term.

Since then, when Boudreaux was arrested, she was high on methamphetamine, and her daughter was also high on methamphetamine.

“Society need to be protected from Alison Boudreaux, and that means prison,” Daniels said.

Defense attorney Matthew Jube attempted to show that the sentencing guidelines did not favor a prison term for someone with a drug addiction: “This is the textbook reason why the (Justice Reinvestment Initiative) was passed (in 2015), that a person with an addiction isn’t just shipped off to prison.”

According to Jube, Boudreaux’s only crime was being addicted to methamphetamine and relapsing into drug use again. He maintained that additional conditions of probation would help her to stay compliant.

Judge Lee addressed Boudreaux: “I heard the same arguments the last time I saw you.”

Lee added he had given her a chance at her last sentencing: “I stuck my neck out last time.”

However, he found her in front of him again, and said, “I’m not happy about it.”

Citing the importance of the case and Boudreaux’s inability to comply with probation, Lee sentenced Boudreaux to 0-5 years in prison in her new case and 1-15 years in the case for which she received probation before.

Any fines were to be waived, and the prison terms were to run concurrently.

Table ranks top ten Utah counties for social security payouts.


Sanpete eighth out of 29 counties in Utah for social security payouts


By Max Higbee

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


Sanpete County residents are receiving some of the highest yearly payments from Social Security in Utah, according to a recent study by financial technology company SmartAsset.

Sanpete comes in eighth in the ranking of the 29 Utah counties, with an average annual payout of $18,897, which exceeds the estimated annual cost of living, $18,132, by $765.

These numbers are, respectively, higher than the average national payout of $17,124 and lower than the average national cost of living, $18,413.

The county has a national rank of 355th in the average Social Security payout in SmartAsset’s study of just over 3,000 total counties in the nation.

In addition, Sanpete County ranks sixth in the state for Social Security going the furthest, meaning these benefits “cover the most of a person’s cost of living after paying taxes,” according to the SmartAsset website.

According to Stephanie Ciosek, a public relations associate with the company, the researchers first looked at the average payout to Social Security recipients in each county in the country.

“Then,” she explains, “we calculated the taxes a typical retiree would pay on that income based on the state-specific Social Security tax rules. We subtracted the taxes from that average Social Security income to determine the net income from Social Security.”

The study synthesized data made public by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Living Wage Calculator and the U.S. Census Bureau 2015 American Community Survey. The study results for this year, as well as 2015 and 2016, are available on SmartAsset’s website at

Members of Kermit’s Kruisers hold some examples of the gifts that the automobile group donated to the residents of Mission at Community, a care center in Centerfield: Nurse Alexandria Herrera (L-R), Kruiser Mitzi Fuller, Nurse Jaden Ross, and Kruisers Marlene Christensen and Keven “Kermit” Christensen.


Car enthusiasts in Centerfield donating to local charities


By Max Higbee

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


CENTERFIELD—A group of Sanpete County’s most ardent automobile enthusiasts are using their combined efforts to make a difference at local charities this holiday season.

Using money pooled together throughout the year by members, they bought and wrapped Christmas gifts before delivering them in person to the residents at the Mission at Community, an assisted living, rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s care facility in Centerfield.

Kermit’s Kruisers is an automobile group that attends car shows, and the group is named for its founder Keven Christensen, a wild-haired man with a passion for cars and for people.         Christensen is called “Kermit” by his fellow car buffs.

Throughout the year, Christensen pulls together monthly “Kruise nights,” which, during warmer months, usually consist of “getting together, showing off cars and sometimes cruising to different places for dinner or dessert,” according to Christensen.

In colder months, they’ll “go inside and play games, just to hang out year round.”

“We have fun,” Christensen says, “and anyone that does car shows that wants to hang out is welcome. Look for the Kermit’s Kruisers page on Facebook.”

At every meeting, Christensen has a container to collect donations from the members. This money goes toward buying donations for charitable causes.

Last month, for example, they donated 25 backpacks filled with supplies such as toothbrushes and children’s coloring materials to the New Horizons Crisis Center in Richfield, which, according to its website, serves “victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless.”

Manti High School students were part of the Area Honor Band which performed at Richfield High School on Friday, Dec. 9. Band members include (front row, L-R) Jessica Everitt, Kyleena Boylan, Anna Johnson, Kirah Pratt, Ephiny Lees, (second row) Emily Landon, Dallin Brereton, Emily Frischknecht, Bryan Sullivan, (third row) Joshua Vernon, Bridger Thompson, Aaron Hughes, Cody Alder, Samuel Lanier, (back row) Chandler Williams and Easton Cluff.
Not pictured are Emilie Lewellen, Andrew Olsen, Jaden Schiffman, Brandon Christensen, Ethan Christensen, Korben Cox, Emily Hugentobler and Jason Thomas. Photo courtesy of Bryan Sullivan.

[Read more…]

Proficiency of test scores down at majority of Sanpete schools


By Linda Petersen

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


State testing scores in both school districts in the county are mainly down this year, compared to last year.

Students in third grade through 12th grade are tested each year on their proficiency in language arts, math and science in the State Board of Education’s SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) test.

In South Sanpete School District this year, test scores are higher than state averages. However, they did dip slightly across the board from last year.

Scores in South Sanpete School District were an exact match with the state average of 44 percent in language arts.

Students scored 49 percent in math; the state score was 46 percent.

In science the district students’ score was 53, significantly higher than the state average of 48 percent.

Superintendent Kent Larsen said it has been a challenge for students and parents to adjust to the new, more-difficult SAGE test which was introduced in 2014.

With the previous test, the Criterion Reference Test, students were used to receiving scores in the 80 and 90 percentiles.

“It’s been a hard thing for our teachers and students to understand a score in the high 50s is still a high score,” Larsen said.

Since all state-mandated tests are optional, some families are choosing not to have their children tested and formally opt out. In North Sanpete, that number is about 7 percent.

Larsen said a phenomenon they’ve noticed in the district is that most of the time it is stronger students that opt out, which can skew the data.

So, he said, “We use SAGE for what it’s worth.”

Larsen likes the test’s diagnostics which allow educators to log in and download very specific information, permitting them to see trends, to see which areas teachers may be struggling with and to set goals and focus professional improvement on making positive changes in those areas.

Larsen said in his school district they have a three-pronged approach with testing as just one of the prongs. The other areas are college readiness and an educational approach which encourages students to get everything out of school they can.

Placing testing in that perspective gives educators, parents and students a more accurate picture of what is going on in the classroom and in a child’s learning, he said.

Larsen cites research that indicates changing a school’s culture to be more united and supportive of learning can result in up to a 20-percent increase in student scores.

Larsen said the slight drop in scores this year is reflective of a statewide drop, particularly in language arts where the state changed the test’s assessment style from a manual assessment to a computer assessment.

Better funding options and a statewide focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) have given teachers greater access to resources to help engage students in learning in those particular subjects which have likely led to increased science scores, he said.


In North Sanpete School District, scores have increased and decreased over last year.

Students scored 39 percent in language arts; the state average is 44.

In math, they scored 45 percent in math, and the state average is 46.

The district’s students scored 43 percent in science, while the state average is 48.

In this year’s scores compared to last year’s, scores went up 1 percent in language arts (from 38 percent), down 3 percent in math (from 42 percent) and down 2 percent in science (from 41 percent).

Superintendent Sam Ray is pleased with the results.

“We’ve been working hard with our grade level and subject area teacher teams to identify ways to improve student learning, and this is an indication it is paying off,” he said.

Like Larsen, Ray says SAGE testing is a good diagnostic instrument in helping teachers formulate learning objectives.

However, he is concerned that many students do not test as well as might be expected. Even though many students in his district do not formally opt out, some do not take the test seriously and do not try very hard, he said.

Since SAGE scores are not figured into a student’s grade, “they can think, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter to me so I’m not going to try very hard,’” he said.

If teachers were able to use SAGE as an end-of-year exam, it would be a more valuable use of students’ time, Ray said.

Currently, state law does not allow such tests to be used in that way, although Ray says the State Board of Education is looking to provide student incentives that would work within the legal framework.

Regardless, Ray says one of the most important skills a student can develop is that of test taking. No matter what a student does later in life, he or she is likely to encounter tests along the way, he said.

Ray says because of the limitations in working with SAGE, in North Sanpete School District at the high school level they put more focus on the ACT test than on SAGE.

Dr. Carolyn Worrell-Brady (left), severe Special Education teacher, and Trevor Steck hold stuffed animals donated to the district for students with severe disabilities.


Students with disabilities take spotlight at South Sanpete School District board meeting


By Lloyd Call

Associate Publisher

Dec. 21, 2017

MANTI—Special education took the spotlight at the recent board meeting of the South Sanpete School District, including a Boy Scout reporting on his eagle project that benefits students with disabilities.

Trevor Steck, a Boy Scout in Troop 528 (Ephraim 5th Ward), reported to the board last Wednesday, Dec. 13, on his eagle project.

Steck took 25 soft, fuzzy animals that talk and sing and wired them with large buttons that could be pressed by students with disabilities for recreational and therapy needs in district schools.

“Some of these students are disabled to the point where we just want any kind of interaction with them. Pushing a button to get an animal to sing a little song is actually a very neat motivation for them to respond and interact with,” said Aaron Peterson, district special education coordinator.

Peterson added, “As Steck entered the rooms to present the toys, some of the students actually rushed to him to touch them.”

The district expressed appreciation for Steck’s project and the effort it took.

A good portion of the board meeting was spent discussing the special education program as the board reviewed changes to the 70-page policy.

Peterson said regulations change constantly in special education. A possible change might require districts to hire a new psychologist to administer and interpret testing needed for special education eligibility, which is going to be hard for small districts like South Sanpete to afford.

The updated special education laws require districts to have personnel able to properly oversee the administration and interpretation of testing for school teams to make proper eligibility decisions.

However, the state is facing a severe shortage in psychologists. And this is making it hard for rural school districts to compete for psychologists with larger school districts, who are also facing severe shortages.

Many prospective school psychologists seek work outside of Utah after serving their program practicum experiences in our schools, he said. South Sanpete is continuing to make efforts to meet those expectations in the face of a statewide challenge.

“For the 13 eligibility areas, a team must demonstrate in their decision that a student has a disability that adversely impacts their education and requires specialized instruction in order to qualify the student for special education resources,” Peterson said.

He continued, “The district must ensure that the special education processes are being followed in order to come to that determination for each student.”

The processes the law requires the district to follow ensure that “the primary reason for the student’s performance isn’t the primary result of another factor like lack of attendance or not receiving adequate instruction,” he said.

After parents request an evaluation, he said, the district has a “45 school-day timeline” to perform and document the evaluation process.

He added, “The policies make sure all those procedures are followed correctly.”

District Superintendent Kent Larsen noted, “Of course, any time any student is struggling to learn, we intervene. Power hours, targeted teaching and many other interventions are used to find out how to help the students learn. The district is very concerned with making sure students get the help they need.”

The board expressed appreciation for the way the district’s special education teachers and administrators were trying to support students with learning disabilities.

The district also reviewed the final report of graduation rates for the year, which showed Gunnison Valley High School with a 95-percent rate (89 students), Manti High School with a 91-percent graduation rate (161 students) and the South Sanpete Education Support Center with a graduation rate between 40 and 49 percent (10-19 students).

Historically speaking, Gunnison High’s graduation rate has climbed slightly in recent years while Manti High’s graduation rate has declined a little.

Utah’s overall graduation rate is 86 percent, compared to the national rate of 81 percent.

Brandon Olsen approached the district to get permission to donate a soccer board in his family’s name for the new soccer fields. The board thanked him and will set up a meeting for Olsen to coordinate the project with the district’s facilities director.

Jeff Ericksen, North Sanpete High School vice principal, along with members of the school’s student body officers, pack up toys purchased from fundraising during their Sub for Santa drive. Robert Stevens, Messenger Photo.


Students go crazy with Spirit Week at NSHS


By Linda Petersen

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


MT. PLEASANT—Student council members at North Sanpete High School decided to combine the fun of a normal Spirit Week with important prevention information in Holiday Spirit Week/Prevention Week.

Working with the Central Utah Health Department, they’ve put together a slew of activities during lunchtime that share some serious messages including “Don’t Drive Stupid” and messages about tobacco prevention, drug prevention and digital citizenship (social media responsibility).

On Monday of this week, Christmas Eve PJ Day, students decorated their classroom doors during Advisory. Those chosen as having the best door won eggnog and cookies.

Tuesday was Flannel Day. Wednesday was Crazy/Fuzzy/Holiday Sock with Sandal Day, and students enjoyed Christmas karaoke during lunch. Today is Holiday Headwear Day.

The fun will wrap up tomorrow with hot chocolate for everyone prior to school and before the Teacher Pledge Assembly to celebrate a very successful Sub for Santa drive where students raised $4,000.

After hearing from Miss Sanpete County Michayla Jackson, the student body will make sure some final faculty members honor the pledges they made. (Others have already honored those pledges by counting the coins collected, having their legs waxed, getting forehead tattoos and more.)

That means Matt Braithwaite will allow students to shave and paint his head (for raising $3,330.33). Auralee Brooks and Rickie Stewart will spray each other with condiments one time for every $250 raised. Randi Griffith, Cami Hathaway and Emily Revoir will play Egg Russian Roulette ($1,500) and the student body officers will show the awful music video they made with a song of the students’ choice ($1,550.55).

Students will have to wait until next year to see Bryan Strain get a cheer/drill team makeover and to publicly challenge Dwayne Johnson to a wrestling match on social media since they did not quite make his pledge amount.

While the faculty and students were great sports and all worked hard to raise the $4,000, in the end it will be the kids of Sanpete County who will benefit, Student Council Advisor Ricki Stewart said.

“We appreciate our students and community being so generous. We’re grateful to live in a community that takes care of its own. Each year as we talk about what to do to support our community, we’ve felt strongly about this event and the food drive that we do in the spring,” she said.

“The reason that we feel tied to these events is that we know the work we do stays in our community where the need is great and our neighbors are generous. We’d like to thank everyone who donated, pledged to do something crazy or helped us count change. We’re hopeful our efforts have made someone’s holiday season a little brighter,” she added.

Students will finish up the week with a Sadie Hawkins Ugly Sweater Dance tomorrow from 8-11:30 p.m.



This cougar, prowling outside the perimeter gates of the prison in Gunnison, was caught on a security camera last Saturday night. Photo courtesy CUCF.


Surprising nighttime prowler caught on camera at CUCF


GUNNISON—The silent visitor outside of the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison last Saturday night might make any prisoner second-guess an escape attempt.

A tweet from the Utah Department of Corrections shows a photo of a skulking predator, a full-grown cougar, prowling around the perimeter gates. Security cameras captured the frightening feline.

“How’s THIS for perimeter patrol,” said the tweet. “A cougar was caught on camera outside the fences of Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison last night.”

Middle School students offered holiday hope


By Linda Petersen

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


MORONI—The holidays can be a tough time for many of us, and when things don’t live up to our expectations, it can sometimes hit us hard.

That’s something the members of North Sanpete Middle School’s HOPE Squad are keenly aware of and the reason they planned HOPE Week to be this week rather than any other time of the year.

HOPE Squad is a group of students who work to help their peers who may be struggling. They receive training to help them identify at-risk students and to get them the help they need from trusted adults.

Principal O’Dee Hansen said while there have been no suicides among his students, he, his staff and members of the HOPE Squad know students who struggle.

“We do have students that have gone through these situations,” he said. “Statistically, the holidays are one of the hardest times for adults and youth. It’s a time where we see an increase in suicidal behaviors. We purposely chose that time to bring awareness of this issue, to let our students know there is hope and there are resources out there that can help them.”

He added, “Christmas is a challenging time for students, and they can experience a lot of doubt with a drop in their self-confidence. Some kids turn to self-harming behaviors. HOPE Squad try to be a resource for them, to let them know things are not as dark as they may seem.”

HOPE Squad began three years ago at North Sanpete Middle School when, after attending a presentation on the program, counselor Kami Millet approached Hansen about starting up a squad at the school.

“We all know that the middle school years can be especially tough,” Hansen said. “We felt it would be good to take a proactive approach.”

Millet chooses the squad members and looks for students who she feels could be a good resource for their peers, those who are leaders in various social groups who are particularly kind and empathetic, Hansen said.

This week, which features lots of fun, crazy activities and attire, includes activities designed to remind students that no matter what happens in their lives, there is always someone there to support them, to help them through their darkest hours.

On Monday students got to wear their pajamas to school and enjoyed activities with the message “Be comfortable with who you are.”

On Tuesday they wore Christmas hats to show their support for Suicide Prevention Week.

Ugly Sweater Day yesterday had the message “It’s what’s on the inside that counts, not what you look like on the outside,”

Today is Twin Day where students can dress up like someone else to show that they are never alone, that there is always someone else that cares.

Tomorrow is Hawaiian Day where students can dress like they’re headed to the beach. They are encouraged to think warm and happy thoughts during this holiday season.

Underlying all the fun this week is the message that each student has value and that they need never feel alone.

At North Sanpete Middle, HOPE Squad is an after-school program. Millet’s co-advisor is Cindy Johansen.

“They do a wonderful job,” Hansen said. “We are glad to have HOPE Squad as a part of our school.”

Miss Sanpete County Michayla Jackson speaks to Mt. Pleasant Elementary students. She is visiting four schools this week.


Miss Sanpete shares ‘hero’ platform with local schools


By Linda Petersen

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


This week Miss Sanpete County Michayla Jackson is sharing her platform with students at four local schools.

On Monday, she spoke to Mt. Pleasant Elementary students. Then on Tuesday, she visited with Fairview Elementary students. Yesterday, Manti Elementary students heard from her in a special assembly.

Then tomorrow, as part of the assembly culminating Spirit Week, she will speak to North Sanpete High School students.

Jackson’s platform is “Honor, Education, Respect, Others.” Jackson, 20, said she came up with the idea after breaking both her feet in a gymnastics accident last year in Russia where she had been teaching English for three months.

Despite the accident, she was determined to participate in a long-planned two-week backpacking trip across Europe. With only two small wooden crutches (all that was available in Russia), she hobbled across London, Scotland, Paris, Florence, Venice, Rome and then back to Russia.

An airport in Scotland was nearly her undoing. After painfully pulling herself up two flights of stairs, Jackson was at her rope’s end, she said. Then, out of nowhere, an airport employee, noticing her predicament, found her a wheelchair and got her where she needed to go.

He had no idea what that meant to her, she said.

“He was just doing his job, but that wheelchair and his concern meant so much to me. He was a hero for me,” she said.

The experience changed Jackson’s life, and when she decided to compete for Miss Sanpete County, her platform came to her without effort.

“I want people to know you don’t have to be a superhero to be a hero,” she said. “To be a hero is to be the best you can be—the best you. That is something only you can offer.”

As she speaks to children and teens across the county, Jackson said she hopes to deliver the message that “they can become heroes by honoring who they are, educating themselves and respecting and serving others.”

“They don’t have to have their face on a cereal box or participate in the Olympics to be a hero,” she said. “They can be a hero every day by serving others and by being themselves.”

Jackson said she was also inspired by the Cat in the Hat book, “I Want to Be Somebody New.”

A North Sanpete High School graduate, Jackson is looking forward to talking to students at the school.

“I’m really excited to talk to them because the current seniors were freshmen when I was in high school,” she said. “I watch them at the games, and I feel like I know them. I’m excited to share something that is a really big deal to me—to let them know a little bit more about who I am.”

Jackson plans to visit more local schools in the spring as her work schedule allows.

In the meantime, she highlights people she feels are heroes on her Miss Sanpete County Instagram and Facebook pages. She recently highlighted her great-grandfather James Olie Noorlander, who was a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Jackson has had surgery on both her feet, the most recent on Dec. 1, to recreate the ligaments and tendons, along with removing bone shards from her ankle joints.

A graduate of Snow College, Jackson is currently working as a secretary in Provo. She hopes to attend Weber State in the fall to study respiratory therapy.

Along with pursuing that career, Jackson said she hopes to someday be a wife and mother.

Students on the Gunnison Valley High School Student Council with Christmas presents that were donated by the community and wrapped by the Student Council. GVHS leads the many other schools in this year’s Sub for Santa operation.


Gunnison students leading out in Sub for Santa program


By Max Higbee

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


GUNNISON—Gunnison Valley schools are leading the charge to provide Christmas to 100 children in the area who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

The valley’s Sub 4 Santa program is headed up by Melissa Judy and the Student Council at Gunnison Valley High School, for which she is the faculty advisor.

Judy explained that they will try to fill certain necessities for each child: new pants, a new shirt, underwear, socks, and shoes. Then, if the child has any specific needs, like a winter coat or boots, they will get that for them as well. Of course, they also get the child a fun toy.

“The elementary, middle, and high schools are all collecting things, and each school does it a bit differently,” she says. “Here at the high school, each 3B class [third period on B days] is assigned two or three children, and given their lists.”

The class has two weeks to bring in all the things on that list, after which anything that doesn’t get donated by students is bought using the money collected through the annual Santa Run.

The Santa Run is a yearly 5K held in conjunction with the Gunnison City Christmas festivities, the weekend following Thanksgiving. Each runner pays $15, and businesses pay $25 to have their logos appear on the official race t-shirts, which are distributed to the runners, along with a Santa hat. All of the proceeds go to support the local Sub 4 Santa’s efforts.

The schools coordinate with each other and mayors across the valley to make sure that those with needs are found and served. They work together to make sure nobody is double served and nobody should be missed.

“Families will reach out to us often asking us about somebody they know who is in need,” Judy says, “and we can tell them if we’ve got them covered or not, and maybe help them find how best they can help out.”

This year’s efforts are in the home stretch—the volunteers went shopping on Monday to gather the last of the gifts, and then wrapped them on Tuesday. The holiday items will be distributed either today or tomorrow.

Mady Sissoko (No. 44) nearly brought the house down with this thunderous dunk, scoring two of his nine points on the night in Wasatch Academy’s 59-50 victory over East High School of Salt Lake City. James Tilson, Messenger Photo.

[Read more…]

Templars win two out of three in St. George Coach Walker Classic


By James Tilson

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


ST. GEORGE—The Manti High Templars boys basketball team traveled to St. George to play in the three-day Coach Walker Classic at Dixie State University and went 2-1 for the tournament, and the loss was by two points.

In their first game on Thursday, Dec. 14, the Templars faced the 4A Snow Canyon Warriors and couldn’t overcome a strong game by Joey Robertson (28 points) and Bryson Childs (14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists) to eventually fall 58-56.

Manti’s coach, Devin Shakespear, said, “We had chances to win but did not knock down our free throws down the stretch.”

Matt Nelson led the Templars with 20 points and seven rebounds.

On Friday, Dec. 15, the Templars put in one of their stranger performances of the year against Hurricane.

The Templars scored no points in the second quarter but then rallied to score 20 points in the third and 24 in the fourth to achieve a decisive 58-44 victory.

Manti’s Nelson led the way again with 25 points and seven rebounds.

In their last game of the tournament against Green Canyon on Saturday, Dec. 16, the Templars turned in their most balanced performance.

Coach Shakespear summarized the Templars’ 70-62 victory: “We had five guys, and almost six, in double figures, 21 assists as a team, and played good perimeter defense, and our offense was very efficient.”

Manti’s Tanner Rasmussen had 13 points, Kade Nicholes put in 12, Dylan Wathen scored 11, Kole Brailsford and Nelson both made 10 and Adam Huff pitched in nine points.

Coach Shakespear pointed to the experience his various teams gained in the tournament: “We played 12 games over the weekend between freshman, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity all versus 4A teams. We won nine of our 12 games and had three overtime games to help the boys learn how to finish close games. The tournament was a great learning experience, and I was pleased with how we performed.”

Yesterday the Templars hosted South Summit High (score unavailable) and then travel to Salina to play North Sevier High on Dec. 29.

Bulldogs drop game to Enterprise, 47-63, then edge out Eagles in close home win


By Eli Butler

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


GUNNISON—The boys basketball team of Gunnison Valley High School won one and lost one last week.

After a tough 47-63 away loss to Enterprise on Wednesday, Dec., 13, the Bulldogs sprinted in the final stretch for a much-needed 58-56 home win against the Eagles of Millard on Friday, Dec. 15.

In Friday’s game, Millard outscored Gunnison in the first quarter by three points, but the Bulldogs tied the Eagles in the second quarter’s output.

Gunnison pulled ahead in the third quarter and went neck and neck in the fourth quarter, sinking 16 free throws in the game to win by two.

The Bulldogs struggled to stop Millard’s Jaxon Wardle, who scored 19 points, including two threes.

Good performances from Gunnison players included Tim Stewart scoring 16 with two three-pointers and Wyatt Young scoring 14 points.

Against Enterprise, Gunnison was outpaced by 11 points in the first quarter, and the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up in the first three quarters, putting them down by 20 at the end of the third quarter.

Although the Bulldogs outscored Enterprise in the fourth quarter by four points, it just wasn’t enough, giving Enterprise the 16-point win.

The only game this week was at Gunnison against Parowan yesterday.

North Sanpete’s Tiffany Peckham is caught in the middle of two Wasatch Academy players in the Lady Hawks’ 58-18 loss at the Lady Tigers’ gym on Tuesday, Dec. 12.


Lady Hawks struggling, drop all three games over weekend


By James Tilson

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete girls basketball team suffered through a hard week with three losses: first against Wasatch Academy 58-18, then Enterprise High 44-16 and finally Canyon View High 40-22.

The good news is the margin of points they lost by decreased each game from 40 to 28 to 18.

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Lady Hawks played cross-town Wasatch Academy for the first time in years. The Lady Hawks traveled to the Tigers’ home gym for the match.

The Lady Tigers, a much more physically imposing team, jumped out to an early lead and never relinquished it, winning easily 58-18. The Lady Hawks made eight points in the second quarter—their best output for a quarter in the game.

Manuely de Oliveira for the Lady Tigers led all scorers with 21 points, while Halli Bennett led the Lady Hawks with eight points.

North Sanpete’s next two games took place at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield as part of the Central Utah Girls Basketball Preview.

The Lady Hawks’ inexperience showed once again as they struggled to score against Enterprise High on Friday, Dec. 15. The Lady Wolves jumped to an early 19-4 lead in the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way to a 44-16 victory. Anna Wright led the Lady Hawks with nine points.

Against Canyon View on Saturday, Dec. 16, North Sanpete started off strong, only down three points at the end of the first quarter.

The Lady Hawks made their best showing of the young season with 22 points in the game, but the older Canyon View team gradually pulled away from the Lady Hawks by nine points at the half, 10 points after the third and then by eight more points in the final quarter to win 22-40.

Tiffany Peckham had a big game for the Lady Hawks with eight points.

The Lady Hawks play at Delta High today and then host North Sevier High on Dec. 31.