High school sports: Nearly 650 athletes taking talents to college on scholarship
UVU and USU Eastern in Price are both starting men’s soccer programs this fall, welcome additions for the soccer community in Utah where college soccer opportunities have been very difficult to come by over the past decade.
Ammon Bennett, a native Utahn who’s coached college soccer in Iowa the past 15 years, will be coaching the men’s and women’s programs at USU Eastern in Price this fall, and he said the interest has been through the roof.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to get kids to leave Utah to go and play, so it’s been almost overwhelming the number of kids who want to come and play. Probably every day I get one or two emails from some kid at some high school on the men’s side who wants to come play,” said Bennett.
On the hard court, the 2014 graduating class was highlighted by BYU’s signing of Haws and Orem’s Dalton Nixon. Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak was thrilled to land Roy recruit Brekkott Chapman, who was heavily sought by numerous big-time programs.
On the girls side, a year after softball produced the highest percentage of scholarship recipients, girls soccer is back on top.
Of the estimated 822 high school seniors who played girls soccer last fall, 105 (12.7 percent) earned scholarships.
As for softball, even though the percentage of athletes who received scholarships was down slightly from 11.6 in 2013 to 9.7 in 2014, there are still 60 girls receiving softball scholarships.
Headlining that group is Viewmont’s Caitlyn Larsen (BYU), one of just nine getting Division I scholarships.
Plenty of other girls’ sports churned out scholarship athletes. Forty-eight volleyball players signed to play at the next level (5.8 percent), while 42 basketball players signed (5.3 percent).
An estimated 2,600 seniors participated in boys and girls track and cross-country during the 2013-14 school year, with 74 earning scholarships. That list includes Ogden superstar Sarah Feeny. The Ute commit wowed everyone by winning the prestigious Dream Mile race in New York two weeks ago.
This fall she’ll be running against the elite athletes in the Pac-12.