Caleb Moore, Mountain View (Sr.)
Had a great outing last week in Mountain View’s season-opening 7-2 win against Kearns.
The senior struck out eight Cougars and scattered eight hits over seven innings to finish with the complete game victory.
He helped his cause at the plate as well going 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI.
“Caleb is the kind of player that coaches love. He works hard, hes a good student, and he treats everyone with respect. Hes worked very hard make himself an elite player. Just having him on the team makes everyone better,” said Mountain View coach Ken Carlson.
Kohner Knowles, Sky View (Jr.)
This junior forward helped Sky View secure its first victory of the season, notching a pair of goals in the Bobcats' 3-1 win at Granger.
“Kohner is showing us early that he's a go-to finisher. He scored off of a strong header and perfectly slotted the ball from distance vs. Granger. He should be an offensive force this season,” said Sky View coach Doyle Geddes.
Hallie Neves, Payson (Sr.)
Payson’s lone senior is showing tremendous perseverance just to be on the diamond this spring.
Neves broke her hip during the basketball season but recovered in time to be ready for Payson’s first games of the season this past weekend. In a game against Northridge, she belted two home runs.
Neves has been Payson’s starting catcher since her sophomore season. She’s an excellent student in the classroom as well as having been honored as an academic All-Stater in both soccer and basketball.
“She is a natural team leader and works very hard. Hallie has overcome two very serious injuries the past two years. She hurt her knee playing soccer and missed her junior year of basketball and then broke her hip in basketball this year and worked very hard with our trainer to be ready to play softball,” said Payson coach Jodi Beck. “Hallie is so much fun to have around. Whenever you are around Hallie you find yourself smiling and laughing.”
So far this season Neves is batting .611 with two home runs and four RBI.
Bapa Falemaka, Judge (Sr.)
One of the best returning throws from last season, Falemaka got the season started with a bang at the Cougar Relays at Kearns High School on Saturday finishing first in the javelin, shot put and discus.
A year ago he finished in the top 10 in Utah in all three events and based on Saturday’s initial performance he could easily set new personal records this year.
Falemaka had the third-best javelin throw in Utah last year with an 184’06 and he registered a 171’09 Saturday. In the shot put his toss of 54’00 was also the third-best in Utah last year and he nearly eclipsed that Saturday with a 52’04.
He won the discus on Saturday with a throw of 144’20. A year ago his throw of 154’09 was the seventh-best in Utah.
“Bapa had a great season opener at the Cougar Relays meet at Kearns high school. He threw near his personal best in the shot put, javelin and the discus which sets the tone for a strong season,” said Judge coach Mele Vaisima. “As a senior and defending 4A state champ in the discus and shot put, he is aiming for a repeat, and a chance to break the school record in the javelin and possibly earn a win at state in the javelin. At this point, it's all about hitting reps during practice and maintaining a great work ethic throughout the season.”
Paige Simmons, Salem Hills (Sr.)
One of the top returning sprinters in 4A, Simmons started the season strong in the Cougar Relays at Kearns High School last weekend. She ran a leg in Salem Hill’s 4x100 hurdles winning team and in Salem’s second-place 4x100 team.
Last season she posted top 15 times in 4A in both the 100- and 200-meter races.
“Paige has been one of our most consistent performers over the past three years. She is our school record holder in the 100, 200 and is part of our school record 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams,” said Salem Hills coach Bart Thompson.
“More importantly, Paige is an incredible leader for our team. She is consistently one of the last athletes to leave the track each day and is constantly putting what's best for the team ahead of her own personal desires and interests. She was selected as one of our team captains due to her work ethic, friendly attitude and commitment to being her best every day! She is an absolute joy to coach and we're looking forward to a great Senior season out of her.”
Simmons was also a team captain for Salem Hills’ region champion girls’ soccer team last fall.
Steffen Rigby, Bear River (Soph.)
The sophomore had a great opening week of the high school tennis season last week, going 4-0 in his first single matches in dual matches in St. George.
He beat strong teams from Woods Cross, Pleasant Grove, Judge Memorial and Juab without dropping a set. He won both sets against Pleasant Grove in tiebreakers.
“Steffen is so respectful and coachable. He has an unusual focus on the fundamentals, and practices them often with his younger siblings,” said Bear River coach Ken Oxborrow. “His amazing ball returns make him a force on the court. As a freshman, Steffen finished on top of the region in first singles.”
Rigby is an excellent student as well and is also fluent in French.
Kanna Crosland, East (Jr.)
Opened the girls' goal season with a first-place finish in the first Region 5 tournament last week, firing a 76 at Rose Park Golf Course. She won the meet by seven strokes.
The junior captain is coming off an eighth-place finish at state last year and has made tremendous strides this season and will certainly be one of the favorites to win the state title.
“She has improved remarkably over this last summer, dropping an average of probably eight strokes per 18 holes and is playing scratch golf on her good days,” said East coach Lauren Wall.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org