Connor Applegate, Hunter (Sr.)
Helped lead Hunter to a victory over Highland last week, and the weekend before he had a terrific performance at the Panther-Tiger Classic in St. George.
In three games he went 7 for 11 with two walks and a .714 OBP.
“Connor is dedicated to being the best teammate possible, focused in the classroom and is well respected by his coaches and teammates,” said Hunter coach Aaron Perkins. “Connor earned second team all-Region 2 last season as a junior and is respected by all his coaches, teammates and teachers. He was voted team captain and was our most consistent hitter last season.”
The outfielder is batting .636 so far this season with three RBI and four runs scored.
“Connor is truly an example for the underclassman and represents his school, team, and community in a positive manner. I have enjoyed coaching him and look forward to watching him excel this season.
Josh Wilson, Layton (Sr.)
The senior forward is a big reason the Lancers began the season as the 5A preseason No. 1.
In four games this season he’s notched three goals for 3-1 Layton
“Josh is a fantastic person a great student and a gifted athlete. Josh came into the season well prepared. He worked hard in the offseason at the gym to gain strength and he was at every conditioning to work on his fitness,” said Layton coach Rick Talamantez.
Finau Tonga, Highland (Fr.)
Highland’s softball team won three total games last year, but thanks to the hitting and pitching of freshman Finau Tonga, the Rams have already won five games and things are looking bright for the program.
Highland went 4-1 last weekend at the 3A/2A March Warm-Up in St. George over the weekend, with Tonga batting over .500 with three home runs and four doubles.
“She is probably the best freshman in the state. She is a leader on our team even though she is a freshman,” said Highland coach Gilbert Maestas.
“Most good teams have walked her five times because they did not want to pitch to her. I don't know where we would be without her,” said Maestas.
Both her parents competed in athletics at the University of Utah.
Dallin Draper, Delta (So.)
In his first meet of the season, Delta sophomore Dallin Draper is already off to a blazing start for the Rabbits.
In last weekend’s Hurricane Valley Rotary Invitational, Draper won both the 100 meters and 200 meters with scintillating early-season times.
His time of 11.23 in the 100 meters would’ve been good enough for second at the 2A state last year, while his time of 22.58 in the 200 meters would’ve won the 2A meet.
Jaslyn Gardner, Enterprise (So.)
Kicked off the 2016 track season with a couple of strong performances at the Hurricane Valley Rotary Invitational.
She won the 100 meters with a time of 12.50 and the 200 meters with a time of 25.39.
As a freshman last season, Gardner was one of the elite sprinters in Utah. Her 100-meter time of 11.98 at the state meet last May was the second-fastest time in the state. Her 200 time of 24.92 was the third-best in Utah.
She’ll be one of the favorites every time she steps on the track this season.
Aaron Kelemen, Provo (Sr.)
Had a very strong week at first singles for Provo last week. He won in straight sets — without dropping a game — against the top player from Westlake and Payson.
Against Wasatch he won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
“He is a dominating force on the court, and his work ethic and diligence in-season and in the offseason are great examples for his teammates of what it takes to compete at a high level,” said Provo coach Robert Allen. “Aaron is also an outstanding student in the classroom and heavily involved in other areas of the school.”
Madi Giles, Bear River (Sr.)
Enjoyed two strong performances two weeks ago in tournaments in St. George.
Her best tournament came on March 11 at the St. George Golf Club as she fired an 81 to earn medalist honors against fellow 3A competition.
“I am extremely excited about this season and really think Madi is going to have a great year,” said Bear River coach Jim Thomas. “She actually should have shot in the 70's that day, but stumbled a bit on the last couple holes. She hits the ball a long ways and has a great short game.”
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org