MountainStar Healthcare's star athletes of Week 1
Spencer Jorgensen, Provo (Sr.)
Provo’s first-year quarterback kicked off the 2016 season in impressive fashion.
Spencer Jorgensen completed 15 of 28 passes for 362 yards and four touchdowns to lead Provo to a 35-21 victory over Cedar.
“Spencer has been a three-year starter, but first year as a quarterback. He was a little nervous in Friday's game, but overall showed poise and good leadership,” said Provo coach Tony McGeary. “There are a few things we need to work out, but overall he did well. I expect him to get better each game. He is a competitor.”
Two of Jorgensen’s touchdowns covered 60-plus yards in the second quarter.
Sara Noel, Woods Cross (Jr.)
The Wildcats are off to a terrific 5-0 start to the 2016 season, and the play of this junior forward is a huge reason why.
Sarah Noel has scored nine goals in five games for top-ranked Woods Cross, including back-to-back hat tricks in the first two games of the season.
“Sara has had a terrific start to the season with some clinical finishing, she has benefited from some great support play from her midfield trio playing just behind her,” said Woods Cross coach Dave Newman. “Amazing what a year of growing up can do for a player from sophomore to junior.”
Hunter Vernon, North Summit (Jr.)
The junior led North Summit to the team title at the Tournament of Champions at Skyline High School last weekend.
She led the team with 78 kills, 71 digs and 15 aces, hitting .354 over nine matches of the tournament. In a win over Woods Cross, she hit .538 with 14 kills and zero errors.
“Hunter is a key player for North Summit. She is one of those all-around players that you don't see too often. She passes well, digs well, has a great jump serve, and of course is all about the hitting,” said coach Samantha Stevens. “She is a leader on the court and is a true competitor.”
Vernon tore her ACL two weeks before last year’s state tournament, an injury that forced her to miss last year’s basketball season and track season.
“She has worked hard to get back to play where she was before she got hurt,” said Stevens.
Whitney Rich, Bingham (Sr.)
Bingham’s Whitney Rich established herself as the top 5A distance runner in Utah during last spring’s state track meet when she won both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. She’s continuing that trend already this cross-country season.
Rich dominated the Highland Invitational at Sugarhouse Park last Thursday, easily winning the race with a time of 17:00.60. Springville’s Julie Sumsion was 29 seconds behind in second place.
Rich finished third at last year’s 5A state cross-country meet on a similar course, but judging from last week’s meet she’s the early favorite.
“Whitney is an amazing athlete, the most competitive I've ever had. She is not only driven and works hard, but she truly enjoys the sport, even on the hard days, even when it hurts she finds a way to enjoy herself, and I think that is one reason she is a successful runner,” said Bingham coach Alisha Paxton. “I am very excited about her season. She had a great race at Highland and is ready to continue working and pushing herself until state.”
Joe Benson, Timpanogos (Sr.)
This senior is off to a terrific start this season with a pair of individual victories already to his credit.
He won the Premier Invitational in Tooele two weeks ago, and then last Thursday won the prestigious Highland Invitational at Sugarhouse Park.
He won the Highland Invitational with a time of 14:39.60, narrowly outkicking Springville’s Grant Gardner to the finish line as he finished in 14:40.50.
The early success should prepare Benson for a unique experience he’ll have next month. He’s been invited to participate with the United States at the Junior World Mountain Running Championships in Sophia, Bulgaria, on Sept. 11. He’ll be one of four U.S. runners competing against 30 other countries.
Josh Pehrson, Davis (Sr.)
The Davis senior is off to a strong start this season.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, he shot a 64 at the Titan Invitational at Glen Eagle Golf Course. Davis won the tournament by 17 strokes. Two days later, Pehrson shot a 75 at a Region 2 match at Lakeside Golf Course.
“Josh is a three-year member of our team and has improved each year. He works very hard on his short game and is an excellent putter. He will be pivotal in our team's success this year,” said Davis coach Bennett Horne.
Eveylyn Lords, Highland (Jr.)
Highland’s No. 3 singles player helped her team win the Cache Valley tournament at Logan High School on Saturday as she knocked off four strong 5A players.
“Evelyn is a team player. She has worked hard to earn her No. 3 singles spot on the varsity team. She understands work ethic. She not only has improved her tennis game to earn her spot on the team but she understands how to be mentally tough in a match,” said Highland coach Sharon Snyder.
“She accepts the challenge of competition with a positive attitude. She displays good sportsmanship at all times. She approaches each match with a ‘can do this’ attitude. She helps each player on our team enjoy the game of tennis.”
Cobe Reck, Valley (Sr.)
Valley’s senior catcher is coming off a fantastic weekend of baseball in leading the Buffaloes to a pair of wins over Green River in a Saturday doubleheader.
Reck went a combined 5 for 8 with two home runs and four RBIs in the victories, upping his season batting average to .486 with 10 RBIs and three home runs.
“Cobe is an outstanding leader on and off the field. He has been one of our best hitters since his freshman year and was a vital part of our state championship run two seasons ago. He is one of the top hitters in 1A and also one of the best catchers,” said coach Joseph Sorensen.
A four-year starter, Reck is closing in on the state’s all-time singles record. He now has 85 singles, and the state record is 98 held by Wayne’s Lance Peterson — who ironically enough is a Valley assistant this season.
“It has been a pleasure to be his coach these four years. He is one of the most coachable and hard-working athletes I have ever worked with,” said Sorensen.
Reck was a Deseret News first team all-stater in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Last spring, he led Valley to the 1A boys golf state title and was named the 1A medalist as well.
James Edward is the Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: email@example.com