Ian Stonehocker, Maple Mountain (Jr.)
The Golden Eagles are perfect in Region 8 this season with just two matches remaining, and this junior is a big reason why.
The midfielder has scored 12 goals and handed 17 assists this season, and was instrumental in a pair of easy wins over Salem Hills and Springville last week.
“Ian’s unmatched creativity on the ball, commitment to defense from the front line and endless work ethic makes him one of the most dynamic players on the pitch. Ian’s goal total is impressive, yet the more impressive thing about him is the ability for him to open chances for his teammates, partially shown by his impressive 17 assists on the season,” said Maple Mountain coach Mike Klauck.
Alese Casper, Grantsville (Jr.)
Casper came up huge on the mound last week with a pair of critical victories against Stansbury and Tooele to keep the Grantsville’s region title hopes alive.
She remained humble afterward too.
“After our Tooele game she was the first to give all the credit to the defense and the hitters for ‘having her back,’” said Grantsville coach Heidi Taylor.
For the season, Casper has a 3.40 ERA in 63.2 innings pitched.
At the plate, she’s batting .446 with seven doubles, 14 RBI and 27 runs scored.
“Alese has been a great leader for us this year, not only as a pitcher, but also as a hitter and outfielder. She replaced one of the top hitters in the state last year (Autumn Dzierzon) as our lead off and has done a fantastic job,” said Taylor.
“Some of the things I love about Alese are her work ethic, her leadership qualities. Not only is she not afraid to be vocal, but she also has a confidence about her that rubs off onto the others. Her love of the game, her love for her teammates and her coachability.”
Karter Pope, Uintah (Sr.)
Even though the Utes will miss the 4A playoffs this season, Karter Pope is still putting together a fantastic season in the difficult Region 8.
Pope is batting .400 this season with six home runs and 24 RBIs. On the mound he’s been clocked at 88 mph and has a 4-3 record with 58 strikeouts.
He also plays shortstop and third base.
“Karter is an excellent student and citizen. He is involved in all school activities and supports all the other sports. He loves baseball and works at it everyday. He is not only the best player on his team but also the hardest worker,” said Uintah coach Brent Labrum.
Kody Codner, Orem (Sr.)
Codner had a great showing at the BYU Invitational last weekend.
The senior Weber State commit set new PRs in both the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, handily winning both events.
“Just got to thank my coaches, they’ve been pushing me hard all year. Starting to peak at the end of the season. Feeling good,” said Codner.
He won the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.66, edging Davis’ Jaron Erickson by .02.
Later in the meet he won the 300 hurdles with a time of 37.65, over a half second faster than second place.
Camilla Moses, Syracuse (Jr.)
Moses set a new pole vault state record at the Herriman Twilight meet last Friday.
The junior cleared 10’10, which was just an inch higher than the previous record that was shared by Bingham’s Bethany Foster in 2013 and Herriman’s Brielle Carr this season.
“Camilla is a great young lady. She does a great job in the classroom and on the track. She has a great work ethic that includes hours of practice and film study. She's the real deal,” said Syracuse coach Brian Berrong.
Moses maintains a 3.9 GPA and is starting to get some interest from colleges for her vaulting skills.
Bryan Gricius, Lone Peak (Sr.)
This senior is reaping the benefits of passion and hard work on the court for the Lone Peak Knights.
The Region 4 season came to a close last week, and along with his doubles partner Dallin Carrier, the Knights compiled a 13-1 record. Their lone loss was against Pleasant Grove’s doubles team, a state finalist from last year. They split their two meetings this year, both in three sets.
“Bryan is one of 12 kids in his family and he is self-taught. As an eighth- and ninth-grader he taught himself how to play and practiced 10 to 15 hours a week. He did not have a lesson until he was a 10th-grader,” said Lone Peak coach John Lacognata.
“As a ninth- and 10th-grader, he went out November to February and shoveled tennis courts at the school so that he had a court to play on. During those winter months it was not uncommon to see him practicing two hours a day out in the cold after school.”
As a sophomore and junior, Gricius' doubles teams lost in the second round of the state tournament. This year he’s hoping to take that next step and advance to the semifinals on the second day of the tourney.
Olivia Stringham, Olympus (Sr.)
The Titans' top golfer for the third straight year, Stringham heads into Wednesday’s Region 6 championship tournament sitting in third place with an average score of 85.
“Olivia has a strong competitive spirit. She is quick to embrace a challenge. Her enthusiasm is contagious to her teammates. She has helped build our program into a competitive team. She has been our top golfer for three years, despite having a football guy for a coach,” said Olympus coach Aaron Whitehead.
A couple weeks ago, Stringham shot a 38 on the back nine at Murray Parkway to finish with an 81.
James Edward is the Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: email@example.com