Sandy Rhea and Debbie Bilbao have much in common. Both recently graduated high-school star athletes live in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. Both were outstanding in three team sports and they each led two of their teams to state titles. Both will attend NCAA Division I schools on softball scholarships next fall.
And both are now Deseret News softball MVPs.Rhea, the Bingham High centerfielder, led the Miners to their fourth consecutive state softball championship with her hitting, fielding and baserunning. For her efforts she had been voted the 5A Most Valuable Player.
Rhea, who was an all-state guard on Bingham's state championship basketball team and a fine midfielder in soccer, will attend the University of Utah next year on a softball scholarship.
Joining Rhea as Bingham representatives on the all-state team are pitcher Katie Lewis, first baseman Heidi Olsen and outfielder Jenny Monson. Miner catcher Christy Burge and third baseman Nikki Mitchell were selected to the 5A second team.
For the second year in a row the Jordan Beetdiggers won a state softball crown and Bilbao was once again a major reason. Bilbao, who was also a 1993 state MVP award, pitched every inning during Jordan's six games in the three-day 4A state tournament last month. By the end of the tourney her arm was nearly ready to fall off, but she still had enough left in her to beat Box Elder in the title game.
Bilbao was an all-state goal keeper on Jordan's state championship soccer team last fall and was a forward on the Beetdigger basketball team. She will pitch for the University of Iowa next spring.
Jordan second baseman Teri Foster and outfielders Rhiana Hughes and Melissa Hill also earned first-team all-state accolades. The Beetdiggers placed two players on the second team (Rachelle Foster and Carissa Fowler).
North Sanpete pitcher Jaynette Dodds earned MVP honors for hurling the Hawks to the 3A championship. Dodds earned a 5-0 victory over Pine View in the 3A state title game. Teammates Maria Cook, Tawnya Crumb, Sadie Christensen and KaeLyn Hansen also earned first-team all-state honors.
1994 Deseret News All-State Softball
MVP - Sandy Rhea, outfielder, Bingham
P: Monika Hurley, Alta
P: Katie Lewis, Bingham
P: Brooke Baker, West Jordan
C: Emily Wilson, Hillcrest
1B: Heidi Olsen, Bingham
2B: Stacie Holmes, Alta
3B: Tina Burton, Alta
SS: Chantelle Clegg, Highland
OF: Jenny Monson, Bingham
OF: Mindi Lightfoot, Taylorsville
OF: Jesica Elliot, Hillcrest
DP: Krista Koehler, Hillcrest
Amanda Holmes, Highland; Sherie Holmes, Highland; Tawnya Boss, Bonneville; Angie Olson, Weber; Christy Burge, Bingham; Nikki Mitchell, Bingham; Yvette Zayas, Highland; Nicole Wilkinson, Brighton; Robynn Peterson, Taylorsville; Mindy Pearce, Taylorsville; Tonya Bangert, Alta; Quincey Blood, Weber; Tara Ferrin, Layton; Tricia Ferrin, Layton; Jamie Goodfellow, Cottonwood.
MVP - Debbie Bilbao, pitcher, Jordan
P: Sarah Poppleton, Bear River
P: Lisa Hashimoto, Box Elder
P: Audrey Jensen, Springville
C: Sunny Smith, Pleasant Grove
1B: Amber Fuller, Box Elder
2B: Teri Foster, Jordan
3B: Mikiyo Hashimoto, Bear River
SS: DeDe Child, Springville
OF: Laura Baird, Box Elder
OF: Rhiana Hughes, Jordan
OF: Melissa Hill, Jordan
DP: Tabitha Garn, Bear River
Carissa Fowler, Jordan; Rachelle Foster, Jordan; Melissa Bingham, Provo; Sara Saluone, Provo; Heidi Simper, Box Elder; Heather Jones, Springville; Natalie Nickell, Pleasant Grove; Lynsey Francom; Pleasant Grove; Charlyn Forsey, Payson; Kim Frandsen, Box Elder; Nicole Wood, Bear River; Gwyn Lyons, Murray; Heather Farmer, Mountain Crest.
MVP - Jaynette Dodds, North Sanpete
P: Rebecca Rhoades, Pine View
P: Maria Cook, North Sanpete
C: Tawnya Crumb, North Sanpete
1B: Karen Freeman, Delta
2B: Danille Birchell, Union
3B: Christy Shepherd, Wasatch
SS: Brittany Esplin, Pine View
OF: Rachel Olson, Carbon
OF: Sadie Christensen, North Sanpete
OF: Monica Mendenhall, Pine View
DP: KaeLyn Hansen, North Sanpete
Holly Todd, Wasatch; Alyisa Gubler, Pine View; Robyn Bowthorpe, Wasatch; Tammy Thacker, Wasatch; Sarah Black, Delta; Amy Warnick, Delta; Emily Eliason, North Sanpete; Jamie Hadfield, Lehi; Tosh Jaramillo, Carbon; Laci Wall, North Sanpete; Misty Critton, Uintah; Betsy Fowler, Dixie; Sarah Drake, Dixie.