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Deseret News week 35 high school star athletes of the week

SHARE Deseret News week 35 high school star athletes of the week


Kyler Lester, Pleasant Grove (Sr.)

The infectious energy from senior Kyler Lester is a big reason Pleasant Grove is still a perfect 16-0 this season.

“Kyler is one of the most talented players to come through Pleasant Grove. Every practice is a joy to watch Kyler because he is always flying around the field with a smile on his face diving for balls and making amazing plays. His energy runs off on the whole team and his talent is next level,” said Pleasant Grove coach Darrin Henry.

In Pleasant Grove’s three-game sweep against Westlake last week he went 8 for 11 to raise his batting average to .525 this season. In Game 1, he went 4 for 5 with three home runs. In Game 2, he got the ball on the mound, and only recorded nine strikeouts with one earned run in the 13-2 victory in five innings.

When he’s in the field Lester is an outstanding defensive shortstop.

For the season he’s recorded 16 RBIs and has 11 stolen bases, with a 1.07 ERA on the mound.



Elli Pearce, Mountain Ridge (Jr.)

The consistent play of junior Elli Pearce has been one of the big reasons for Mountain Ridge’s success on the diamond this year as it sits at 12-1 on the season and 7-1 in Region 7 play.

“Elli is one of the most outgoing and spontaneous players that we have on this team. Countless times she’s been the player up at the plate to get the big hit, or the person making the big play in the outfield. She shows up to practice every day ready to work hard and get better. Elli is constantly trying to become a better player every day. We love having Elli on this team, and wouldn’t be in the position we are today, without her,” said Mountain Ridge coach Andre Ashton.

For the season, Pearce is batting .538, which includes a .560 average in the past four games. She’s recorded two doubles, two triples and 16 RBIs this season, which includes three RBIs in last Thursday’s 10-9 region win over Orem.

Boys soccer

Edgar Garcia, Wasatch (Sr.)

Led by Edgar Garcia, Wasatch further solidified its place atop the 5A rankings last week with a pair of region wins, including a 1-0 region win over Park City on Saturday.

Garcia set up the game-winning goal against Park City with a spectacular cross that got past the outstretched arms of Park City’s keeper. Earlier in the week he recorded a goal and two assists in a win over Springville.

“Edgar is a dynamic player and plays with very high soccer IQ. He is one of our captains and is always positive and motivated to play better each game. Edgar has the ability to place the ball into situations that puts an incredible of amount of pressure on the opposing team’s defense and a scoring opportunity for us,” said Wasatch coach Jared Henry.

“He has an uncanny ability to find the back of the net from anywhere in the attacking half. He is a four-year varsity player and continues to increase his play every game.”

Garcia is second in 5A with nine assists this year to go along with his eight goals.


Boys lacrosse

Zac Mitchell, Springville (Sr.)

With Zac Mitchell leading the way, Springville won a pair of Region 8 matches last week to vault up to the No. 49 spot in the RPI rankings with a 4-9 record.

Mitchell scored three goals in Springville’s 14-6 win over Provo on Wednesday and then followed it up with three more goals in a win over Payson on Friday.

For the season Mitchell has scored 18 goals in Springville’s first year as a lacrosse program.

“Zac is as unselfish in life as he is on the field. He has a big heart and personifies everything that is great about this game. Zac quietly leads by example. He represents what it means to be a Springville Red Devil,” said Springville coach Jared Ottley.


Girls lacrosse

Maura Henry, Corner Canyon (Jr.)

Corner Canyon won a pair of one-goal games last week against region foes American Fork and Pleasant Grove, and the steady play of Maura Henry was one of the keys.

On Tuesday, Henry recorded four goals and one assist in the 15-14 victory over American Fork, and then two days later, she racked up seven goals in a 16-15 win over Pleasant Grove.

“Maura is one of the best attackers in the state, she has the ability to score almost at will and is also great at using her teammates, which is why she leads the team in assists as well as goals. She has a very high lacrosse IQ and is a great team leader on and off the field. She is a tireless worker, not only at practice but outside of practice as well. She does whatever she can to make herself and her team better,” said Corner Canyon coach Matthew Kenning.

“She is very coachable and a great example to the rest of our team which has a lot of young players on it. We are lucky to have her on our team, as a coach she is everything I could ask for in a player.”

Henry has scored 50 goals this season for the Chargers.


Boys track and field

Elias Gerald, Westlake (Jr.)

Elias Gerald enjoyed an unbelievable meet at the Tiger Trials at Orem High School last week.

Not only did the junior win both the long jump and high jump, but he did so with the best marks in Utah this spring in both events. He won the long jump with a distance of 23’00 and then in the high jump he cleared 6’08.

“Elias is such a great athlete and just a natural jumper. What we love most about Elias is his willingness to do whatever is asked of him and his selflessness. He doesn’t ever complain and always works hard. He is always willing to take extra time out of his day to help out any athlete that needs it. He even helps out his competition during the meet because he really loves watching others succeed,” said coach Steven Anderson.


Girls track and field

Brekell Gammell, Salem Hills (Jr.)

Brekell Gammell is a javelin specialist for Salem Hills’ track team this year, and a great one at that.

The junior already owned the best throw in the state heading into last week’s Tiger Trials at Orem High School, and she extended that top mark even further with a 147’07 to win the meet.

“Brekell is a fantastic athlete to work with. She is humble about her accomplishments and always willing to listen to coaching and advice. She is going to do great things in track and field,” said Salem Hills assistant coach Chad Weight.

Gammell was also a contributor on Salem Hills girls basketball team this past season averaging 5.0 ppg.


Boys tennis

Josh Peterson, Bingham (Sr.)

Heading into the final couple weeks of the season, Bingham senior Josh Peterson will look to close out an already outstanding season with more victories.

Bingham’s first singles player owns a perfect 14-0 record this year playing against some of the top players in the state. He’s been a two-year captain for Bingham and is a hard-working player in both matches and practices as he sets a great example for his teammates, according to his coach Steve Peterson.

“Josh is one of the most versatile players we have ever had at Bingham High School. He is excellent with adjusting his play throughout tough matches in order to properly construct points effectively based on his opponents strengths. Although he has a great physical game, his mental game is his strength,” said Peterson.


Girls golf

Madalin Chandra, Cyprus (So.)

Heading into the final Region 2 meet of the season on Wednesday at The Ridge Golf Course, Cyprus sophomore Madalin Chandra sits in second place as she is having a terrific season for the Pirates.

Chandra is averaging 90.6 in her five Region 2 rounds, with her best round coming at The Ridge earlier this season as she shot an 80.

“Madalin Chandra is quiet and shy, but not in the way she golfs. She is strong and determined. She is only in 10th grade and is golfing at a maturity level that is amazing to me as her coach,” said Cyprus coach Melissa Tucker.

“Golf is a lot about how well you accept and respond. If Madalin hits a bad shot or doesn’t score as well as she would like on a hole, she picks herself up and says ‘it’s OK’ and moves on to the next. One time she had a very disappointing second hole. But by the end of her tournament she still came in second place.”