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Deseret News week 32 high school star athletes of the week

SHARE Deseret News week 32 high school star athletes of the week


Cayden Clark, Stansbury (Sr.)

Stansbury is off to a roaring start in Region 10 with a 4-0 record, and Cayden Clark’s dominance at the plate has been one of the catalysts.

Last week in two wins over Ben Lomond and then a win over Westlake, Clark went 4 for 9 with seven RBIs. He’s now batting .432 for the season with 26 RBIs, 24 runs, four doubles and four home runs.

“Cayden loves the game and has worked hard for his success. He is a big part of our program as he can change the game with his bat, speed on the bases, and with his glove in the outfield. It has been a great opportunity watching him and his teammates perform at a high level. We look forward to watching him play the rest of his senior season and at the next level at Dixie State University,” said Stansbury coach Jason Jones, whose team sits at 12-3 this season.

Two weeks ago he went 5 for 5 in a win over Springville with eight RBIs.



Averi Hanny, Bingham (Sr.)

Bingham is the only undefeated team remaining in 6A a month into the season, and Averi Hanny has been front and center in that success as Bingham has outscored its opposition 66-15 in seven games.

“Averi is a humble, personable leader who excels in inspiring and motivating her teammates. She brings a calmness on the mound and a sense of humor in the dugout that settles her teammates, encouraging them to keep cheering each other on and to keep their own spirits up when facing challenges,” said Bingham coach Mikki Jackson. “Averi has a deep love for the game and has worked incredibly hard to develop the skills she is having success with now.”

Hanny is 6-0 on the mound with 69 strikeouts and a 0.70 ERA, and at the plate she’s been outstanding as well with two home runs, a double and 12 RBIs.

“As a coaching staff we are so proud of Averi’s accomplishment and appreciate her work ethic. She is a well-rounded, likeable and talented kid who excels in all she has done, including in the classroom where she has maintained a 4.0 GPA over the last two years while juggling work and the world of high school and travel ball in two sports at the same time. UVU certainly has a great person coming their way next year and we are going to miss our workhorse.”

Boys soccer

Hilario Cruz, Hillcrest (Sr.)

Hillcrest forward Hilario Cruz helped his team accomplish something last week that it hasn’t done since 2007, beat Brighton.

Cruz notched a pair of goals as Hillcrest beat Brighton 3-1 for its third region win in the past four games.

“Hilario is a tremendous player who has matured into an incredibly dynamic leader for Hillcrest, both on and off the field. Playing through an injury acquired prior to the start of the 2021 season, he is the catalyst for the team’s success,” said coach Brett Davis.

Cruz has scored seven goals this season, including scoring in six games.


Boys lacrosse

Jack Crawford, Mountain Ridge (Sr.)

Jack Crawford been a great leader on and off the field for Mountain Ridge, which sits at 6-1 a month into the season.

Crawford leads the Sentinels with 20 goals to go along with his six assists. Last week in Mountain Ridge’s only game of the week against Timpanogos, Crawford recorded two goals and an assist.

“Being able to play any position on the offensive side of the ball and a high lacrosse IQ, Jack is a threat from anywhere on the field. He always gives his team 100%, whether at practice or on game day. In doing this Jack has become an unquestioned leader who always brings out the best in his fellow teammates,” said Mountain Ridge coach Trent Bangert. “It has definitely been a privilege to coach Jack over the years and watch him continually grow as a player and teammate.”


Girls lacrosse

Whitney Sheffield, Timpview (Sr.)

Timpview sits at 4-3 through the first month of the girls lacrosse season, and Whitney Sheffield’s steady play has been one of the strengths for the T-Birds.

“Whitney has a passion and love for lacrosse that is evident in the way she plays, never giving up on any ground ball, double team or drive to goal. Whitney’s ability to see the field and set up her teammates for success through assists is a huge asset to Timpview, she trusts her teammates and always has their back on the field,” said Timpview coach Sarah Bowman.

For the season Sheffield has recorded 26 goals and 18 assists, which included three goals in a win over Mountain View last week.

“You can find Whitney contributing everywhere on the field, she is a key part of the midfield and constantly brings intensity every second she plays. She approaches lacrosse with a light-hearted and inclusive attitude that is infectious to the whole team, keeping everyone’s spirits high every day. Whitney has worked very hard over the last few years to be excellent at all the aspects of the game that are in her control, with a super strong start to the season it’s evident that hard work is paying off,” added Bowman.


Boys track

Austin Klingler, West Jordan (Sr.)

Austin Klingler put a big scare in the 800 meter state record last week at the Alpha Invitational at Timpanogos High School.

Klingler won the race with an outstanding time of 1:50.61, which he needed to hold off American Fork’s Brayden Packard, who was close behind in 1:51.23. Klingler’s time was the fifth-fastest in state history, and less than a second of the overall state record of 1:49.77 set back in 2016.

“It is really hard to pinpoint what makes Austin such a great runner because it isn’t just one thing. However, I think that it is his love for the sport, the years of experience and dedication, and his trust in his coaches that have gotten him to this level. From his freshman year he has always loved to push himself to his limits in workouts and compete with the best. Over the years we have gotten him stronger and he has gained confidence to compete at that elite level. His drive to accomplish the challenging but realistic goals we have set is huge,” said West Jordan coach Taylor Hatch.

“It is one thing to set goals but it is another to make those goals the main priority in your everyday life. As his coach I have the confidence that he can compete with anyone he toes the line with because of these great qualities. I have learned to never put limits on what he can accomplish.”

Klingler also owns the fastest 400-meter time in Utah this year at 49.17.


Girls track

Brilee Pontius, Westlake (Sr.)

Brilee Pontius is making up for lost time this season after COVID-19 denied her a chance of making a name for herself as the best sprinter in Utah.

One month into the season, Pontius owns the second-best 100-meter time in the state at 12.36 and the fastest 200-meter time at 25.10 — both occurring at the Snow Canyon Invite two weeks ago.

“Brilee is relentless in her pursuit of excellence. She is one of those athletes who sets a goal and she is determined to accomplish that goal and she won’t let anything stop her from doing so,” said Westlake coach Steven Anderson.

As a sophomore two years ago, Pontius excelled at the 400 meters as she finished third at the 6A state meet. Her time of 57.41 ranked as the eighth-best time in Utah that year.


Boys tennis

TJ Wells, Lone Peak (Sr.)

TJ Wells has never lost a high school tennis match, and that trend has continued so far this season for the Knights as he’s 8-0 so far in 2021.

The BYU commit was the 6A first singles state champ his freshman and sophomore years, and after COVID-19 denied him a shot a third title last year, he’s the clear favorite to win again this year. If he wins he’d become the first Lone Peak tennis player to win three state titles.

“TJ will be playing for BYU after returning from his church mission. He is without question one of the best players to come through Lone Peak tennis,” said Lone Peak coach Roger Baumgartner.


Girls golf

Alyssa Buist, Ridgeline (Sr.)

A member of Ridgeline’s 4A girls golf state championship two years ago and now a senior, Alyssa Buist figures to be one of the top contributors for the Riverhawks in their bid for a repeat title.

“She is an outstanding golfer who puts in hours on the course every day. She is a team leader and motivates the rest of the team as an example of hard work. She has been a four-year varsity golfer for our team and played a big role in our 2019 state championship. The cancellation of our season last year only motivated Alyssa to work even harder to prepare for this season,” said Ridgeline coach Julie Major.

Last month, Buist had the opportunity to compete at the inaugural PGA National Club Championship at Pinehurst in North Carolina after she won the Logan River Women’s Club Championship last summer.