Kaden Cox, Ridgeline (Sr.)
The consistent, strong play of senior quarterback Kaden Cox is a big reason Ridgeline is the only undefeated team remaining in 4A at the midway point of the season.
Last week Cox completed 25 of 32 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns as Ridgeline rolled to the 42-6 win over Green Canyon.
“Kaden does a great job leading our team. He is making great decisions with the ball and is getting it to all of our playmakers on the outside. He’s been taking what the defense gives him and as a result we haven’t had many turnovers,” said Ridgeline coach Travis Cox.
For the season Cox has passed for 1,444 yards with 18 touchdowns, one interception and a completion percentage of 73%.
Sadie Beardall, Bonneville (Jr.)
Bonneville has overcome a slow start to the season with five straight victories as Sadie Beardall continues to hit her stride in the attack.
Last week the junior recorded a goal and assist to lead Bonneville to the 3-2 overtime victory over Bountiful, raising her season total to 13 goals and four assists.
“Sadie is a tireless workhorse that brings her ‘A’ game every day in training and in games. She has a nose for the net and is extremely strong on the ball and can battle through the natural bumps, grabs and physicality of high school soccer,” said Bonnneville coach Tyler Anderson.
“She is extremely coachable and tries to correct things she is asked to do. She is one of our captains and she is learning how to lead more through example than by word. She is a tremendous offensive asset for our team.”
Hailee Garcia, Syracuse (Sr.)
Syracuse volleyball has only played four matches so far this season, but senior setter Hailee Garcia has been outstanding in every game.
In wins over Union, Skyridge, Olympus and Layton, Garcia has racked up 147 assists. The St. Mary’s College commit broke the Syracuse school record with 68 assists in a match last year and she’ll most likely eclipse 3,000 career assists later this season.
“She is a talented athlete who brings so much leadership on the court. Hailee is one of those athletes that has had a significant influence on putting Syracuse High on the volleyball map in the four years she has been here. She is a strong decision-maker, who moves the ball well on offense and she is super fun to coach. She has clearly put in the work to be where she is today,” said Syracuse coach Corrie Vigil.
Raygan Peterson, Timpanogos (Jr.)
Juggling her busy schedule in both cross-country and soccer, Raygan Peterson is finding great success in both sports this season.
In cross-country last weekend at the Park City Invitational, the junior posted the best time in both the a.m. and p.m. and she won the a.m. race with a strong time of 19:05.1.
“Once in a while an athlete comes into your program and changes the team for the better, Raygan is that amazing athlete. She will be a four-sport athlete this year in cross-country, soccer, basketball and track,” said Timpanogos coach Jody Benson. “Raygan has been a huge part of the cross-country team, she has changed the mental toughness of our girls team. It is amazing what she does on the cross-country course, her grit and determination is superior. She is one of the hardest workers.”
Benson said that Peterson had a tough start to the cross-country season, but after analyzing with her coach how to get better, she’s found a great balance between the two sports as both teams are in the hunt for state championships this season.
Jefferson McMullin, Lehi (Sr.)
An 11th place finisher at last year’s 5A state cross-country meet, Lehi senior Jefferson McMullin continues to take strides this season with a goal of competing at the front of the pack at this year’s state meet.
Last weekend at the Park City Invitational, he won the a.m. race with a comfortable seven-second cushion over the second-place runner as he posted a great time of 15.40.0.
“Jefferson is a competitor. His drive to push himself and what he is capable of is what makes him the type of athlete others need to be aware of in a race. He has been an example for our team on and off the course. He has big goals for this season and has the ability and determination to make them happen,” said Lehi coach Chris Dorton.
Two weeks ago in a stacked race of 6A and 5A teams he finished 11th with a very respectable performance as he continues to make big strides each week.
Elena Owens, Rowland Hall (Fr.)
A first-year competitive tennis player, Elena Owens continues to impress for Rowland Hall this season.
Playing at second doubles this year, Owens and her partners have posted a 5-0 record and a 3-0 record in region play. She has also played four other matches that were tied a set a piece without a third-set being played.
“She just started playing competitive tennis this year and has done a remarkable job. Having never played tournament tennis and having no real playing experience, she has done remarkably well. Her work ethic is strong and her desire to learn is even stronger,” said Rowland Hall coach Rich Francey.
Rowland Hall is the defending 3A state champion and Owens is one of the several key contributors this season as the Winged Lions hope for a repeat.
Preston Cheney, Jordan (So.)
One of the top players in 5A this season, Jordan sophomore Preston Cheney continues to impress with his play this fall.
Through six Region 8 matches this year he’s the only golfer in the region who’s averaging in the 60s, with a 68-stroke average this season. In the most recent region match at Timpanogos Golf Club he shot a 73 to finish in second place, one of just two rounds not in the 60s.
His best round of the season was a 65 at Riverbend Golf Course back in August.