Football

Tanner Dejong, Mountain Ridge (Sr.)

Most defenders go an entire season, or even an entire career, without experiencing the thrill of scoring a defensive touchdown. But for Mountain Ridge’s Tanner Dejong, he got to experience euphoria twice in one game last week.

He returned a fumble 65 yards in the first half in the Sentinels’ 31-17 win over Lone Peak, and then late in the game sealed the win with a 95-yard interception return for touchdown as the Knights were threatening to tie the game.

“Our defense played great on Friday night and all season. Tanner has been a huge part of that success. His two defensive touchdowns helped change the momentum of the game and eventually sealed the game with a 95-yard pick six. Tanner is a great teammate and leader and you can see it in his performance on the field,” said Mountain Ridge coach Mike Meifu.

For the season Dejong is averaging 8.6 tackles per game.

Volleyball

Elina Mortensen, Corner Canyon (Sr.)

With one week remaining until Corner Canyon dives into region play, it has established itself as one of the top teams in 6A this season as Elina Mortensen has been a big reason why.

The 6-foot-2 outside hitter is an intimidating presence on the court as her hitting has led the Chargers to a 10-1 record this preseason.

“Elli was voted one of our captains this year. She is a natural leader who not only works hard herself, but challenges others to do the same. She has been a four-year starter at Corner Canyon and knows what it takes to compete at a high level,” said Corner Canyon coach Melinda Ricks.

For the season, Mortensen has a .424 hitting percentage with 143 kills (4.8 kills per set). Her career kill tally now stands at 1,294.

Girl Soccer

Kate Shirts, Mountain View (Sr.)

Kate Shirts positive attitude and competitive spirit has played a big role in leading Mountain View to a tie atop the Region 8 standings heading as league play nears its midway point of the season.

The senior has scored a team-leading six goals and also added a pair of assists for the 7-3 Bruins, who are also 3-1 in region play.

“She has been a team captain for Mountain View girls soccer for the past three years as she is a positive and competitive spirit that helps her teammates enjoy working hard and reaching for their goals,” said Mountain View coach Terrika Turner. “As a player, Kate is also a leader on the field as she helps her team connect through the middle as an attacking midfielder. She has an amazing shot that results in many goals for her team. She is an attack-minded player that is super fun to coach with her individual work ethic and team focused mindset.”

Last week in Mountain View’s 8-0 win over Payson, Shirts led the charge with three goals and two assists.

Boys Cross Country

Austin Westfall, Orem (Sr.)

Orem’s Austin Westfall is now 2 for 2 this season running out front.

The senior won the Timpanogos Invite PM race last Saturday, beating teammate Tate James by 14 seconds to win with a strong time of 15:51.5. That time would’ve placed him in the top 10 had he ran in the higher-seeded morning race.

“Austin is an incredibly hard worker and wants to achieve big goals. In a race he focuses on what he wants to accomplish and goes after it,” said Orem coach Andy Jacobs. “Austin has only raced twice and both races were a solo effort up front followed closely by teammates. We are looking forward to getting him into a big field and seeing what he can do.”

Westfall should get that opportunity in two weeks at the Border Wars at Sugar House Park in two weeks.

Girls Cross Country

Adria Favero, Olympus (Fr.)

In one of the premier regular season cross country meets of the season last week, Olympus freshman Adria Favero made a major statement.

Favero finished eight seconds faster than the second-place finisher at the Timpanogos Invitational, outrunning a strong field of runners to finish first with a time of 18:18.5.

“Adria has a clear goal that she’s pursuing successfully thanks to her great work ethic. To see her succeed at the level she already has as a freshman makes me so excited to be working with her over the next four years. Olympus is fortunate to be able to call Adria a Titan,” said Olympus coach Chris Humbert.

Girls Tennis

Emma Rupert, Clearfield (Sr.)

The leadership of Emma Rupert has led Clearfield to several early-wins this season, and she’s played a big role in that success teaming up with fellow senior Loren Marriott.

The duo own a 4-2 record so far this season, including two wins last week over Roy and Bonneville as the Falcons compete this season in Class 5A.

“She is not only an incredible tennis player, but she is also an amazing leader and friend. She is a hard worker, she is coachable, and a go-getter. We are extremely lucky to have her on our team,” said Clearfield coach Kaline Wilkes.

Last season in Class 6A, Rupert and Marriott were eliminated in the 6A first round as the No. 21 seed, but a year later they’re hoping for a better seed and a deeper state tournament run.

Boys Golf

Noah Moody, Timpanogos (Jr.)

A year after finishing just outside the top 10 at the 5A state championships, junior Noah Moody is eyeing bigger things in 2023.

Through three meets this season Moody is averaging a 70.5, which includes a 69 at Talons Cove two weeks ago.

He also shot a 70 at The Ridge Golf Course, site of this year’s 4A state championships, which Timpanogos will be competing in this year at in the latest UHSAA realignment.

“Noah is a very good player. He has the skills and the demeanor to be play golf very well. If you saw him on the course you wouldn’t know if he’s 4 under or 4 over. Other players enjoy playing in his group because he is so pleasant to be around,” said Timpanogos coach Kim Nelson.

A year at the 5A championship, shot a 146 (69-77), to finish one stroke outside the top 10 after being tied for third after Day 1.

Baseball

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Judd Taylor, Altamont (Jr.)

Altamont is enjoying a strong 2023 season, including a 3-0 start in region, and Judd Taylor has been a key cog in that success.

So far this season the junior is battingh .447 with 21 hits and 11 RBIs. On the mound he sports an impressive a 1.27 ERA.

“Judd is also our starting catcher. He does a great job and continues to improve there each year. He has had eight caught stealing throw outs this season,” said Altamont coach Chaz Fisher. “Judd is an outstanding young man. He’s been a huge part of this baseball program. He brings excitement and a hype to the team. Judd is a great kid, a leader, and an example to the younger boys on the team.”

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