Gabe Curtis, Brighton (Sr.)
The arm, and even more so the legs, of Gabe Curtis has been a big reason for Brighton’s strong 3-0 start this fall.
Last week in a 35-14 win over Woods Cross, he only passed for 76 yards, but he did his damage on the ground carrying the ball 19 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns.
“Gabe is our captain. We rely on him to be a leader on an off the field. This is his second year in the offense and as a result has become much more comfortable with the calls and his reads. He’s doing a great job of getting the ball where it needs to go. He’s been able to run the ball a bit here the first few games and has done a great job of running hard and protecting the football,” said Brighton coach Justin Hemm.
For the season, Curtis has passed for 408 yards and five TDs, while he’s rushed for 421 yards and six more touchdowns.
Emma Lindsey, Viewmont (Sr.)
Viewmont is off to an 8-0 start and ranked No. 1 in 5A, and Emma Lindsey has been the catalyst.
So far this year she’s scored four goals and has been a contributor to five straight shutouts for the Vikings.
“Emma is a major contributor to the success that we have had this season and has been from the very first game where she practically willed our team to a win over a very good Layton team. Emma is a fierce competitor on the field, and one of the greatest examples of what we want all students to be like off of the field,” said Viewmont coach Spencer Keddington.
Randi Reeves, Copper Hills (Jr.)
Copper Hills posted a 6-0 record at the Bingham Claim Jumper Tournament over the weekend, and improved to 10-0 for the season, and the contributions of junior libero Randi Reeves was a big reason why.
Earlier in the week in road wins over Fremont and Sky View, Reeves recorded 30 digs, seven assists and three aces.
“Randi’s defensive effort gives our offense multiple opportunities to put away the ball. Her vocal leadership and back-row management is one of the reasons for our team’s success,” said Copper Hills coach Silver Fonua.
Girls Cross Country
Caila Odekirk, Hurricane (Jr.)
Last year’s 4A cross country state champion is achieving great things once again this year.
Last Saturday at the Wahsatch Rendezvous at the Cottonwood Complex, Odekirk surged past the field of runners in her race finishing with a strong time of 18:51.18, a full 19 seconds faster than the second-place runner.
“Caila has an amazing work ethic and puts in the training and miles to always run at the front of the pack and then surge ahead with a whole new speed that makes it difficult for the other runners to stay with her. We are working for her to not only defend her 4A state title, but also be Utah’s premier girls’ high school distance runner,” said Hurricane coach Phillip Armstrong.
A year ago at the state meet Odekirk won the 4A title with a 25-second cushion on the second-place runner from Pine View.
Boys Cross Country
Tyler Reese, Spanish Fork (Sr.)
Competing at the Spanish Fork Quad meet last Saturday, senior Tyler Reese put together one of the best meets of his high school career.
In a meet against runners from Wasatch, Salem Hills and Timpview, he finished first with a strong time of 16:24.1, finishing four seconds faster than the runner-up from Salem Hills.
At the 5A state meet last year as a junior, Reese finished in 55th place, but he’s a good bet to improve upon that finish this season.
“He dedicated himself this summer towards increasing his mileage and it is rewarding him with success early in the season. He is an amazing teammate who not only worries about his own successes but helps his teammates achieve their goals,” said Spanish Fork coach Darin Cable.
Erika Olsen, Bear River (Jr.)
As a sophomore last year, Erika Olsen missed out on the state tournament, but she’s positioning herself to be one of the top competitors from Region 11 this year.
In preseason matches she posted an 8-0 record, and in region play she’s recorded straight-set wins over Mountain Crest and Logan so far.
“Erika has trained very hard for the last three years. One of the biggest setbacks for our players in our area is the lack of inside courts to play on during the winter and accessibility to competent training. Developing into high level tennis players in Tremonton isn’t the easiest thing to do. Erika has plowed through those obstacles and dedicated 3-4 hours a day to practicing in the offseason,” said Bear River coach Chris Dean Epling.
She drives to Logan and Salt Lake City to train often, and has played in USTA tournaments in state and out of state.
“Her level of play has helped to create a higher level of play for the entire team. She is highly supportive of the team and the entire team looks up to her as an example on and off the court. Erika has helped the team improve by offering local tennis lessons to her peers as well as being a good friend and listener. She cares for the girls on the team, and the team’s success as a whole,” said Epling.
Jordan Bingham, West Jordan (Sr.)
Through three Region 2 golf meets this year, West Jordan senior Jordan Bingham has been dominant.
He’s shot a 72 in all three events so far, including a 72 last Tuesday at Stonebridge to finish 12-shots better than the second-place golfer.
“Jordan has been a great addition to the WJ Golf program. Jordan is obviously a great individual golfer, he has the knowledge and talent to play at a very high level. But, I think he’s been a better teammate than anything else,” said West Jordan coach Matthew Reueckart.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard him offering advice or complimenting a teammate. I’ll be driving away from a practice and see Jordan on the putting green or driving range with 2 or 3 of his teammates putting in additional work. He understands the bigger picture. Those are things that go a long way in making our program better.”