Boys basketball

Grady Thompson, Manti (Sr.)

Defending state champion Manti is one of the teams to beat again this season, and senior Grady Thompson is a major reason why.

He’s averaging nearly a double-double for the Templars with 16.4 points and 9.8 rebounds in addition to his 5.8 assists and 2.2 steals.

In a game earlier this year against Gunnison Valley he scored a career-high 30 points in a 76-63 victory.

“Grady is a player you love to coach because he is the first one in the gym and the last one out. Grady is a leader on and off the court, unselfish in his play, makes his teammates better and has outstanding court awareness and vision,” said Manti coach Devin Shakespear. “Grady is averaging a double-double this year and has a couple triple-doubles in his career. Grady has worked hard to become one of the elite players in the state and loves to play the game.”

Thompson is the reigning Deseret News 3A MVP after he averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds last season.

Girls basketball

Makenna Blanc, Carbon (Sr.)

Carbon has been one of the top teams in 3A this season and the steady play of Makenna Blanc has fueled the strong start. She’s averaging 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals for the Dinos.

“Makenna is a joy to coach because of her work ethic on the court and her athletic ability allows her to play many roles on our team. I have been very impressed by how she has adjusted to her leadership role on this team. She has proven what being a good teammate looks like and is a great role model to her peers,” said Carbon coach Ted Bianco.

Blanc scored a season-high 23 points in a win over South Summit earlier this season and is a four-year contributor for Carbon.

Boys swimming

Evan VanBrocklin, Olympus (Jr.)

Evan VanBrocklin is backing up his sensational sophomore season with another one this season.

Heading into the Region 6 meet this week, VanBrocklin owns the best time in Utah this year in the 50 freestyle (21.35) and 100 butterfly (50.96).

He’s the reigning 5A state champion in the 100 fly, and finished fourth at state in the 500 free. He also contributed to a pair of first-place relay teams.

“This year Evan would be a serious contender in any event he chooses to swim. The only hard part about coaching Evan is deciding what to put him in ... he can do anything,” said Olympus coach Tom Thorum.

VanBrocklin also owns a top 10 time in the 100 free, 200 free and 500 free this year and ranks sixth in 200 individual medley (2:00.08).

“Evan is a very special swimmer and team leader. He is a consummate professional in and out of the pool. Evan maintains a 3.95 GPA and already has 15 college credits through his concurrent enrollment courses,” said Thorum.

Girls swimming

Allie Hill, American Fork (Sr.)

Heading into the home stretch of her high school career, Allie Hill is hitting her stride and poised for a great ending.

Hill owns top 10 times in the entire state in the 200 and 500 freestyle and also the 200 individual medley. Her time of 2:16.53 is the best mark in 6A.

“A strong and inspiring team leader, Allie has an exemplary work ethic and is ruthless when it comes to racing. She seemingly ‘wills’ herself to outstanding performances time and again,” said American Fork coach Kathy King.

Hill won the 6A state title in the 200 IM and the 500 free last year and she’ll be one of the favorites again in 2021.

Boys wrestling

Will Korth, Morgan (Jr.)

It’s been a shortened wrestling season because of COVID-19, but junior Will Korth has had a terrific season nonetheless as he looks ahead to the divisional and state meet in the coming weeks.

A defending individual state champion, Korth has just one loss on the season and was selected to represent the 3A at 126 pounds at the Utah All-Star Duals.

“What makes Will so successful is his dedication to the sport of wrestling and the desire to improve every week. Will is an extremely hard worker and a great leader for our team. He has an infectious attitude and is very coachable,” said Morgan coach Dustin Rock.

Korth participated in his second-straight All-Star Duals.

Girls wrestling

Abi Archibald, Maple Mountain (Sr.)

There isn’t much that senior Abi Archibald hasn’t accomplished in her wrestling career.

She’s won 40-plus matches with just a couple losses, is a two-time state champion, two-time USA state champion and the outstanding wrestler at the Northwest Bigfoot Battle.

“Abi is that once-in-a-lifetime athlete that comes into a coaches life that probably changes the coaches life more than the coach changes the athletes life. Not only is she a naturally gifted athlete, but a born leader, a wonderful teammate one of the best representative of female wrestling this state has ever produced,” said Mountain Maple coach Billy Cox.

During the winter break she was named the outstanding wrestler at the Christmas Clash at Westlake.

She also participated in the Utah All-Star Duals for the second straight season back in January.