Support Local Journalism

To say 2019 was a unforgettable year for Mason Falslev would be somewhat of an understatement.

For starters, the standout Sky View athlete had a monster season on the hardwood as he averaged 24.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game en route to leading the Bobcats to the 4A state championship. Eight months later, Falslev and company tore up the competition and captured Sky View’s first-ever state football title.

The son of Hollie and Kyle Falslev is one of the best two-sport high school athletes to ever come out of Cache Valley. In the process, the future University of Utah basketball player has left an indelible legacy at the Beehive State’s northernmost high school.

“I’ve loved my four years at Sky View and it’s been the coaches and the workouts, and I think that we have the best offseason programs for kids,” Falslev said. “And the summer workouts, it’s a lot, but it’s amazing and I think that’s why we’re so successful is because of how hard we’ve worked. ... It’s been amazing to sit back and you see you get rewarded for all of that hard work.”

Falslev, a four-year starter for Sky View’s basketball team, first started wreaking havoc for the Bobcats’ football program as a sophomore wide receiver. During the 2017 campaign, the Benson native hauled in 51 receptions for 913 yards and seven touchdowns. Falslev wowed everyone in attendance at Rice-Eccles Stadium with a sensational one-handed catch, à la New York Giants star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., against eventual champion Orem in the 4A state semifinals.

As a junior, Falslev took over the quarterbacking duties and excelled as a dual-style signal caller as the Bobcats went 10-1. Unfortunately for Falslev, he missed most of Sky View’s 15-14 loss to Park City in the 4A quarterfinals with an injury.

“Sophomore year, we were so strong and I thought there was no way we were going to lose, but that Orem team, they were so tough and they were huge,” Falslev said. “And when they beat us, I thought that was going to be my last chance at (winning a state title). And then the next year we lost to Park City and it was terrible because I only got to play like the last quarter, but even if we would have pushed through, I mean Orem was such a tough team.

“And failing two times, it just makes you want it that much more. And by winning that (state title), you realize how special and how hard it actually is.”

The third time was definitely the charm for Falslev and the Bobcats (13-1), who capped off a dominant 2019 campaign with a 35-0 drubbing of then-undefeated Park City in the 4A championship contest at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Despite missing one game and being limited in others thanks to a painful shoulder injury, Falslev amassed 2,000 yards of total offense and scored 27 touchdowns. No. 12 also intercepted three passes as a part-time defensive back, including a sublime one-handed pick in the end zone against the Miners in his last game.

Falslev was downright unstoppable during Sky View’s final three playoff games and, for his efforts, was selected as the 2019 Herald Journal All-Valley Player of the Year. Chase Nelson (Logan) and Ryan Zimmerman (Mountain Crest) are believed to be the only other Cache Valley male athletes to ever receive All-Valley Player of the Year honors in two sports.

“Mason is obviously a very special player,” SV head coach Christopher Howell said of the ’19 All-Valley Boys Basketball POTY. “He is so dynamic as far as the types of things he can do. ... After coming back from his shoulder injury, he was willing to play any position we asked him to. He also really embraced playing defense this year and made a real impact on that side of the ball as well.”

Indeed, Falslev put his team first by being willing to move to wide receiver on a permanent basis after returning from his injury. No. 12 was Sky View’s starting signal caller during its first four games before he partially tore his AC joint. Kason Carlsen took over at quarterback and the Bobcats got better and better offensively as the season progressed.

“I just wanted to do what was best for the team, and coach (Howell) pulled me in before Kason played and we were already kind of talking about it, the whole team was talking about maybe putting me out at wide receiver or whatever, just so maybe we could be more versatile,” Falslev said. “But we were hoping Kason would play well and he balled out, he played amazing. And then we started just moving me everywhere throughout the field. ... (Other teams) were kind of focused on me as a decoy, so I was a decoy like 80 percent of the time, but it was just amazing. Hats off to our coaching staff. You know, they played it really well with everything. They just knew what our strengths were.”

Falslev certainly showcased his exceptional versatility and explosive athleticism during Sky View’s final three games of the season. In blowout wins over Mountain View, Dixie and Park City, the senior rushed for 271 yards and four TDs, caught 12 passes for 241 yards and a trio of TDs, and threw a 16-yard scoring strike to Brigham Lewis against Dixie.

Sky View and Dixie were knotted up at 21-21 at the half, but the Flyers had no answer for Falslev in the second half as the Bobcats rolled to a 49-21 victory. The 6-foot-4 senior racked up 124 yards rushing, 63 passing and 55 receiving in that game.

A week later against Park City, Falslev finished with 86 yards and two TDs on 14 carries, and snared five receptions for 57 yards, in addition to his aforementioned one-handed interception.

“Those games against Dixie and Park City, they were two of the funnest games I’ve ever played in,” said Falslev, the 2019 Deseret News 4A MVP in football and basketball. “And especially Dixie in the second half, when it was a close game and the coaches kind of just gave me the green light to do whatever I wanted, and we ended up pulling away from them, it was just so amazing.”

In their four playoff games, the Bobcats outscored the opposition by a whopping 202-32 margin, and Falslev was the catalyst offensively. Most importantly, the 18-year-old was able to help his team make history.

“It still blows my mind to think about it, to think about all of the amazing football teams that have come through (at Sky View), but they weren’t able to finish it at state,” said Falslev, who will serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil, starting in June. “And I think once I’m older, my kids will ask and I’ll look up there at the banner and tell them ‘that was my senior year and I was on that team, and I still remember diving into the end zone for my last-ever high school touchdown on that field.’”

As a senior, Falslev completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 743 yards and nine TDs, vs. two INTs. He also rushed for 657 yards and seven TDs, and caught 31 passes for 600 yards and 11 scores. Indeed, the two-time Region 12 Player of the Year in basketball and football did it all for the Bobcats.

“Coaching Mason Falslev for the past year has been an incredible experience,” Howell said. “He has an unbelievable drive to win and will do what's necessary to win within the team concept. He is a great team player. This past year especially as we moved him all over the place, he embraced his new role and made plays in every spot we put him.”

Howell was even more complimentary when it came to describing Falslev’s character.

“Even more than enjoying coaching him on the field, I have really been blown away by the type of person he is off the field,” Howell said. “He has an infectious personality that draws his peers in. He treats younger players with respect and they try to follow his example. He also treats other kids within the community with great respect. Many kids with his ability could be arrogant or pompous, but he is the exact opposite. I have been extremely impressed with the influence and legacy that he will leave on the Sky View community.”

OFFENSIVE MVP

Jake Lundin, Jr., Green Canyon

This junior stepped up in a huge way after the unexpected departure of quarterback Joe Dygert.

Lundin was one of the premier dual-threat QBs in the state this past season as he completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,709 yards and 19 TDs, vs. eight INTs. The Region 12 Offensive Player of the Year also finished second among all local players with 1,450 rushing yards. No. 24 averaged 7.0 yards per carry and found paydirt 15 times.

Coach’s comment: “Jake is well deserving of this award. He has a great talent, but more importantly he has an incredible work ethic. He is a three-sport athlete and he works hard in the weight room. Jake just wants the team to be successful and will do all that he can to do that. Also, congrats to the O-line and WRs and RBs that worked so hard and made this possible for Jake.”

DEFENSIVE MVP

Taze Stegelmeier, Jr., West Side

It was an unforgettable season for West Side’s defense, which allowed a paltry 7.4 points and 162.9 yards of total offense per game. Stegelmeier was a huge reason why the 2A state champions sparkled on that side of the ball.

The junior linebacker led all local players with an astounding 181 tackles. Stegelmeier also chipped in with 25 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

Coach’s comment: “Taze was everywhere as an outside linebacker. He has a great motor and nose for the ball. He is also a very sound tackler. He just doesn’t miss.”

TOP NEWCOMER

Kason Carlsen, Jr., Sky View

Carlsen burst onto the scene as a junior as he accumulated 2,634 yards of total offense and accounted for 42 touchdowns in essentially 10 games.

The quarterback completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 2,056 yards and 28 TDs, vs. only four INTs. Carlsen also rushed for 578 yards — 107 yards and three scores in the 4A championships game — and 14 TDs.

Coach’s comment: “Kason is a great kid with a huge amount of competitive drive. Early on in the season, we asked him to play several different positions. He played tight end, outside linebacker and safety before he became our starting QB after Mason's injury. He wanted to contribute in any way to help our team be successful. Kason took full advantage of his opportunity to be the starting QB.”

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK

Ty Hyde, Sr., Preston

Arguably the best post player in Idaho’s 4A classification also had a strong senior season on the gridiron.

The 6-foot-7 Hyde completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,042 yards and 22 TDs, vs. 10 INTs, in just nine games for Preston. The senior threw for 400 yards against Logan and 335 yards and four scores against Century, and was also an impact performer as a defensive tackle.

Coach’s comment: “Ty is a truly amazing competitor. A huge influence, whether he’s throwing for over 2,000 yards as a quarterback, or stopping the run on defense as a defensive tackle. But Ty’s greatest value on the field is his ability to lead. I’m excited to watch him play as he joins Dixie State next season.”

RUNNING BACKS

Hunter Schroeder, Sr., Mountain Crest

Arguably no athlete from the valley made more plays on both sides of the ball than Schroeder, who was a workhorse at running back for the Mustangs.

The second-team all-state honoree was tops among all local players with 1,533 yards on the ground. Schroeder, who rushed for nine TDs and amassed more than 100 yards in eight games, also excelled defensively with 84 tackles, five sacks and three fumble recoveries.

Coach’s comment: “Hunter Schroeder, what a great kid and football player. He has been a team captain and awesome player for us. He always stepped up to the challenge and excelled. He has been a two-year starter and also another big reason for our success. Hunter was also part of a state championship wrestling team and an individual champion himself at 195 pounds.”

Kade Thornley, Sr., Logan

Like Schroeder, this senior was as tough as nails for his team.

Thornley finished second among all local players with 1,153 yards on the ground. Thornley, who rushed for 14 touchdowns, also caught 21 passes for 192 yards. The second-team all-state selection gained more than 200 yards on the ground against Preston, Ridgeline and Ogden.

Coach’s comment: “Kade has amazing field vision. He finds creases and turns them into big gains. His ability to make people miss in the open field made him a dangerous weapon. Many games we put the game in his hands. He carried the ball 30-plus times in two region games this year.”

Cage Brokens, So., West Side

This sophomore did an outstanding job of filling the shoes of 2018 All-Valley Player of the Year Enoch Ward.

The Pirates had the best one-two rushing punch in Idaho’s 2A classification with Brokens and fullback Jaxon Moser. Brokens found paydirt 10 times, rushed for 937 yards — he averaged 6.83 yards an attempt — and also caught 12 passes.

Coach’s comment: “Cage was a great surprise for us this year. We knew he was good, but as a sophomore we didn’t expect him to be this good. He was durable and developed a great sense for running the ball.”

FULLBACK

Jaxon Moser, Sr., West Side

When the Pirates needed to move the chains, they typically turned to Moser, who picked up a wealth of first downs and routinely punished opposing defenders with his 215-pound frame.

The first-team all-state performer rushed for 949 yards and accounted for 14 touchdowns, and he chipped in with 81 tackles, three forced fumbles and two INTs as a starting linebacker.

Coach’s comment: “Jaxon was a bruiser up the middle. All of his carries were between the tackles and most of his yards came after contact. It always took more than one kid to bring him down. He really carried our offense in the state championship game.”

WIDE RECEIVERS

Brigham Lewis, Sr., Sky View

Lewis was one of the biggest reasons Sky View was able to utilize Falslev as an affective decoy.

The second-team all-state honoree got off a superb start as he snared 10 receptions for 130 yards in Sky View’s season opener against Stansbury. The senior paced the Bobcats in receptions (43), receiving yards (673) and receiving TDs (nine).

Coach’s comment: “Brigham is a very dynamic player as well. He runs great routes and catches the ball well in traffic. He is also very intelligent. He asks great questions and wants to know the ins and outs of the offense and defense. Brigham is highly competitive and played through a couple of different injuries to help his team be successful. He was having an unbelievable championship game until he separated his shoulder.”

McKay Yorgason, Sr., Green Canyon

A serious injury limited Yorgason to eight games as senior, but he made the most of them.

The first-team all-region honoree hauled in six or seven passes four times and finished with 36 receptions for 518 yards and five TDs. Yorgason also chipped in with 193 kickoff return yards and picked off a pair of passes as a defensive back.

Coach’s comment: “Has overcome great adversity this year. He had an injury that needed surgery at the beginning of the season and he never let up. He came to every practice, every workout and did what he could until he was able to play. Very proud of him and his effort.”

Scott Dunn, Sr., Preston

This speedy senior was unstoppable during Preston’s first four games as a receiver and punt returner. Dunn suffered a badly broken arm while making a phenomenal touchdown-saving tackle in Preston’s fifth game.

In just four-and-a-half games, No. 2 snared 13 receptions for 402 yards and five TDs. Dunn, Preston’s starting placekicker, also returned seven punts for 194 yards, which included a 98-yarder to paydirt against Canyon Ridge. Dunn also had an INT in that game.

Coach’s comment: “Scott is a phenomenal cornerback and receiver. Despite only playing half the season due to a broken arm, Scott was a difference maker in wins against Canyon Ridge and Century. I’m excited to watch him play as he joins Snow College next season.”

OFFENSIVE LINE

Justice Ena, Sr., Sky View

It was a phenomenal season for Sky View’s offensive line and this senior sparkled in his only season with the program.

The future Utah State University player only allowed one sack on his way to first-team all-state accolades. Ena also contributed with 62 tackles and 2.0 sacks as a defensive lineman.

Coach’s comment: “Justice had an incredible year for us. He was another two-way player that gave a tremendous amount of effort all year long. He did a great job protecting our QB as our left tackle. He also brought a lot of toughness to our run game. Justice plays with great technique on both sides of the ball. Justice understands football and picked up on our schemes very quickly.”

Hunter Larsen, Sr., Sky View

Like Ena, Larsen made his presence felt on both sides of the trenches for Sky View.

The first-team all-state performer was instrumental in helping the Bobcats average 50.5 points an outing during the playoffs. The 4A state wrestling champion at 220 pounds also chipped in with 51 tackles and 5.0 sacks.

Coach’s comment: “Hunter Larsen was the heartbeat of our team. He was one of our team captains and is probably one of the best leaders I have ever coached. He worked extremely hard in the off-season and brought others along with him. He plays so hard and wants so bad for our team to be successful. He has been a key piece of the offensive line at Sky View for three years and was the key to our power run game. He is so physical at the point of attack.”

Hunter Abbott, Sr., West Side

Abbott and Armando Montano anchored a veteran West Side offensive line that paved the way for the Pirates’ vaunted rushing attack to pile up 2,716 yards in 12 games.

The senior, a first-team all-state pick, also got the job done defensively as he recorded 67 tackles, including 16.0 for a loss, and a team-high 11.0 sacks. Abbott also forced a fumble for the Pirates, who were one failed two-point conversion away from a perfect season.

Coach’s comment: “Our offense goes as our guards go. We have to have quick, smart guards that can get out in front of our backs and block in space. Hunter was very key to our offense this season. He was very smart and was responsible for making our quick side line calls.”

Tennyson Hadfield, Sr., Logan

One of the reasons the Grizzlies were so balanced offensively this past season was due to the contributions of offensive lineman like Hadfield and Ace Kennington.

Hadfield, a first-team all-region pick, helped the Grizzlies accumulate 1,690 yards through the air and 1,564 on the ground. The future Dixie State University player also chipped in with 38 tackles and 2.0 sacks defensively.

Coach’s comment: “Tennyson is the ideal offensive tackle — big, aggressive and quick. He was a huge part of our rushing success this season. His blocking kept the quarterback and running back clean. His desire to finish plays improved every week. There were many times this year he was blocking two people per play.”

Jack Radford, Sr., Green Canyon

This senior teamed up with younger brother Bryson Radford, a sophomore, to give the Wolves a strong one-two punch in the offensive trenches.

Radford, a two-time all-valley selection, helped an improved Green Canyon offense average 352.3 yards an outing in 2019.

Coach’s comment: “Jack was a leader on our team. He worked extremely hard in the offseason, in the weight room and with his technique to prepare himself for a great season. He is tough. He had surgery after the season because he was playing on an injured knee for most of the season.”

Andrew Hugie, Sr., Ridgeline

Without question, this senior was one of the Riverhawks’ most consistent performers throughout the 2019 campaign.

The first-team all-region honoree was the leader of Ridgeline’s offensive line and a key cog on what proved to be a balanced Riverhawk attack. Ridgeline averaged 179.8 yards passing and 136.6 yards rushing this past season.

Coach’s comment: “Andrew Hugie was an integral part of our offensive. As a senior, he led by example. Some may say that he was an undersized center, but what he lacked in stature he made up for with effort and intelligence. He was dependable and directed the offensive line with a confident and calming presence.”

ALL-PURPOSE PLAYER

Andrew Iverson, Sr., Preston

Iverson rarely left the field as a senior for Preston as he made his presence felt in all three facets of the game.

No. 30 rushed for 1,152 yards and nine TDs on 206 carries, made 59 tackles, blocked a pair of field goals and was his team’s primary kickoff returner. Iverson amassed 457 yards on kickoff returns, highlighted by a 95-yarder against Minico. The senior also averaged 17.2 yards on five punt returns.

Coach’s comment: “Andrew is the hardest working athlete I have ever coached. Andrew is extremely powerful, (an outstanding) rusher and knows the secret of success is always giving his best effort.”

ATHLETE

Jovesa Damuni, Jr., Ridgeline

This junior gave opposing defenses fits, whether he was running the pigskin or making plays through the air.

Damuni rushed for 835 yards and 12 touchdowns, and added 44 catches for 401 yards and three scores. The junior paced the Riverhawks in rushing and receiving yards, and eclipsed the 100-yard barrier in both categories at least once.

Coach’s comment: “Jovesa Damuni was that game-changing player for us. With the attention he drew from opposing defenses, he also helped open other options offensively. With Jovesa, he is so dynamic and brought that big-play element to our offense. You never knew when he was going to break a big play through the air or on the ground.”

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINE

Armando Montano, Sr., West Side

This senior was one of the best offensive and defensive linemen in his classification this past season.

The first-team all-state selection commanded a lot of attention from opposing teams, which struggled to contend with his 330-pound frame. Montano finished with 58 tackles, including 13.0 for a loss, and 6.0 sacks.

Coach’s comment: “Armando is a beast. Not many kids his size can move like he does. He is actually very athletic. He led our team with 91 pancake blocks. He is very big and very strong, and when he locks on a guy, you just can’t get away.”

Isaac Frankman, Sr., West Side

It’s been a memorable 2019-20 academic year for Frankman, who garnered first-team all-state honors in football and was the 2A Fifth District Player of the Year for West Side’s basketball team, which went 23-5 and placed second at the state tournament.

As a defensive end, the nimble and athletic senior recorded 73 tackles, including 12.0 for a loss, and 7.0 sacks.

Coach’s comment: “Isaac is always the hardest worker on the field. He is not the biggest lineman, but he just simply outworks people. He never quits and has a ton of heart. He just refuses to get beat.”

Eddie Huerta, Sr., Mountain Crest

This future Southern Utah University player was outstanding on both sides of the line of scrimmage for the Mustangs.

Huerta was tabbed a first-team all-state selection after tallying 78 tackles, including 20.0 for a loss, and 9.0 sacks as a senior. No. 72 also forced a fumble.

Coach’s comment: “Eddie Huerta was a three-year starter and a huge reason for the team’s success. Eddie was a team captain and great leader that is now taking his skills to the next level, where he will play at SUU. He made (the) all-state (team) this year.”

Jake Regen, Jr., Green Canyon

Regen was a bona fide playmaker for the Wolves as a defensive end and tight end.

The first-team all-region honoree contributed with 60 tackles, including 18.0 for a loss, 10.0 sacks and two fumble recoveries for a much-improved Green Canyon defense. Regen also hauled in 29 receptions for 373 yards and six scores.

Coach’s comment: “Jacob is a great kid with a positive attitude and a great work ethic. He also is a three-sport athlete and works hard in the weight room. He is a leader on our team. He is one of those kids that could play any position on the team.”

LINEBACKERS

Rhett Gebert, Sr., Ridgeline

This all-state wrestler was, without question, one of the state’s top defensive performers this past season.

Gebert, a first-team all-state pick, not only racked up 118 tackles and 13.5 sacks, but blocked a pair of field goals and one punt, forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass. The senior terrorized Logan to the tune of 19 tackles, and made 15 against Mountain Crest and Green Canyon.

Coach’s comment: “Rhett Gebert was a senior leader and playmaker. He was a crucial part of our defense and to our team. As a leader, he commanded the respect of his teammates and led by example. When Rhett was on the field, he was disruptive. It always felt that when we needed that big play, he made those plays.”

Elijah Jackson, Jr., Mountain Crest

This junior was a tackling machine for the Mustangs, especially at the end of the season.

Jackson recorded 10 or more stops in five of Mountain Crest’s final six games, including 15 against Sky View and 14 against Ridgeline. The first-team all-region honoree, finished with 117 tackles, including 26.0 for a loss, and 10.0 sacks, plus recovered two fumbles.

Coach’s comment: “Elijah Jackson is a junior and he has been a two-year starter and leader for this team. He has been one of the leading tacklers one our team for the past two years. He always makes an impact when he is on the field and he is a great leader on the team.”

Emilio Veater, Jr., Mountain Crest

Veater consistently made timely, momentum-changing plays for one of 4A’s top defensive units.

The first-team all-region performer contributed with 60 tackles, including 17.0 for a loss — 5.0 en route to shutting out a potent Green Canyon offense — and 10.0 sacks. The junior forced a fumble and recovered another one, and picked off a pass and returned it 95 yards to the house against Bonneville.

Coach’s comment: “Emilio Veater ... has also has been a two-year starter and he makes plays all over the field. He made an impact every time he touched the ball or made a tackle. In several games he made the play that led to us winning. He also will be a big part of our success to come.”

Hunter Lewis, Jr., Sky View

This junior was a consistent performer for the Bobcats, but came on strong in crunch time.

In Sky View’s final three games, the first-team all-state selection recorded 26 tackles, 2.0 sacks and one interception. Lewis finished with 104 tackles, 4.0 sacks and one INT.

Coach’s comment: “Hunter is a very tough kid. He is very physical and a great tackler. He has a great nose for the ball and really understands our scheme defensively. It was unreal to sit back and watch game film and see how often he was a part of the stop on defense. He is always around the ball. He has a great motor and never left the field on defense. He literally played every meaningful snap for us on defense.”

Andrew Thompson, Sr., Logan

Not only was Thompson one of Logan’s top performers on defense, he made a big difference on special teams.

Thompson, a second-team all-state selection at linebacker, contributed with 122 tackles, including 18.0 for a loss, 3.0 sacks, an impressive five forced fumbles and two INTs. The senior also averaged 39.9 yards on 30 punts, and handled Logan’s kickoff duties.

Coach’s comment: “Andrew was huge to us this season. Not only did he lead the team in tackling, but handled our punt and some of our kicking duties this year. He is a big and physical linebacker. He controlled the middle of the field, but was able to run from sideline to sideline.”

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Scout Morris, Sr., Sky View

Morris, a first-team all-state selection, was an ball hawk, solid tackler and dependable receiver in his final season with the Bobcats.

The future Utah State player was Utah’s all-classifications leader with 10 INTs — recorded in eight different games. Morris, who caught 30 passes for 417 yards and four TDs, also chipped in with 88 tackles and 2.0 sacks.

Coach’s comment: “Simply put, Scout is always in the right spot. Scout has great instincts and understands defensive positioning. ... Scout has the ability to play multiple positions. He is very good in man coverage and we played him at nickel in our nickel packages. Scout is also a great tackler. ... Scout is also highly competitive and, when there was a critical situation, Scout was always there to make a play.”

Traeson Martindale, Sr., Sky View

This first-team all-state honoree was a fiery leader and clutch performer for the Bobcats.

Martindale, who will play collegiately for the University of Mary, recorded 12 tackles in each of Sky View’s final two games and came up with a monumental third-and-goal sack against Park City. The senior finished his final season with 91 tackles, 3.0 sacks and four INTs.

Coach’s comment: “Traeson has been a big part of the success that Sky View has had over the past three years. Traeson brought a ton of toughness to the back end of our defense. He is a great tackler and runs to the ball as well as anyone I have ever coached. He always wants to be in on the play and is irritated if he is not. Traeson showed a tremendous amount of improvement throughout the year understanding the complexities of our defense and making sure we were in the right defense from down to down.”

Ryan Beckstead, Sr., West Side

Beckstead’s steady presence at quarterback helped propel the Pirates to another state championship, but he really shined as a first-team all-state defensive back.

The senior, the starting point guard on West Side’s 2A runner-up basketball team, contributed with 30 tackles, six INTs and one fumble recovery.

Coach’s comment: “Ryan has been a very solid DB for us for two years. This last year we played him as little as possible on defense because he was our QB, but when games were on the line he was on the field. He has a great knack for intercepting the ball.”

Brandon Arnell, Sr., Mountain Crest

Like Thompson of Logan, Arnell made big contributions for his team defensively and on special teams.

The first-team all-region selection finished with 45 tackles, three INTs and a team-high 12 passes broken up as a cornerback. Arnell was also Mountain Crest’s kicker, and was successful on 14 of 15 extra points and 3 of 6 field goals, with a long of 39 yards.

Coach’s comment: “Brandon Arnell is a senior that has been a great asset to our team, playing offense, defense and special teams as our kicker. As this last season went on, Brandon just got better and better. He was tied with Mason Baldwin with getting the most takeaways for our team. He also was a great example to all of his teammates as he leads by example.”

SPECIAL TEAMS

KICKER/PUNTER

Ethan Delisle, Sr., Green Canyon

Delisle capped off his prep career as a two-time first-team all-state performer as a punter.

No. 43 was also a solid kicker for Green Canyon. He averaged 36.7 yards on 34 punts, and was successful on 34 of 38 extra points and 5 of 10 field goals as a senior. Delisle’s booted a 62-yard punt against Mountain Crest and a 40-yard field goal against Ridgeline.

Coach’s comment: “Ethan is a great kid. He takes his responsibility seriously. He wants to always improve and worked hard last year. He would go to kicking clinics around the U.S. last year to prepare himself. I have never seen anyone punt as well as him. He will really be missed next year.”

KICKOFF RETURNER

Isaac Larsen, Jr., Logan

This junior was a big-play machine for the Grizzlies.

Larsen averaged 23.5 yards on 20 kickoff returns and 16.3 yards on eight punt returns. No. 6 found paydirt on two of his kickoffs returns — a 95-yarder against Provo and a 89-yarder against Ogden in the playoffs.

The junior, who will spend his final season at Sky View, also tallied 548 yards and six TDs on 35 receptions, and was a second-team all-state selection as a safety. The USU verbal commit made 62 tackles, picked off seven passes, forced a trio of fumbles — one of which he scooped up and brought back 94 yards to the house — and recovered two more.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.