NORTH LOGAN — As far as Green Canyon teacher and golf coach Terrell Baldwin is concerned, “kids like Dewey Panter don’t come around very often.”
Indeed, Panter has left quite an impression on Baldwin, who had the opportunity to work with the talented recent Green Canyon graduate in the classroom and on the golf course. Baldwin gushed about the character of Panter and referred to him as “a very, very unselfish kid.”
“Everyone enjoys being around Dewey,” said Baldwin, who was also a huge fan of Dewey’s older brother Riley. “He’s a very likable kid, he’s a great teammate, he understand what it takes to compete at the highest level. ... I love the way he understands competition and the way he knows how to compete. The best way to describe him is he’s just mentally tough.”
Golf is a sport that requires a great deal of mental toughness, and Panter exhibited that quality, especially as a senior. The North Logan native was a big reason why the Wolves finished second in Region 12 and seventh at the 4A State Championships during the 2018 campaign.
Panter capped off his prep career by firing consistent rounds of 72 and 73 at Birch Creek Golf Course to finish in a tie for sixth at the 4A tourney. For his efforts, Panter, who placed fourth individually in the final region standings, garnered first-team all-state accolades.
It was a sign of things to come for Panter throughout the rest of the 2018-19 academic year. The 18-year-old had a special season on the hardwood en route to helping lead the Wolves to the region title, and was a big contributor on a Green Canyon baseball team that was in contention for a region championship heading into the final two games of the regular season.
Notwithstanding all of his success as an athlete, the son of Tracie and Jeremy Panter never lost his focus academically as he graduated with a 3.9 cumulative grade point average.
“My main purpose was school,” Panter said. “My mom and dad always told me that school came first, and then athletics. And so I’d go to school every day, and then I’d take pride in coming to practice every day and working on my athletics, and be the best I could in both. I really took pride in both.”
For his well-rounded efforts in athletics and in the classroom, Panter was chosen as The Herald Journal Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He is the first Green Canyon student-athlete to receive one of the newspaper’s major awards.
“That’s awesome and that’s surreal to me,” Panter said. “I didn’t really think that it was a (possibility) at the start of the (academic) year. ... But now it’s here, it’s really kicking in. That’s awesome, so I was really proud of that.”
Panter thoroughly enjoyed his final year at Green Canyon, and having success in all three sports definitely helped. The 2017-18 academic year was the inaugural one for Green Canyon, and the Wolves were at a little bit of a disadvantage in a few sports, inasmuch as most of the talented senior athletes elected to remain at Sky View. As a result, the Wolves took their lumps in a few sports, including baseball.
To the delight of Panter, the Wolves were able to reverse their fortunes in several sports this past academic year.
“Senior year was amazing compared to all of my other years,” Panter said. “It was by far the best year in all three sports. I had my best year in golf, basketball and baseball, so I was really pleased with my senior year. And it was just a perfect ending to my time at Green Canyon.”
Panter’s memorable season year started with a strong showing in golf, and he parlayed that success into an opportunity at the next level. He will compete for Utah State’s program as a walk-on, starting this fall.
“I started off the year really well and was hot, and then kind of had a slump,” said Panter, who only finished two strokes behind the 4A state champion. “... But then my coach, Terrell, would always tell me to just trust your swing and trust yourself, don’t think too much, and then I really started playing well toward the end of the season, and then finished it off strong. And it was everything I wanted because golf’s my favorite sport, so that’s what I wanted to play in college if I could. ... I’m just so grateful for the opportunity that I have to play at the next level at Utah State.”
The first-team all-region honoree in all three of his sports made some significant strides in golf during his final prep season — he finished 13th in the region as a junior — and Baldwin is confident Panter’s best days are still ahead. After all, Panter, who didn’t miss a single high school golf tournament his final three years, will be able to focus on one sport in college.
“Well, I’m very biased, but I think he can be a tremendous golfer at the collegiate level,” said Baldwin, who coached Panter for two seasons at Sky View and two at Green Canyon. “I think coach (Dean) Johansen has done an extensive amount of research in making sure that (Panter’s) the one that’s going to fit into their program, and I think he’ll be a great fit for coach Johansen and our Utah State Aggies.”
If Panter didn’t enjoy golf so much, college basketball might have been in his future. The 6-foot-3 guard sparkled for the Wolves this past season en route to securing second-team all-state accolades.
Panter scored in double figures in every game except for two and averaged 17.2 points an outing, which ranked fourth among all Cache Valley players. No. 3 made his presence felt all over the court as he chipped in with 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals an outing, and buried 45 3-pointers.
“Dewey was massive to our success this year,” GC head coach Dan McClure said. “Dewey certainly showed flashes of greatness his junior year. I challenged him before his senior season to become more consistent. Boy, did he respond. He may have been our most consistent guy this year. Many nights he was the best player for the team that won the region championship.”
Green Canyon went 18-6, which was an eight-win improvement from the previous season — one in which Panter averaged 11.62 points and 3.67 rebounds per game, and was a second-team all-region selection. The Wolves managed to reign supreme in what proved to be the best region in 4A, despite starting essentially five guards.
“One of our main goals at the start of the year was we believed that we could win a region championship, and it didn’t really matter who we had on the floor,” said Panter, a two-year starter. “We all trusted each other. That was our main goal and it was awesome to accomplish it at the end. And coach McClure just did a great job all year long and helped us be the best that we could. And we didn’t have many bigs, but he taught us how to fight, and it was amazing.”
As well as the Wolves performed on the hardwood, Panter and his teammate enjoyed an even bigger turnaround on the diamond. Green Canyon’s baseball team went from missing the playoffs in 2018 to contending for a region title. The Wolves won a whopping 12 more games than they did a year ago.
The durable Panter started every game on both teams and was thrilled with the strides the program made this spring.
“Last year was obviously pretty rough, but at the start of the year our coach, coach (Ryan) Eborn, told us he wanted us to work on a 180, so like flipping our record, just a complete 180,” Panter said. “... And he just told us every game that he trusted us and knew we had the ability to be good, even after last year. We knew we had what it took to win a region championship and it was right there, but we slipped at the end. But I was pleased with the way we fought and held our own.”
Panter certainly left an impression on Eborn during his first season with the program.
“Despite the fact that everything seemed to come natural for him, he didn’t rest on his laurels,” Eborn said. “He really did work hard. He attended optional things in the middle of basketball or toward the end of basketball season. ... He didn’t just rest on his laurels and be the senior that just said, ‘Oh, I’ve already paid my dues.’ He really worked hard. He’s one of those kids that I just feel very fortunate to have been able to have in my first senior group. ... He deserves all the best the world has to offer him.”
Like Baldwin, Eborn asserted Panter was the type of individual all of the kids looked up — both coaches talked about how well the senior treated the freshmen — and respected. Not only that, No. 6 brought a winning mentality to Green Canyon’s baseball team.
“It was huge,” Eborn said. “He’s a fierce competitor. He has an easy-going demeanor, but he also has this ability to flip the switch and just show people what it’s like to want to win. And he’s a winner. He wants to win at all costs, and so the success he had in both basketball and golf is something that carried over into baseball, and the other guys looked to, to kind of see what it takes to be a winner.”
Panter was a valuable performer for the Wolves as a third baseman, pitcher and batter. No. 6 tied for second on the team with 12 RBIs and ranked third with 21 hits. Panter batted .284 with an on-base percentage of .375, which ranked third among the full-time GC starters.
Additionally, Panter was among the team leaders on the mound. He was second on the squad in innings pitched (43.2) and starts (eight), and finished third with 30 strikeouts. The athletic third baseman recorded a solid 3.687 ERA and tied for second on the team with three wins.
Through it all, Panter balanced his time wisely and continued to excel in the classroom. The recent graduate took a handful of concurrent enrollment classes and never got worse than a B-plus in any of his courses at Sky View or Green Canyon.
History was Panter’s favorite subject in high school, and he particularly enjoyed taking history classes from Mike Rigby and Baldwin. Panter was a student in Baldwin’s U.S. History class for a pair of tri-mesters the previous academic year.
“Academically, Dewey is phenomenal,” Baldwin said. “He understands commitment in the classroom and he never let what he wanted to achieve on the field, on the course, on the court, he never let that interfere with his commitment level in the classroom. I think that’s another thing that makes him so special.”
Special was a word frequently used by Baldwin when describing Panter, who plans on majoring in business at USU.
And while Panter is looking forward to the next chapter of his life, he is going to miss being a Green Canyon student-athlete. He spoke highly of the school’s student body officers — “all of the student body officers did an awesome job of making this year one of the best” — teachers and coaches, and raved about the fan support his teams received, especially in basketball.
“When we walked in the doors after we beat Mountain Crest, we came back to our school and the entire bleachers were filled with our student body, and one of my biggest memories was just our student body and how they showed out every game,” he said.
Some of Panter’s other favorite memories were trips to Southern Utah in all three sports, the four basketball games against Sky View as a junior and season — experiences he said “I won’t ever forget” — and Homecoming week.
“Our senior class was amazing, so I’ll never forget all of the people that made this (academic) year the best,” Panter said.
Spoken like a true leader and an endearing person, the kind that doesn’t “come around very often.”