Bucks claim 1A state volleyball title
by Scott Boyle
Nov 02, 2011 | 29718 views | 0 0 comments | 120 120 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Monticello High School state volleyball
Guess who’s number 1?  Members of the Monticello High School volleyball team celebrate after claiming the 1A state championship on October 29 in Orem. Staff photo
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San Juan High School State Volleyball

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San Juan High School football semi-finals

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Playing with abandon, glee, and wonderful teamwork, the Lady Bucks blocked, frustrated and systematically dismantled the vaunted Rich Rebels to capture their third state volleyball championship for Monticello High and the first since 1987. 

The Bucks routed the Rebels in three games, 25-21, 25-20, 25-20 in a match that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate. 

It was a big semifinal comeback over St. Josephs High School that catapulted the Buckaroos to the title.  Winning both matches in straight sets over Escalante and Wayne on Friday, the Bucks were poised to reach the finals for the first time since 2005. But after losing the first set to St. Joes for the first time since August, there was cause for concern, at least among the faithful. 

The Lady Buckaroos volleyball team didn’t panic.  Even when they lost the third set to St. Joes, to go down two games to one, they weren’t too alarmed. 

Instead, you could see a change come over the team and the determination glow on their faces, according to Monticello principal Scott Shakespeare. The Lady Bucks blasted St. Joe 25-13 and 15-7 in the last two sets to come from behind to win that quarterfinal match. 

And that mindset continued for the Buckaroos of long-time coach Tony Esplin in the final against the venerable Rich Rebels, holder of 17 state titles and a seeming aura of invincibility. 

Monticello dominated from the start, jumping to a quick five-point lead in the first game and kept that advantage to win the first set, much to Rich’s surprise. 

One could see the frustration setting in for the Rebels as they were in a position they are unaccustomed too.  Much like the Bucks, the Rebs had only lost four matches all season, all to 5A schools and in their 26 wins had swept 17 of those wins. 

The Rich fans were confidant their team would prevail.  But the Lady Bucks dominated the second game more than the first, rushing to a 15-6 lead and holding on for the win. 

The third set saw the Rebels jump to a quick 4-2 lead, but back came the Bucks, behind the hitting and blocking of ...well, everyone, totally vexing the Rebels and winning in straight sets. 

Seniors Swayzi Slade, Robin Randall, Jaime Keyes, and Allison Anderson kept the pressure on the Rebels along with juniors Devin Dalton, Jessica Ewart, and Shaylyn Black in a rotation that was relaxed, buoyant, and assured throughout, playing nearly flawless volleyball.  It was a pleasure to watch.  Way to go, Lady Bucks, 2011 1A State Volleyball Champs!

Congratulations also go to the Lady Broncos of San Juan, who battled their determined way to a second place trophy in the 2A volleyball championships. 

The Broncos battled region rival and nemesis Richfield Wildcats in four sets, but couldn’t overcome the Wildcat firepower.  So close however. 

After taking the second set in convincing manner, 25-16, evening the match at one game apiece, the Broncos found themselves tied at 24 in the decisive third set. But the Wildcats won that critical point, and the next, giving themselves the third set and the momentum. 

Though the Broncos were game, the Wildcats put them away to win the fourth set and the match.  McKale Simpson and Teal Palmer were strong at the net, and Simone Shumway was flawless in her setting, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Wildcats. 

All in all, it’s been a good fall for the Buckaroos and Broncos, the Buckaroos with two state championships and the Broncos with two seconds and a third.  And both schools look ready to contend for state championships in football.


The Monticello Buckaroos started their 41st appearance in the state football playoffs in impressive fashion as they destroyed a tired Milford Tiger football team 64-30 Saturday in Monticello, giving the Bucks a quarterfinal win. 

The Bucks rushed and passed their way to a quick 28-0 first quarter lead. By the time PJ Leatoua booted his second drop kick field goal of the year from 24 yards away, the Bucks had a 45-10 lead and the second and third teams were mopping up. 

The Bucks scored at will in that first half, dominating on both sides of the ball, forcing turnovers and converting them into points for their 11th straight win over the Tigers. 

With the win, the second over the Tigers in two weeks as they had to make the long trip to Monticello twice (isn’t it nice for a change for someone else to have to travel?) the Buckaroos move to 9-2 on the season and head into a semifinal contest against the Layton Christian Eagles, a team they beat 45-24 way back in early September, but a team that poised some problems for the Bucks. 

LC used the pass to score against the Bucks, scoring on a 94-yard pass on the first play of the game and adding a 17-yard touchdown pass and a 65 yarder, too.  Austin Wilcox and Austin Maloy both scored three touchdowns in that game and had over 200 yards rushing each.  Game time is set for 2 pm Saturday at Wasatch High School in Heber City.

San Juan

“Stay away! Stay away! Stay away!”, came the distinctive voice of Bronco football coach Monty Lee, as a floundering and erratic North Summit punt bounced crazily on the field. 

But ignoring his coach’s advice, junior QB Barkley Christensen picked up the lively ball at full speed and carried the pigskin 35 yards to paydirt, putting the dagger in a game North Summit Braves team late in the first half. 

Indeed, other than two short touchdown drives by the Broncos in the first half, North Summit seemed to be holding their own, but the Broncos proved they were ready for the playoffs, offensively and defensively, by using Christensen’s fine play to catapult them to a dismantling of a good North Summit team 38-0 in Blanding Friday evening. 

Christensen followed up the punt return with an interception on the Braves’ first series of the second half, which he returned 27 yards for another touchdown, and the rout was on. 

The Bronco defense, which leads the state in scoring defense while allowing just 5.6 points per game, never gave the Braves a chance to score.

And that offense, which leads 2A in scoring with 36 points per game, kept giving the ball the Dylan Richmond and he responded with his second three-touchdown game in a row. 

The 10-0 Broncos win their 30th game in a row, and draw a tough semifinal opponent in Millard 8-2 on the season and beaters of North Summit themselves by a score of 35-0 in September.  Game time is 2 pm at Pleasant Grove High School on Saturday.

Don’t Stay Away! Don’t Stay Away!
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