by Tad Barton
Last weekend officially marked the completion of the 2017-18 winter sports seasons for the Utah High School Activities Association’s 3A classification.
That means it’s time for The Round-up to look back and celebrate the successes of the Bronco teams and athletes.
The first area I want to cover in this week’s article is Academic All-state. Like the All-state teams that are based on athletic performance, the Academic All-state teams are made up of young people who excel on the court, mat or field, but also those who lead the way in the classroom as well.
This winter sports season, San Juan had four athletes named to their sports respective Academic All-state teams. They are Brooklyn Grover (drill), JC Clinger (wrestling), Grange Simpson (wrestling), and Baylr Eldredge (basketball).
To give you an idea of just how elite these young people are in the classroom, here are the combined team GPAs: Basketball 3.999, Wrestling 3.973 and Drill 4.0.
Congratulations to Brooklyn, JC, Grange and Baylr for leading the way in competition and in the classroom.
The Lady Bronco basketball team showed growth throughout the season and finished the year with a 12-9 overall record and in fourth place in Region 15 with a 6-6 record.
The Broncos season ended in the 3A play-in game where they were defeated by Judge Memorial 56-39.
Along the way, San Juan had different girls step up in games to lead the way for the Broncos.
Junior Bodell Nielson led San Juan on the season in scoring, averaging more than ten points per game. Right behind her is sophomore Delaney Palmer, who averaged nine points per contest.
The one thing that stood out to me all season is the unselfish play demonstrated by this team. Many times, these ladies would pass up open shots when within shooting range and pass the ball to a teammate who was in position for a higher percentage shot.
The squad this year was young, but four seniors deserve some recognition for their contributions. Ryann Shumway, Kelesha Gray, Lyandra Benn and Nizhoni Begaye wrap up their high school basketball careers this season. Each of these ladies embraced their roles on the team and worked hard to make the team successful.
Despite some rough spots throughout the season, the San Juan boys basketball team showed perseverance and determination on their way to a fourth place finish in Region 15.
The Broncos were a team other teams in 3A didn’t want to be matched up against down the stretch, as San Juan won five for their last seven games to punch their ticket for post season play.
Unfortunately for San Juan, the post season lasted just one game, as the Broncos fell to the Delta Rabbits 82-68 in the play-in round of the 3A State Tournament.
Leading the charge for the Broncos is a pair of seniors, Jaden Torgerson and Dylan Ivins, as well as Jaden’s younger brother, sophomore Jaxon Torgerson.
Jaden and Jaxon led the Broncos on the scoreboard where the elder Jaden held a slight advantage, scoring 14.87 points per game to just over 14 points per game for Jaxon.
Ivins isn’t far behind at nine points per game and is the second leading rebounder on the team (six per game) behind Jaden, who averaged eight rebounds per game.
The boys team had three seniors, Jaden, Dylan and Baylr Eldredge, who led a group of very talented underclassmen both on and off the court. These three young men have put in many hours of hard work and dedication to making themselves and their teammates better.
Wrestling had one of its most memorable seasons in a while during 2017-18. Seventeen wrestlers competed in the 3A Divisional Tournament.
Seven of those wrestlers advanced to the 3A State Tournament, including DJ Howell, Grange Simpson, JC Clinger, Nigel Sam, Ronald Hunt, Landon Burke, and Seth Spackman.
Seniors Simpson and Howell led the way for the Broncos all season as well as at the 3A Divisional round, where Simpson placed first at 170 lbs, and Howell finished in second place at 182 lbs.
A week later, Simpson worked his way to the 3A Championship match at 170 lbs, where he capped off his high school career with a second place finish.
Howell advanced all the way to the 182 lb semi-finals before dropping into the one loss bracket, eventually battling back through the consolation bracket to finish in fifth place.
The Broncos had nine seniors on the team this year, including Simpson, Howell, Clinger, DreShaun Greyeyes, Trullius Mark, Ramone Hatalie, Maurice Begay, and Rolando Yazzie.
Drill & cheer
The San Juan cheer team and the Royals had another great year performing and competing in 2017-18.
Often dismissed and overlooked in the realm of high school activities and sports, these young ladies are the epitome of hard work and dedication. While most San Juan High students are still asleep in their warm beds, you could find these girls already at school practicing.
The drill and cheer squads were led by six seniors, two from the drill team include Brooklyn Grover and Isabell Tooke and five from cheer include India Workman, Louisa Gutke, Camryn Redd, KaDance Reid, and Bree Fitzgerald.
The Round-up thanks all the seniors who made the winter sports season of 2017-18 a great one. Thank you for your dedication and hard work and best wishes in your future pursuits.