by Scott Boyle
Finally, finally. Nearly two months after the end of the season, volleyball all-state awards were announced within the last two weeks and local volleyballers figured prominently.
Monticello High School, fresh off their back-to-back 1A state championships saw Devin Dalton named as MVP.
Dalton, a senior, and the only returning starter from the 2011 state championship, set the tone as well as the volleyball for the Bucks this year. She was a second teamer last year.
Shaylyn Black and Jessica Ewart, both seniors, were name to 1A first team all staters, too. Black was noted for her all-around stellar play, including 23 aces on the season. Ewart led the Bucks in kills with 135 on the season. Additionally, Buckaroo senior, Stevee Wilcox, made second team all-state.
The Lady Buckaroos and coach Tony Esplin have been on quite a roll in volleyball since returning to the 1A ranks in 2005 after several years in 2A.
Esplin’s teams have gone 25-7 in state tournaments since then, including 8-0 the past two years. During that time, in addition to the two state championships, the Lady Buckaroos have finished second, third two times, fifth two times and sixth once.
Two Lady Broncos made the 2A all-state team for the fifth place Broncos. Sophomore Tatianna SueSue was named to the second team and McKale Simpson was an Honorable Mention mention.
The Lady Broncos have been equally successful the past twelve years, winning seven state championships, taking second twice, third and fifth. Coach Cassy Moon’s teams have gone 40-6 in state tournaments since 2000.
So, will the Bucks and Broncos keep up the volleyball mastery? There is a team in Monticello you should keep your eyes on. It’s a young eighth grade volleyball team that has been wildly successful in the junior ranks for the past five years.
The Buckaroo eighth grade team just completed an undefeated volleyball season after also going without a loss in seventh grade as well.
In fact, the team, with Allie Maughan, Atlanta Black, Izabell Slade, Marci McDougal, Shelby Fullmer, Tawna Wells, and Yeni Corranza, has won every tournament they have entered in volleyball since they were in the fourth grade.
San Juan boys and girls teams both participated in holiday basketball tournaments while the Buckaroo teams took time out to shovel snow. The boys traveled to Enterprise to participate in the Blue and Gold tournament.
First up, the boys took care of a competitive Tintic High School team, 64-46. The Tintic Miners, from a tiny (110 students) 1A school found in Eureka (ten miles west of Goshen, UT), put up a valiant effort against the Broncos. But the Broncos prowess at the free throw line proved the difference for the Broncos as they made 25 freebies compared to just six for the Miners.
Barkley Christensen led the Broncos with 23 points, aided ably by Logan Meyer with 18 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Cole Einerson had a nice game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
In the championship game, the 7-5 Broncos lost to the host Enterprise Wolves, 59-51 in a closely contested ballgame. The Wolves turned the table on the Broncos at the foul line, where the Wolves were 18-22 while the Broncos could only managed three of six. Next up for the Broncos, the Buckaroos on Friday the fourth of January in Blanding.
The Lady Broncos played in the Wayne Holiday tournament in Bicknell. Blanding and Bicknell have a history you know.
For those who don’t, here it is from Wikipedia: “Blanding was first known as Grayson (after Nellie Grayson Lyman, wife of settler Joseph Lyman).
Bicknell was originally called Thurber, or “Thurber Town”, for A.K. Thurber, who in 1879 built the first house in the area.
In 1914 Thomas W. Bicknell, a wealthy eastern author, historian, and Education Commissioner for Rhode Island, offered a thousand-volume library to any Utah town that would rename itself after him.
The town of Grayson also wanted the library prize, so in a compromise in 1916, Grayson took the name of Blanding, Mr. Bicknell’s wife’s maiden name, as a tribute to her parents, Christopher and Chloe Blanding. The two towns split the library, each receiving 500 books.”
The Lady Broncos didn’t fare so well in the tournament, losing both games, 54-42 against the Parowan Rams and 61-50 to Millard.
Sam Giddings poured in 17 points in the losing cause against Millard.