Buckaroo golfers are peaking as the season begins to wind down

On Wednesday, September 16, the Monticello High School golf team traveled to Morgan to play the Round Valley Golf Course, home of the North Summit Braves, for week six of Region 16 play.

Round Valley treated Monticello’s golfers very well as the team finished third overall behind Altamont (344) and Gunnison Valley (348). Monticello’s team total was 353.

On the day, Buckaroos Bailey Walker and Boston Freestone shot a pair of cool 82s to tie for third place overall in the match medalist play. Those two scores were backed up by Breckyn Hoggard’s very solid 86.

On the back end, Monticello got some great contributions from Garrett Larsen and Darren Westcott who both shot 103 for the day.

Westcott’s round really sticks out because his previous low round for the season was a round of 126 shot in week three.

Alex Christensen also had a good day shooting 115, which is his low round of the season. 

Heading into week seven and the final Region 16 match of the year, Monticello currently sits fourth with 2,342 shots behind leaders Altamont (2,239), Gunnison Valley (2,270), and North Sevier (2,287). North Summit is currently in fifth with a shot total of 2,464.

Individually, Monticello has three golfers ranked in the Region 16 top 10. Boston Freestone is second with an 87.2 shot average, Bailey Walker is ranked third with a 90.6, and Breckyn Hoggard is sixth overall with a 93.3.

On Monday, September 21, the Buckaroos traveled to Price to play the Carbon County Country Club in the final Region 16 match of the season.

All Monticello had to do in Price was maintain its fourth-place ranking in the region; the top four region teams qualify for state at the East Bay Golf Course in Provo September 29 through October 1.

Football
On Friday, September 18, the 0-4 Monticello High School football team hosted the number two ranked and 5-0 Duchesne Eagles for Homecoming 2020.

Coming in, the Bucks knew it was going to be a tough game, and a tough game it was for a team that has struggled all year on both sides of the football.

Duchesne scored three touchdowns on their first three offensive plays to start the game, building a 27-0 first-quarter lead.

The second quarter was much of the same. Monticello was unable to get anything going; the Eagles were firing on all cylinders as they increased their lead to 40-0 by halftime.

The second half was also all Duchesne as the Eagles built the lead to 60-0. Late in the fourth quarter, MHS quarterback Devin Hatch was finally able to sneak in a touchdown from 10 yards out to make the final score 60-6.

The Bucks were plagued by turnovers in the game. They gave up three interceptions and put two fumbles on the ground.

Monticello did have two takeaways of their own when they collected two Duchesne fumbles. But the Bucks couldn’t capitalize on the Eagle miscues.

Monticello ended the game with 81 yards of total offense. Hatch completed nine of 19 passes for 68 yards and the Buckaroos’ combined ground game only contributed 13 yards rushing on 17 carries. The Eagles racked up 437 yards of total offense in the win.

On the bright side, the toughest part of Monticello’s schedule is over, and the Bucks can look forward to some very winnable games in the coming weeks.

This week, on Friday, September 25, they load up a bus and travel to Salt Lake City to take on the 3A Independent Judge Memorial Bulldogs, who are 0-6 on the year.

According to MaxPreps, Judge Memorial is considered the worst active football team in Utah with a strength rating of -15.8 and an overall state rating of 107 out of 107 teams. Monticello has a strength rating of -1.8 and a state rating of 105.

At this point in the season, the two teams have had only one common opponent – Millard. Monticello lost to the Eagles 55-6 and Judge lost to Millard 58-7.

On paper, this game looks like it will be close with both teams looking for that first, elusive win of the season. Kickoff will be a 7 p.m. at Judge Memorial High School.

Cross country
On Wednesday, September 16, the Monticello cross country teams traveled to hot and dusty Aurora for the 2020 North Sevier Roller-Coaster Run against Region 16 opponents Altamont, Gunnison Valley, North Sevier, Duchesne, and North Summit.

Hunter, American Prep, Tintic, and American Heritage high schools also joined the party from Utah and Salt Lake valleys.

The Buckaroo varsity boys got another team win, edging out the home team from North Sevier 46 to 55 in the three-mile race with Duchesne and North Summit close behind with 72 and 83 points. 

Buckaroo Cory Bunker won the varsity boys race with a time of 16:34. Alan Pettit claimed second overall with a time of 17:20 and teammate Eric Montague finished fourth with a time of 18:24.

The final two scores for Monticello were posted by Curtis Bunker who finished 17th and Josh Wheeler who placed 27th with times of 19:55 and 20:38.

Jesse Pettit (29th, 20:45) and Taw Robinson (36th, 21:49) also ran well on the day. 

The Monticello varsity girls placed second at the race, scoring 65 points behind North Summit who ran away with the meet with 26 points on five top-ten finishes. 

Monticello’s Adri Bird cruised to the win almost a minute and fifteen seconds ahead of the second-place runner from North Summit.

Lady Buck Lily Long placed third with a time of 21:35 and Serra St. Clair claimed a top 10 spot when she placed 10th overall with a time of 24:04.

Freshman Shannon Morrison placed 24th with a time of 27:13, and Halle Morrison claimed 27th running a 28:39. Hailey Gillette finished 34th with a time of 33:39.

The Monticello JV boys ran well in the JV race and claimed three of the top 10 spots with Jalen Bradford winning the race in 21:22.

Jacob Johnson placed third with his time of 21:32, and Ryan Nielson claimed 10th overall with a time of 23:46.

In the junior high coed race, eighth grader Kaden Pehrson from Monticello held off a runner from Delta to win the 1.5 mile race with a time of 10:43.

Teammate Ike Walker ran a 12:23 to place sixth overall, and Aaron Gillette ran a 12:51 to claim 10th place overall.

These top finishers were followed by a group of Monticello junior high runners: Lilly Burton (13th, 12:59), Ayla Carling (14th, 13:13), Mara Long (16th, 13:17), Margo Johnson (27th, 16:02), Aaron Nielson (30th, 16:32), Abigail Crowley (31st, 16:49), and Alexa Bailey (33rd, 17:10).

This week, on Wednesday, September 23, the cross country teams travel to Duchesne for another race with mainly Region 16 teams.

Volleyball
The 1-4 Lady Buckaroo volleyball team commenced Region 16 play on Tuesday, September 15 when they hosted the 2-2 Duchesne Lady Eagles in a homecoming week match.

On paper, it appeared to be a good matchup and a nice chance for Monticello to start region play with a win.

However, the Lady Eagles had other ideas as they jumped out to a quick lead, winning game one 25-15.

Monticello never could recover, and despite a close second game which the Lady Bucks dropped 26-24, game three ended much like the first with Monticello losing by the score 25-16.   

It was a tough match for the Lady Bucks as the Lady Eagles dominated every statistical category in the game. Most glaringly, Monticello lost the error battle 43 to 34.

Four Lady Bucks ended game with perfect service percentages – Taylor Lewis, Saydee Adams, Whitney Knudsen, and Avery Shumway.

Adams had one ace as did Elli Nielson. Only Ali Barry had a positive hitting percentage with +0.077 for the game.

Defensively, Barry had a block as did Nielson. Adams and Knudsen had half a block each. Athea Ford led the team in digs with eight. Nielson and Saydi Young had another six and five digs in the loss respectively.

With little time to lick their wounds, the Lady Bucks hopped a bus on Thursday, September 17 and traveled to Gunnison to play the Gunnison Valley Lady Bulldogs.

Despite a different opponent in a different gym, Monticello replicated the result they had earlier in the week, dropping the match in straight sets 25-14, 25-11, and 25-20. The loss dropped the Lady Bucks to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in Region 16 play.

Individually, Nielson had a 100 percent service percentage for the night with an ace. Knudsen and Shumway also had one service ace in the match. Nielson and Knudsen led the team in hitting percentage with +0.2 and +0.138 percentages.

On defense, Knudsen and Adams had a block each with Barry and Young each recording a half a block. Ford led the team in digs with 10 for the match. Nielson and Taylor Lewis each tallied nine.

Looking for their first Region 16 win, Monticello traveled to Salina on Tuesday, September 22 to take on the North Sevier Lady Wolves.

The girls head to Coalville on Thursday, September 24 to face the North Summit Lady Braves who are 3-2 overall and haven’t played in the region.

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