Football

Deseret News High School Sports Awards: First-ever ceremony honors 152 athletes across all sports

With roughly 400 attendees, multiple sponsors and 17 inaugural awards, a new precedent in high school sports awards was set Saturday night.

More than 150 high school athletes were honored at the Little America Hotel during the inaugural Deseret News High School Sports Awards gala, presented by the Larry H. Miller Company.

The event honored athletes from every Utah High School Activities Association-sanctioned sport, and for the first time in the nearly 100-year history of the Deseret News’ high school coverage, the event honored a “Mr.” or “Ms.” winner in every single sport.

In addition to the 10 already awarded each year, 13 inaugural “Mr./Ms.” awards were presented for athletes in golf, cross-country, swimming, wrestling, track and field, tennis and drill.

American Fork distance runner Daniel Simmons was named the first-ever Male Athlete of the Year. The senior ran both track and cross-country and was named Mr. Cross-Country as well, the first award given in the ceremony.

Simmons was named the 2022-23 Gatorade National Boys Cross-Country Player of the Year last February.

“I know I couldn’t have done this without my team,” Simmons said. “Any time I’ve had a slump … they’re there to help me feel good at practices and at school. The support system of my team, and also my parents, they keep me going in life.”

Simmons’ running career at American Fork didn’t just take the state by storm, it rocked the country.

At the Arcadia Invitational in California last April, he ran the 3,200 meters in 8:34.14, the second-fastest finish by a high school runner in national history.

He bookended that performance with individual 6A state championships in cross-country and in the 3,200-meter final in May, breaking the latter’s state record in the process.

The Gatorade Player of the Year YouTube channel posted a video of Simmons receiving the POY award and highlighted his personality and service-oriented character.

“I think I’ll remember the smiles on my buddies’ faces the most,” Simmons said. “There’s a lot of people here that I recognize and know, and I just love seeing friends embracing each other in happiness.”

Bountiful volleyball star Jordyn Harvey capped off her incredible senior year by being named the inaugural Female Athlete of the Year.

Harvey’s volleyball career wrapped up with multiple spots in the record books and the title of 2022-23 Ms. Volleyball.

She also started alongside her younger sister Taylor on the basketball team, helping the Braves to a 5A state championship.

“It’s an honor to be Female Athlete of the Year, especially with all the amazing athletes that were here,” Harvey said. “It was fun to be with everyone all over again.”

Harvey’s athletic accomplishments aided her in realizing her childhood dream of earning a scholarship to Stanford, and she will play for the Cardinal this coming fall. Between volleyball and basketball accomplishments for her and other members of her family, she considered her award a “Harvey family win.”

“We’ve played in Bountiful High School sports for a long time,” Harvey said. “We’ve won a lot of things together, and this is a nice send-off.”

Aside from the many athletes that crossed the stage, two coaches also received honors. Lehi football coach Ed Larson was named the Male Coach of the Year in what is likewise the inaugural year of the award.

Larson guided the Pioneers to an undefeated season in 5A and a second straight state championship, the third of his tenure.

It was noted in his introduction that Larson took over the Lehi program when it was struggling to win games at all, and the team went 0-10 in his first season, just three seasons before it claimed its first title.

The Pioneers were thrilling to watch in 2022. They beat the likes of Corner Canyon and Lone Peak, the former of which they rallied from a 24-0 deficit to win, 25-24.

In the state championship game they endured three overtimes against Timpview to walk off with a 20-yard touchdown pass from senior Colorado State signee Jackson Brousseau to senior receiver Kolton Tanner.

Larson’s intention at the event was to stand in for Brousseau for his award as an Outstanding Player and be done with the event, not knowing what else was to come.

He and his wife decided to stick around, and they were glad they did.

“I was totally surprised,” Larson said. “I told my wife, ‘We’ll just stay for Jackson, then we’re out of here.’

“As these things go, the head coach gets the name on (the award), but I got the best staff in the state, and I can’t do it without the players. … I’ve been very fortunate to have a great administration and a great Lehi community supporting us. It would have been easy early on to say they hired the wrong guy.”

As the final award recipient of the evening, Lone Peak girls basketball coach Nancy Warner was named the Female Coach of the Year.

Lone Peak hit unprecedented heights as a team in Warner’s 10th year leading the program. The Knights went 23-3 en route to a repeat state championship, the third state title in school history.

Lone Peak’s only losses came against nationally ranked out-of-state opponents, and likewise, the Knights finished the season ranked themselves in the MaxPreps Top 20 at No. 17.

After winning the title, Lone Peak traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in the State Champions Invitational tournament.

There, Warner’s Knights played their way to the championship game as the No. 2 seed and lost by just four points to No. 1 Sidwell Friends, D.C.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Warner said. “It’s awesome to be recognized, but more important is the opportunity that I had to coach these amazing girls. Credit to my team and players to be able to do things they did this season and be recognized.”

For each sport, honorees were considered cumulatively, regardless of classification, and were decided on by a network of experienced coaches, media members and other experts in the field.

Former NFL and University of Utah quarterback Scott Mitchell provided the keynote address prior to the awards.

Don Stirling, executive director of the Larry H. Miller Family Foundation, revealed before the event that the company, which was the presenting sponsor of the awards, has made a five-year commitment to continue them.

“High school sports is really important in our state, and it’s part of the community throughout the state,” Stirling said.

“Anything that we can do to build communities, whether it’s through our own activities or through high school sports, it’s really important for us to do.”

Together, the Deseret News and the multiple sponsors of these awards look forward to seeing more record-breaking, history-making high schoolers cross the stage in the coming years.

2022-23 Deseret News High School Sports Awards Honorees:

BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY

Mr. Cross-Country — Daniel Simmons – American Fork.

Tayson Echohawk — Orem.

Trey Despain — Pine View.

GIRLS CROSS-COUNTRY

Ms. Cross-Country — Jane Hedengren – Timpview.

Andie Aagard — Lone Peak.

Avalon Mecham — American Fork.

FOOTBALL

Mr. Football — CB — Smith Snowden — Skyridge.

QB — Jackson Brousseau — Lehi.

RB — Amini Amone — East.

WR — Crew Erickson – Wasatch.

TE – Roger Saleapaga — Orem.

OL — Spencer Fano — Timpview.

OL — Isaiah Garcia — Cyprus.

DL — Tausili Akana — Skyridge.

DL — Hunter Clegg — American Fork.

LB — Siale Esera — Timpview.

LB — Owen Borg — Corner Canyon.

Safety — Kadiyon Sweat — Lehi.

VOLLEYBALL

Ms. Volleyball — OH — Jordyn Harvey — Bountiful.

Setter — Silina Damuni — Bountiful.

Opp — Mia Lee — Mountain View.

MB — Zoey Burgess — Lone Peak.

OH — Ireland McNees — Mountain Ridge.

Libero — Kambree Rodriguez — Syracuse.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Mr. Basketball — Quentin Meza — Cyprus.

Jaxson Roberts — Corner Canyon.

Brody Kozlowski — Corner Canyon.

Max Toombs — Corner Canyon.

Jaxon Johnson — Alta.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Ms. Basketball — Kailey Woolston — Lone Peak.

Emilee Skinner — Ridgeline.

Shawnee Nordstrom — Lone Peak.

Taylor Harvey — Bountiful.

Kendra Kitchen — Davis.

DRILL

Ms. Drill — Sophia Scout King — Bingham.

Libby Wells — Davis.

Lily Short — Farmington.

Emma Schipaanboord — Layton.

Sarah Pitt — Viewmont.

BOYS GOLF

Mr. Golf — Kihei Akina — Lone Peak.

Cooper Jones — Lone Peak.

Peter Kim — Skyline.

GIRLS GOLF

Ms. Golf — Ashley Lam — Skyline.

Aadyn Long — Lone Peak.

Arden Louchheim — Rowland Hall.

BOYS TENNIS

Mr. Tennis — Alex Fuchs — Corner Canyon.

Caden Hasler — American Fork.

Nate Tullis — Viewmont.

GIRLS TENNIS

Ms. Tennis — Anna Frey — Farmington.

Sage Bergeson — Woods Cross.

Bella Lewis — Skyridge.

BOYS SOCCER

Mr. Soccer — Forward — Tyler Klein — Orem.

Forward — Hauroa Morgant — Juan Diego.

Forward — Evan Beus — Lone Peak.

Midfielder — Naime Odeh — Fremont.

Midfielder — Lewis Mason — Lone Peak.

Midfielder — Jack Cook — Syracuse.

Midfielder — Carden Neff — Olympus.

Defender — Canon Downey — Wasatch.

Defender — Caleb Lowry — Alta.

Defender — Logan Sorensen — Skyline.

Goalkeeper — Kolby Sessions — Judge Memorial.

GIRLS SOCCER

Ms. Soccer — Midfielder — Nevaeh Peregrina — Ogden.

Forward — Emery Jacobs — Davis.

Forward — Lily Hall — Skyline.

Forward — Sadie Beardall — Bonneville.

Midfielder — Ellie Ford — Timpview.

Midfielder — Bella Devey — Lone Peak.

Midfielder — Lucy Kessler — American Fork.

Defender — Hope Munson — Olympus.

Defender — Kya Parke — Fremont.

Defender — Callie Blaylock — East.

Goalkeeper — Hayley Ogden — Lehi.

BOYS WRESTLING

Mr. Wrestling — Riggin Boger — South Summit.

Austin Richins — Uintah.

Cash Henderson — Woods Cross.

Kyison Garcia — Mountain Ridge.

Marcus Espinoza-Owens — Viewmont.

Kael Bennie — Layton.

GIRLS WRESTLING

Ms. Wrestling — Lizzie Raleigh — Westlake.

Keilikki Nau Rarick — Westlake.

Brooklyn Pace — Copper Hills.

Anya Hatch — Copper Hills.

Cheyenne Ruiz — Taylorsville.

Tilisa Matakaiongo — Canyon View.

BOYS LACROSSE

Mr. Lacrosse — Attack — Chase Beyer — Park City.

Attack — Blake Franckowiak — Corner Canyon.

Attack — Berkley Horoba — Alta.

Middle — Ethan Hartsfield — Olympus.

Middle — Jacob Osborn — Corner Canyon.

Middle — Gage Phippen — Olympus.

FOS — Jack McHenry — Park City.

Defender — Jack Baird — Corner Canyon.

Defender— Ed Card — American Fork.

Defender— Lincoln Hanks — Corner Canyon.

Goalie — Isaac Hanson — Brighton.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Ms. Lacrosse — Goalie — Ava Kimche — Park City.

Attack — Eva Thorn — Olympus.

Attack — Lily Hunt — Park City.

Attack — Olivia Prosper — Juan Diego.

Middle — Hazel Baker — Olympus.

Middle — Charlie Iacobelli — Park City.

Middle — Hanna Nelson — Olympus.

Middle — Madeline Potvin — Lone Peak.

Middle — Eliza Berg — Pleasant Grove.

Defender — Allison Reading — Corner Canyon.

Defender — Courtnie Wright — Brighton.

Defender — Emma Davis — Olympus.

BOYS SWIMMING

Mr. Swimming — Sean Honey — Timpview.

Will Jones — St. Joseph.

Sam Carlson — Davis.

Bryce Broadhead — Lehi.

Ian Conner — Olympus.

Drake Doyle — Brighton.

GIRLS SWIMMING

Ms. Swimming — Maddy Parker — Olympus.

Colleen MacWilliams — Skyline.

Jade Garstang — Skyline.

Veronica Black — Highland.

Haylee Tiffany — Lone Peak.

Hanna Sasiveravic — Brighton.

BASEBALL

Mr. Baseball — Tyler Ball — Skyridge.

Ryder Robinson — American Fork.

Crew McChesney — Lone Peak.

Brayden Marx — Pleasant Grove.

Petey Soto Jr. — Crimson Cliffs.

Maddax Peck — Bingham.

Naulivou Lauaki — Springville.

Billy G Bird — Timpanogos.

Cayson Bell — Dixie.

SOFTBALL

Ms. Softball — Avery Sapp — Spanish Fork.

Jolie Mayfield — Riverton.

Peyton Hall — Spanish Fork.

Shelbee Jones — Bingham.

Kate Dahle — Bear River.

Kiaira Smith – Herriman.

Eva Stoddard — Bountiful.

Anne Wallace — Ridgeline.

Elliott Plewe — Skyridge.

BOYS TRACK AND FIELD

Mr. Track — Amari Adams — Murray.

Tayson Echohawk — Orem.

Daniel Simmons — American Fork.

Liam Heninger — Mountain View.

Trevor Gough — Snow Canyon.

Easton Brotherson — Park City.

Bo Hickman — Snow Canyon.

Tyler Poole — Layton.

GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD

Ms. Track — Amare Harlan — Fremont.

Sarah Ballard — Lehi.

Elyse Jessen — Alta.

Jane Hedengren — Timpview.

Cami Cvitkovich — Weber.

Eden DeVries — Weber.

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