Brevin Egbert, Sky View (Sr.)
For the first time in nearly a decade, there wasn’t a 2,000-yard high school football rusher in Utah a year ago. Sky View senior Brevin Egbert is hoping to change that narrative.
In the first two weeks of the season Egbert eclipsed the 200-yard mark in both games, including a 214-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 56-35 Week 2 win over Wasatch.
“Brevin Egbert is one of the best teammates I’ve ever coached. He treats everyone with respect and is a great person on and off the field. He works extremely hard in the weight room and on the practice field and gives the credit to everyone else. He is a tremendous student and our student body president this year. He is truly a pleasure to work with,” said Sky View coach Chris Howell.
In Week 1, Egbert went off for 222 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-20 win over Salem Hills.
As a junior last year he rushed for 883 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he’s well on his way to at least doubling that production.
Ashlyn Houston, Kanab (Sr.)
Kanab was 2A runner-up a year ago, and led by Ashlyn Houston, one of four senior returning starters, Kanab is hoping to get over that hump in 2023.
The Cowboys are off to a 2-0 start this season with wins over Valley and North Sevier, with Houston leading the charge.
“She is such a well-rounded and consistent player, she can play any position well. Her teammates have a lot of trust in her and her game. They say she is very smart and intentional with her ball placement whether it be serving, passing, setting or hitting the ball,” said Kanab coach Kamie Lee.
“She stays cool and collected in high stress situations and brings all she can to help her team find a way to win. She leads by example and is a great teammate on and off the court. She doesn’t get caught up in who gets credit. The coaches really appreciate this and the way she shows up every game to compete.”
A year ago Houston helped lead Kanab to the runner-up finish as she recorded 65 aces and 463 points.
Brenna Arauzo, Copper Hills (Sr.)
Copper Hills is one of six undefeated teams remaining three weeks into the high school soccer season, and the standout play of Brenna Arauzo has been a huge reason why. The three-year start has scored eight goals in dished out seven assists for the 6-0 Grizzlies.
“Brenna is a coach’s dream. I never have to coach her effort. She is always focused, playing hard and finding ways to have a positive impact on the game. Her vision and unselfish play have helped her create scoring opportunities for her teammates, but she also has the ability to finish in tight spaces and leads our team in goals scored. The greatest compliment I can pay Brenna is that she never stops fighting. She is just relentless,” said Grizzlies head coach Justin Hendrix.
Last week, in a 5-3 win over Corner Canyon she recorded two goals and two assists, and then two days later in a 3-0 win over Bingham she notched a pair of assists again.
William Steadman, Herriman (Sr.)
Herriman senior William Steadman had modest success as a junior last year, but he’s got much loftier goals for himself in 2023 and he’s already off to a great start.
Steadman won the 6A race at the Premier Invitational at Cottonwood Complex in the first race of the season back on Aug. 12 as he won with a time of 14:57.60. The time was 18 seconds faster than the runner-up finisher.
“William is an extremely hard worker with national level goals. He is a team captain and plans to lead the Herriman cross-country team to a successful season,” said Herriman coach Doug Soles.
A year ago Steadman finished in 66th place at the 6A state cross-country meet.
Katie Hansen, Woods Cross (Jr.)
Katie Hansen has made huge strides each of her first two high school seasons, and her coach fully expects a similar jump from the junior in 2023.
“Katie is a delight to coach. She is a hard worker and a very talented runner, but she is also an amazing person. She is a great friend and leader to everyone and is very supportive of all of her teammates. She has improved every cross-country or track season since her ninth grade year, and we are excited to see her potential this year,” said Woods Cross coach Sam Wood.
A 10th-place finisher at the 5A state cross-country meet a year ago, Hansen enjoyed a strong start back on Aug. 12 as she won the 5A race at the Premier Invitational at Cottonwood Complex.
More wins should surely follow as the season progresses.
Audrey Selfridge, Judge Memorial (Sr.)
Senior Audrey Selfridge is making the jump from doubles to singles this season, and the two-year captain has skipped a beat with the transition.
The second singles player opened the season with a three-set win over Rowland Hall and then went 5-0 at the Carbon Invitational.
“Audrey is a fearless player that will never give up and will always find a way to win. She is very good at determining the strengths and weaknesses of her opponents and while she may not have the strongest strokes, is very savvy at exploiting weak spots. We love having her as a captain again this season. She is a natural leader of our team,” said Judge coach Tracey Valentine.
A year ago Selfridge reached the 3A quarterfinals at first doubles, but a year later she has loftier goals set for herself at singles.
Jared McCleary, Hunter (Jr.)
Hunter junior Jared McCleary was the only Hunter player to make the cut at last year’s 6A state golf tournament, and the expectations are just as high for McCleary as he heads into a new season and competing in 5A.
In two matches so far this season he shot a 72 at The Ridge Golf Course and then a 72 and the Copper Club Golf Course.
“Jared is great young man. He works hard at his game and is very talented. The most impressive thing about Jared is his willingness to help his teammates. He is always taking time from his own practice to help others on the team get better,” said Hunter coach Patrick Newbold.
Mccleary, who currently sits atop the Region 4 individual standings this year, placed tied for 46th at last year’s state meet with an 11-over, 155 at TalonsCove Golf Course.
Erik Knecht, Maeser Prep (Jr.)
Just a few games into the season, junior Erik Knecht is already showing great discipline in the batter’s box for the Lions.
The first baseman owns a .500 batting average with a slugging percentage of .800 and an OPS of 1.345.
“Erik has started the season out hitting for power very well. He went 3 for 4 and had three doubles against American Heritage last week. He has good footwork at first base and scoops balls well and with his 6-foot-4 height, he is able to record a lot of outs for us,” said Maeser Prep coach Erik Gulbrandsen.
“He always has a joke to tell and keeps everyone lighthearted. He is a good student and will certainly be upset that I didn’t list his height as 195 cm.”