COMMENTARY – The sports year ends with the spring sports season, and like the other two seasons Region 9 went to work from the start.
Baseball, softball, soccer, boys and girls track, boys tennis, and girls golf finish out the year. Most of the sports had Region 9 teams ranked in the top five all season long.
In baseball, the Snow Canyon Warriors overcame tons of adversity to come back and win the 3A state championship. The Warriors were the state’s second ranked team the entire season, but fell from first in Region 9 to fifth after the school forgot to put a move in on the transfer list. The school board made the Warriors forfeit the four wins the transferred player participated in, dropping the Warriors out of the playoffs for the time being.
But the Warriors fought back, winning their last four games and getting in the state tournament as the fourth and final seed. The Warriors had to take on the defending state champion Juan Diego in the first round at Juan Diego High School. The Warriors won and advanced to the state semifinals to take on the state’s top team, defending 4A state champions Spanish Fork.
The Warriors beat Spanish Fork on the great pitching from junior Riley Gates. Gates is known as the best pitcher in the state. After beating Spanish Fork the Warriors met Juan Diego in the finals.
Juan Diego beat the Warriors the first game but could not do it twice in a row. The Warriors had to once again overcome adversity when Gates went down in game one and was not able to play in the winner-take-all game.
Warrior Austin Ovard won MVP of the state tournament.
On their way to the state title, the Warriors took out Region 9 foe, Canyon View, in the quarterfinals.
In softball, it was the Warriors making it all the way to the semifinals where they lost to the eventual champions, Bear River. Cedar made it to the quarterfinals before losing to the Warriors and then Wasatch to be eliminated.
Boys soccer had the same feel as the rest of the spring sports, a Region 9 team on top of the weekly rankings. The Dixie Flyers were unstoppable, running through the state tournament, only giving up two goals. The MVP of the state tournament was Dixie’s David Ignacio.
It was the Pine View Panthers who took home the boys track championship while the Desert Hills Thunder came in second.
On the girls side, the Cedar Redmen took third place in the overall track season.
The Thunder came out on top in the combined (boys and girls) scores with the Panthers in second.
One of the top performers at the state meet was Pine View’s Jake Arslanian, who won the 100-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, and took second in the 200-meter dash and the long jump.
The Panthers also won the boys’ medley relay.
The Canyon View Falcons boys won the 4-x-400 meter relay with the Redmen coming in second.
Tyler Ott, from Desert Hills, won the high jump while Adam Thompson, from Hurricane, won the long jump. Austin Micklson, from Pine View, won the shot put and took second in the discus. His teammate Jason Gunter took second in the shot put.
On the girls side, it was sophomore Abby Taylor who dominated. Taylor won the 100-meter dash and the long jump. Taylor also took second in the 200-meter dash.
The Cedar girls 4-x-100 relay team also took home first place.
In tennis, the two time defending state champions from Desert Hills came up just short, finishing in a tie for second with Region 9 rival Dixie. The Hurricane Tigers finished in fifth place.
Mason Ford won his third straight first doubles title. Ford had a new partner this year, Christian Davis. Ford and Davis beat Flyers’ Luke Heaton and Micah Alba in the finals.
The Thunder’s second doubles team also won state. Clay Hardy and Preston Parmenter beat Tigers’ Shayden Hinton and Karter Beardall in the finals.
Dixie’s Tevan Balian won the second singles state championship.
The Desert Hills Lady Thunder girls golf team won their third straight state golf championship. The Dixie Flyers’ Nicole Thomas won the individual championship with Katie Perkins from the Thunder just one point back in second place. Sarah Folks finished fourth for the Lady Thunder.
After seven state championships and even more runner-up, Region 9 put its name back on the map!
Region 9 had four teams finish in the top 10 for the All-Sports award, including the winner of the award –the Desert Hills Thunder!
Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com. And on facebook at www.facebook.com/kznusports
Copyright 2012 St. George News.