ST. GEORGE – Defending 3A state champion Dixie is projected to win the region once again as coaches, players and members of the media gathered at the St. George News studios for the 2016-17 Region 9 Media Day.
Dixie, which went 23-4 and won the state title last February, received four of 10 first-place votes and edged Pine View in the voting, which included the region’s coaches and media members that cover the local teams.
“I’ve always felt like it was the defending champions’ title until someone takes it away,” ESPN SportsRadio’s Devin Dixon said. “Dixie has the experience and they also have one of the top players in the state.”
That player, Flyers center Richard Guymon, was also picked by the coaches and media to be the preseason MVP. Guymon, a 6-foot-7 senior center, averaged nine points, six rebounds and three blocked shots a game last season. He scored 15 points in the Flyers’ 65-57 state championship game win over Juan Diego.
“It was an incredible feeling last year,” Guymon said. “Even though we lost a lot (of seniors), these guys sitting with me were a big part of that success, too.”
Dixie earned 46 points in the poll, which awarded six points for a first place vote, five for second, four for third, three for fourth, two for fifth and one for sixth. The Flyers had four first-place votes, two seconds, two thirds, one fourth and one sixth.
Pine View, which sees the return of its own big guy in starting center Trey Farrer, came in second in the balloting. The Panthers received 44 points, with three first-place votes.
Not far behind were Desert Hills and Cedar. The Thunder, which tied Pine View for second last season, had 42 points, but received no first-place votes. The Redmen, who return all five starters off of last year’s fifth-place team, had 39 points and received three first-place votes. Hurricane was voted fifth and Snow Canyon sixth.
Cedar’s Keenan Nielson and Desert Hills’ Logan Hokanson joined Guymon as all-region selections on all 10 ballots. Nielson averaged 17 points and three assists last season for CHS. Hokanson averaged 14 points and four assists for the Thunder.
Pine View’s Farrer and Hurricane’s Josh Parker round out the preseason all-Region 9 first team. Farrer averaged eight points and four rebounds last year for PVHS. Parker put up 10 points and three rebounds a game last season for the Tigers. All five first-team selections are seniors.
The preseason all-Region 9 second team, which honors players that received at least two votes, includes Hurricane’s Jackson Last, Pine View’s Dylan Hendrickson, Dixie’s Kaden Elzy, DH’s Tanner Turley and Cedar’s Mason Fakahua.
The preseason all-Region 9 honorable mentions (players that received at least one vote) are Braden Baker of Snow Canyon, Kameron Webster of Snow Canyon, Parker Haynie of Cedar, Kade Moore of Pine View and Ty Curtis of Dixie.
Though a couple of teams have already played a game, the preseason hits its stride this weekend when five of the six Region 9 teams (Cedar, Dixie, Hurricane, Pine View and Desert Hills) participate in the 3A Preview tournament in Richfield. Snow Canyon also has a tournament as the Warriors play three games at the Bear River Winter Classic in Garland.
With only six teams in the current region configuration, Region 9 play does not begin until Jan. 11.
Preseason Region 9 Poll (projection, 1st place votes, points)
1. Dixie (4) 46
2. Pine View (3) 44
3. Desert Hills 42
4. Cedar (3) 39
5. Hurricane 24
6. Snow Canyon 13
Preseason All-Region 9 team
MVP – Richard Guymon, Dixie
Richard Guymon, Dixie
Keenan Nielson, Cedar
Logan Hokanson, Desert Hills
Trey Farrer, Pine View
Josh Parker, Hurricane
Dylan Hendrickson, Pine View
Tanner Turley, Desert Hills
Jackson Last, Hurricane
Kaden Elzy, Dixie
Mason Fakahua, Cedar
Braden Baker, Snow Canyon
Kameron Webster, Snow Canyon
Parker Haynie, Cedar
Kade Moore, Pine View
Ty Curtis, Dixie
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