As the college football season winds down, the most successful squads are loading up on the hardware.
Snow College defensive end Jake Miller, a former Bear River High product, was among six players from the third-ranked Badgers team named recently to the All-America teams announced by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Three Badgers were named to the first team, one to the second team and two named honorable mention.
"We are thrilled for the six men who garnered All-America recognition," said coach Tyler Hughes. "They have represented our program well and have had incredible seasons. We have been fortunate to have each and every one of them here."
Four of the six are Utah prep products.
Miller (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) recorded 39 tackles this season from his defensive end position. As a team, Snow led the nation this season with 68 sacks. Miller had 13 sacks individually, second most nationally. He was in on 19 tackles for loss and recorded two safeties for the Badgers who led the nation as a team with eight safeties.
"I love to coach guys like Jake," Hughes said. "He's a blue-collar guy. He's a great student in the classroom and he would do anything for the team. Plus, he was very productive and had an outstanding season."
First teamers include Breon Allen (running back, Daytona Beach, Fla.), Justin Manu (offensive line, Highland Hight) and Ofa Hautau (defensive line, East High). Named to the second team was Chris Van Orden (punter, East High). Honorable mention nods went to Damond Powell (wide receiver, Toledo, Ohio) and Miller.
Snow College finished ranked at No. 3 in the final NJCAA national poll with a record of 11-1, and was the undefeated champion of the Western States Football League at 8-0.
Miller was named defensive MVP in the Badgers' commanding 47-21 win over ASA College of Brooklyn, N.Y., in the inaugural Carrier Dome Bowl played in Syracuse, N.Y., on Dec. 1.
Lone Peak High's McKenzie Willey has been named the 2012-13 Gatorade Utah Volleyball Player of the Year.
Willey, a 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter, led the Knights to the state 5-A championship. She recorded 303 kills, 224 digs, 38 blocks and 30 service aces for Lone Peak (24-6). She was an Under Armor All-American and is a member of the U.S. Women's Junior National Team/
With a 3.98 GPA, Willey is also a peer tutor and volunteers for Special Olympics and the American Cancer Society.
Willey, who has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Arizona State, is now a candidate for the 2012-13 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.
Region 11 play tips
Region 11 girls basketball jumped into league play last week; on Wednesday it's the boys turn.
Morgan (6-2) and Bear River (5-3) have shown impressive offenses and are the top two teams in preseason, with Ogden (2-4) and Ben Lomond (3-5) in the mix with Grantsville and Stansbury for the next tier.
The Tigers and Scots, as well as the Trojans and Bears for that matter, played demanding preseason games with the goal to get toughened up for region play.
Well, here it is.
A high school basketball player from Idaho heaved a three-quarter-court, last-second shot last week to help her team beat a rival at the buzzer.
Senior Jennifer Walter of Cascade High School took an inbounds pass at her own team's foul line, wound up and threw the ball toward the basket -- and made a perfect swish.
Last Friday's game at Garden Valley, Idaho, between Cascade and Garden Valley High School had been tied at 41, with less than three seconds on the game clock.
Walter's 3-point shot gave Cascade the 44-41 win and boosted its record to 3-1.
"I do remember staring at the basket and just throwing it as hard as I could," Walter told the AP Tuesday. "It wasn't our best game, and I was having a little frustration. A little frustration came out when I threw it, so there was a little more power."
A video shown on KTVB-TV in Boise shows how Walter's team, nicknamed the Ramblers, had the ball deep in its own half of the court after Garden Valley had thrown the ball away on a fast break.
There were 2.4 seconds to play. The ball traveled an estimated 70 feet in the air.
Could she duplicate her feat?
"I don't know," she concedes. "It was a lucky shot.
Lone Peak High was ranked No. 1 in the nation among prep boys basketball teams by MaxPreps. The 7-0 Knights will play in a prestigious national tournament this weekend in Florida.
It is the first time a Utah hoops team has achieved a national top ranking.
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