Dixie State has been making plenty of news lately as it evolves into a four-year university. The Dixie men’s soccer team is making news of its own.
Recently, Red Storm coach Danny Ortiz announced eight signings for his 2013 recruiting class, including four Top of Utah high school seniors.
The group includes three standouts from Weber High: midfielders Jaden Bybee and Brandon McKinnon and defender Taylor Kunz; along with Northridge High forward Christian Hall.
The others are Dixie defender Mitch Wilkinson, and midfielders Austin Azevedo (Mountain View, Idaho), Michael Gray (Sunset, Ore.), and defender Ryan Gibb (Grand Junction, Colo).
Dixie State is currently the only four-year school to offer men’s soccer as an intercollegiate sport.
“I am very excited to add this group of young men to our program,” Ortiz said. “They are all not only very good players, but they are also outstanding people off the field as well.”
“Christian is a 6-foot-4 forward with a tremendous work ethic. He is a big, strong forward with the ability to hold the ball and create his own shot. He will be a big help on the offensive end,” Ortiz said of Hall.
“Jaden is very good defensive player who can play on either side of the back line. He is also a very creative player offensively and is dangerous going forward from the back,” Ortiz said of Bybee.
“Taylor is a very tough, speedy player who can play at a high level for 90 minutes. He is one of those guys you hate to play against, but you love having on your team,” Ortiz said of Kunz.
“Bradon is a very skilled player with great playmaking abilities. He has good vision and makes great decisions on and off the ball. He will help make the team more dangerous on the attacking end of the field,” Ortiz said of McKinnon.
Three St. Joseph High seniors also signed letters of intent for men’s soccer at three NCAA Division II schools, while Roy High’s Trase Stapley signed to play at the Air Force Academy.
Adam Brostein, Mitch Koehler and Jordan Jones signed on national letter of intent day. Koehler will play at Regis University in Colorado. Brodstein play at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, while Jones will play at South Dakota School of Mines.
St. Joseph High girls basketball coach Joe Cravens offered his perspective on the Jayhawks’ performance to repeat as state 1-A champions last weekend:
“For all the years I’ve coached D-I men, I never thought I’d say it about 1-A girls, but they are a pretty tough group and they have a lot of resolve. ...
“This team won 28 straight and I don’t think anyone realizes it. It is rewarding. This year is the most fun I’ve ever had in coaching; to see the team get better and develop the mentality they’ve had,” the former Weber State coach said.
“I woke up in middle of the night before the championship game and thought soccer and volleyball both got to the state championship and didn’t win. My top six players had all been in a championship game this year and not won. I told them to think about that one play you didn’t make and that you have a chance to make it tonght. I think it kind of rang true with some of them.”
St. Joseph has two seniors on this year’s team.
Utah Valley University sophomore heavyweight Adam Fager, a former Layton High standout, was recently named the Western Wrestling Conference wrestler of the week after his performance on the mat.
Fager picked up two wins for UVU last week in the Dakotas. With the wins, Fager is now 17-9 on the season.
Simply Simplot winners
Utah runners who posted wins at last week’s Simplot Games at Pocatello, Idaho, included Ogden’s Sarah Feeny in the 1,600 meters (4:56.26) ; Davis’ Shea Martinez in the 800 meters (2:09.14); Orem’s Summer Harper in the 3,200 meters (11:03.21); and Park City’s Ben Saarel in the boys 3,200 meters (9:00.62), as well as several relay teams.
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