LAYTON -- Layton Lancers' standout Jaden Trujillo didn't consider himself much of a baseball player in his early years. In fact, had it not been for a change of teams, he would never have known his true potential.
"I was playing for a comp team and the team I played on was a team of all-stars," Trujillo recalls. "I batted ninth and I was probably the worst player on the team at that time, but I ended up changing teams and the team I moved to put me in the fourth spot in the lineup and I played or pitched every day after that."
That didn't just happen to be the only decision that changed his outlook and perspective on baseball. Trujillo lives near the boundaries of Davis High School and had a chance to attend there. But he ultimately decided to attend Layton High School, a move he has never regretted.
"I chose to go to Layton because I thought I had a chance to play a couple of sports and the opportunities were better for me to play," Trujillo said. "I started playing my freshman year a little and by the time I was a sophomore, a few of us seniors from this year were cracking the starting lineup."
There was never really one outspoken leader for the Lancers this season, although coach Robert Ferneau might be the first to tell you that it was Trujillo.
"He was my guy," Ferneau said. "He played multiple positions for us and did whatever we asked of him. Like it or not, his presence and attitude were the way that he led this team to the state title game. Jaden was one of the best players that I have ever coached because of his willingness to win games and do whatever it took to get those wins."
That type of attitude came from his youth coaches. If you did whatever was asked, you helped the team win. Trujillo has played every sport that way and with that type of attitude, the area coaches have spoken and made Trujillo the 2013 Standard-Examiner All-Area Baseball MVP.
"It's a big honor to be the MVP," Trujillo said. "A lot of it had to do with what my teammates and I accomplished this year, but it's nice to know that other coaches recognized me as well. It was a great ride this season with us reaching our goals and playing in the state tournament.
"When we started last summer between our junior and senior seasons, the seniors knew that we had a chance to be special. We knew that based upon our summer league and the teams that we played that we could win the region, make the state tournament and even win some games."
Trujillo and Co. set out to do just that as their preseason and the summer got the ready for what was to come. Game after game, the Lancers were edging closer to their goals. In the final game of Region 1 play, the first goal was fulfilled when they defeated Fremont to share the league title with Syracuse.
The first state 5-a playoff game came against their former region rivals from Viewmont. Trujillo remembers how the entire postseason unfolded.
"I knew that when we played Viewmont, it would be a good game," Trujillo said. "The game was close, but to see the look on our players faces, I knew we were going to win. We had prepped to win and thought for sure we would play Jordan, but it turns out that we ended up playing at home against Pleasant Grove.
"We knew that we could play with any of the teams from the South and it showed during the game. It was great to see their (Pleasant Grove) faces especially after we won the game. We ended up getting to the "Big Time" at UVU and our matchup in the semifinals against Riverton was actually bad. I think we were intimidated and we couldn't hit the ball and (Caleb) Harrop ended up giving up a few runs and we thought that we needed to come back with an answer."
The next day was highlighted by the performance of Parker Kincade. Trujillo was off of his game and gave up two early runs and as pulled by Ferneau and put out there to play defense and try to spark the offense. However, it was Kincade that saved the day with his lights-out pitching and his three home run day, including the game-winning home run that pushed the Lancers past American Fork.
"I was so excited that I was jumping up and down and I saw that we had a chance to do something special and we wound up winning the next few games and showing everyone that the North teams could play with anyone. We kept it close in the championship game, but being the first team from the North to play in a championship game in the 5-A division is a great accomplishment for any team."
While the memories are something that he will take with him throughout the rest of his life, Trujillo is two weeks away from serving an LDS mission to Spanish speaking Boston, Mass. After his mission, he will return to academic scholarships at UVU and try to walk on and play baseball.
"The year and the season and the playoffs were awesome and I'm glad that I was able to go through that with guys like Logan Greenhalgh, Moises (Perea), Parker Kincade and Dexter Paiz. That is something that I will always remember."