Local student athletes earn Academic All-State honors for fall sports

Ten high school student athletes representing San Juan County recently earned Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) Academic All-State honors for the 2023 fall sports season.
From San Juan High School, Anthony Done, Brigham Nielson, Parker Snyder, and Taeg Palmer were named to the Academic All-State football team; Tatum Begay and Tobias Ward were honored in boys cross country; and Cooper Yoakam received boys golf honors.
Curtis Bunker and Jesse Pettit were named to the Academic All-State boys cross country team for Monticello High School and Shayla Pehrson was honored in volleyball.
The San Juan Record presented cross country and golf profiles in the November 22 issue. This week the SJR is proud to present the San Juan Football profiles featuring a photo and comments from their respective coaches.
To qualify for Academic All-State nominations, student athletes are required to be seniors with a 4.0 cumulative, non-weighted grade point average (or meet an index score – viewable at uhsaa.org) and be a contributing member of a varsity team.
Congratulations to these excellent student athletes for their hard work and dedication in both scholastic and athletic pursuits.
The UHSAA has presented the Academic All-State Award for 40 years to recognize students who excel in the classroom as well as in athletic competition. Individuals are selected for the award on the basis of their athletic ability and academic proficiency.
With over 100,000 students participating in high school activities, the Academic All-State Award is the most prestigious honor the UHSAA presents to seniors.

Head Coach Barkley Christensen: “Anthony is one of the brightest, hardworking, and respectful kids I have ever coached. Not only is he a very good athlete, he is an amazing student and all-around person. Anthony has been an amazing two-year starter for us these last two seasons on the field. Anthony’s true character showed up week four when he injured his MCL. He battled and came back for us during our quarterfinal game and helped lead us back to another state championship.
Anthony Done
“Anthony was a great teammate during those weeks he was injured. He was always encouraging his teammates and was their biggest supporter. Anthony is a great student and shows nothing but respect to his teachers. He works hard and has earned a 4.0 GPA during his four years at SJH. Anthony brings that hard-working attitude everywhere he goes and is a huge part of the winning culture at San Juan High. We will miss Anthony greatly next season on and off the field. Congratulations Anthony on earning Academic All-State!”

Brigham Nielson
Head Coach Barkley Christensen: “Brigham is one of the most well-rounded individuals I have ever coached. He plays three sports at an extremely high level. He is an amazing student, he has a funny personality, and he is one of the most kind and genuine people I have ever met.
Brigham stepped up for us this year and was a great wide receiver and free safety. He led the 2A in interceptions. Off the field, Brigham boasts an impressive 3.98 GPA and is a great student. The future is very bright for Brigham in whatever career he wants to pursue. Great job earning Academic All-State, Brig!”

Parker Snyder
Head Coach Barkley Christensen: “It’s no secret that Parker is one of the best ever quarterbacks and players to ever play at San Juan High School (in my opinion maybe even state history). But what most people don’t know is how he is off the field and in the classroom. Parker brings the same work ethic he has to prepare for football games with him in every aspect of his life. He has a 4.0 GPA and is a great student in our school. He also has a unique ability to make friends with everyone at the school.
“Parker is a true leader on the field and in the halls. I have witnessed him change lives at our school by befriending almost everyone he comes in contact with and leading them by example in showing them how to be a great student. It’s no secret that we will miss Parker’s leadership on the football field. What most don’t know is how much we will miss him leading all of our school every day in the halls and the classrooms. Great job earning Academic All-State, Parker! You have had a great career!”

Taeg Palmer
Head Coach Barkley Christensen: “Taeg has battled a lot of adversity through the years with injuries but he is a kid I have rarely heard complain. Taeg is wise beyond his years in every aspect of life. His ability to face problems head on has made him one of the best athletes, students, and just all-around people I have seen. Taeg is a great example to me in my life on how to be tough and resilient when faced with challenges. Taeg finally got to play in a state game after missing the previous two seasons with knee injuries.
“Taeg played a massive role in our championship run this season and we were all so glad he was able to finish the year out. Despite having to miss so much school for surgeries Taeg still has an impressive 3.98 GPA. He is a huge contributor to our school by being kind to everyone he meets. I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about Taeg. I have heard him described as someone who is respectful, kind, bright, hardworking, resilient, talented, tough, and the list could go on and on. It didn’t surprise me one bit to hear he was selected for Academic All-State. Congrats, Taeg!”

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