Eight San Juan County student athletes earn All-State honors

Eight high school student athletes representing San Juan County were named to All-State teams for the 2022 spring sports season that recently came to a close.

The Deseret News released its list of baseball and softball honorees over the course of the past couple weeks based exclusively on coaches’ votes from a list of nominated players from each team.

In addition, the San Juan Record is honoring three track and field athletes from the county who earned individual runner-up finishes at the state competition.

The Record is proud to present each of the local honorees along with photos and comments from their coaches.

2A Baseball First Team

Parker Snyder

San Juan Sophomore Catcher / Pitcher

.446 Batting Average, .595 On Base Percentage, 22 Runs Batted In, 17 Runs Scored

Head Coach Jens Nielson: “Parker is well-deserving of this All-State recognition. He was stellar behind the plate as a catcher and was also an excellent hitter. He is a student of the game and he loves everything about competing. Every time he comes to practice he has a goal in mind – to practice with a purpose, get better, and help his teammates get better.

“One thing about Parker is that he has passion for everything he does. He loves his teammates and is just as excited for their success as they are about their own. He is intelligent and picks up on the fundamentals and strategy of the game. Parker is going to get better and better over the next two years. I am excited to see what he will do.”

2A Baseball Second Team

Jace Palmer

San Juan Senior Center Fielder / Pitcher

.347 Batting Average, 19 Runs Batted In, .977 Fielding Percentage, 43 Strikeouts (Pitching)

Head Coach Jens Nielson: “Jace is a natural-born leader. Whether he intends to lead or not doesn’t matter. People follow anyway. Luckily, Jace led in positive ways. He works hard, he is coachable, he loves to compete, and he loves to win. He carried our team on the mound and in the outfield this season. He will be greatly missed going into next season. His leadership will be hard to match.”

2A Baseball Second Team

Garrett Young

San Juan Junior Shortstop

.450 Batting Average, 36 Hits, 7 Doubles, 23 Runs Batted In, 36 Runs Scored, 33 Stolen Bases

Head Coach Jens Nielson: “Garrett has a deep passion for baseball and it shows. He devotes more time to baseball than any other sport. His dedication to getting better in the offseason paid off in a big way this season. Garrett led by his play, he was an excellent hitter, and he worked extremely hard to improve his defensive skills. He led our team in most hits and most stolen bases. Garrett is also a great leader to our younger players. He demonstrated his leadership qualities many times by picking up a player who was down or letting them know that he had their back. Garrett will make some noise next year and I’m expecting him to have an excellent senior season.”

2A Baseball Honorable Mention

Collin Baker

San Juan Junior Outfielder / Pitcher

.395 Batting Average, .471 On Base Percentage, 30 Hits, 8 Doubles, 3 Triples, 25 Runs Batted In

Head Coach Jens Nielson: “Collin steadily performed and got better as the season went along. The first half of the season he was not meeting his own expectations with his performance and it was frustrating to him. Instead of giving up, he made a decision to work hard and make adjustments. By the end of the season he had the second-most hits on our team led the team with the most extra-base hits. He has a great fight in him, he wants to win, and he will be a great leader going into next season. Look for Collin to be a force at the plate, in the field, and on the mound.”

2A Baseball Honorable Mention

Easton Young

Monticello Junior Catcher / Pitcher

.600 Batting Average, .649 On Base Percentage, 13 Doubles, 10 Runs Batted In, 20 Stolen Bases

Head Coach Josh Keyes: “Easton Young is a dynamic athlete who challenged his opponent every time he stepped onto the field with his great arm, elite speed, and above-average power at the plate. He led the 2A ranks with a .600 batting average on the season with 13 doubles, ten RBIs, and an astounding 20 stolen bases.

“Easton is exciting to watch. He is competitive and driven. He led our team from behind the plate all year as our catcher and was at the top in every offensive statistical category possible. He also did a great job on the hill. Easton batted leadoff for the Buckaroos all season, providing a spark at the beginning of each game.

“He is an absolute terror on the base paths. He is nearly impossible to throw out stealing. I would watch him take massive leads that would make any base coach sweat, and yet he would find his way around the diamond. Easton’s ability to put pressure on a defense is really what makes him an elite player. Easton will be a senior entering the 2022-23 season and will anchor the Buckaroos in three sports: football, basketball, and baseball.”

2A Softball First Team

Trinity Whatcott

San Juan Sophomore Pitcher / Shortstop

.514 Batting Average, .609 On Base Percentage, 30 Runs Batted In, 14 Doubles, 183 Strikeouts

Head Coach Mike Bowers: “Trinity had a special year and [this All-State honor] is well-deserved. She works hard in the off season and has played summer ball. Trinity helped us so much this year because without her success in pitching it would have been a very long year. She is so coachable and an amazing team player. She does what is asked of her and leads with hard work and dedication. I can't wait to see what her future brings.”

2A Softball Second Team

Bailey Brown

San Juan Senior Shortstop

.368 Batting Average, .519 On Base Percentage, 31 Runs Scored, 16 Runs Batted In, 2 Home Runs

Head Coach Mike Bowers: “Bailey was a three-year outfielder and started the season as our centerfielder. We had many struggles fielding the ball in the infield so we asked her to move to the infield. She took the challenge and played an exceptional shortstop. She also hit the ball well and did what it took to get on base regularly. She stole several bases and was aggressive on the base paths. Bailey is selfless, which was very valuable to our team. She led with great hustle and attitude throughout the season and was an absolute pleasure to coach.”

2A Softball Honorable Mention

Halli Palmer

San Juan Senior First Baseman / Catcher

.256 Batting Average, .434 On Base Percentage, 14 Hits, 3 Doubles, 149 Putouts

Head Coach Mike Bowers: “Halli made one of the hardest decisions a player has to make this season. She loves playing first base and worked hard all offseason to improve her craft at that position. Our catcher suffered a season-ending injury and left us in a tough position. We had some other younger players who could play the position but it would have been a slower process getting them game ready.

“We asked Halli if she would be willing to give up her dream position and move to the catching position. Her sacrifice was huge because she most certainly would have had a better chance at receiving higher placement on the All-State roster had she stayed at first base. In my mind Honorable Mention All-State based upon having to learn and sacrifice at the most physical and trying position on the field is an amazing accomplishment. Halli will always be special to me because of her sacrifice, grit, and desire to make her team better.”

Track and Field Javelin Runner-up

Magnum Nielson

San Juan Junior

Head Coach Samantha Pemberton: “Magnum Nielson was a vital part of our team this year. He scored points for us in every event he participated in: the javelin, long jump, 100 meter, and 4x1. He is amazingly athletic in any event he tries and works hard to do his best.

“Magnum’s strongest event is the javelin. Last year he ended up eighth at state but was struggling with shoulder pain that day. He later found out that he needed to get surgery on his shoulder and he got it done between the football and track seasons. So he started the season recovering his shoulder. We had to start him out pretty slow and work on a lot of technique. He worked hard and at the end of the season ended up taking second at state. We are excited to keep working with him and hopefully get him a state championship throw next year.”

Track and Field 3200, 1600, and 800 Runner-up

Lily Long

Monticello Senior

Head Coach Jeff Hunt: “Lily has been the model of consistency for us every year. She wins medals and a lot of them. She has been First- or Second-Team All-State every year in cross country and in track she has brought home three or four medals every year since she was a freshman. Lily has been a quiet leader every year as well, as she has been the example of pushing herself and in turn pushing others.

“This year Lily was so busy and developed a case of asthma from all of the wind this spring. But she still showed up to practice every day and pushed everyone around her to do better. Nobody wanted to take a break because she didn’t. She was a drama medalist, a lead in the play, in the band and choir, a Hope Squad leader, a Sterling Scholar runner-up, and the Salutatorian and still found time to keep her grades up, work, and be a friend to almost everyone.”

Track and Field High Jump Runner-up

Berlynn Black

Monticello Junior

Head Coach Jeff Hunt: “Berlynn is just good at everything on the track. She can run, hurdle, and most importantly she can jump. Every meet was like, ‘Well Berlynn, what are we doing today?’ and she would go out and do it well. Her best quality is that she was determined. She would drive herself to other schools so she could talk to other coaches and learn to improve her technique. She was the first one to practice every day and was among the last to leave. She would even get frustrated with us if the weather caused us to cancel practice. She was also the epitome of ‘if you are having fun, you are doing well.’ It didn't matter the weather or the wind; she just looked like she was having fun as she just missed the state championship by a strand of her ponytail.”

San Juan Record

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