ST. GEORGE – It’s been a big week for Desert Hills sports and some of the student-athletes at DHHS. Four athletes at the local school earned scholarships and awards for their prowess in their various sports.
Rebekah Bean signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in gymnastics at the NCAA Division I level for the BYU Cougars. Bean, who competes and performs for Barefoot Gymnastics in St George, is a senior at Desert Hills. High school gymnastics is not a sanctioned UHSAA sport and hasn’t been since the late 1980s, so most gymnasts compete at the club level.
Bean is the first Division I signee from Barefoot Gymnastics and in fact, the first Division I gymnast from southern Utah in history.
Thunder football offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who has yet to decide where he is going to play college football, was honored as an Army All-American and invited to participate in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 18 in San Antonio, Tex., on Monday.
Sewell is being courted by almost every big-time Division I football program in the country, including No. 1-ranked Alabama. Penei’s older brothers, Gabriel and Nephi, play for the University of Nevada. The Desert Hills senior is also interested in instate schools BYU and Utah, among many others.
Tori Thomas, another Desert Hills senior, also signed to play collegiate sports. Thomas, who has helped lead the Lady Thunder golf team to three straight state titles and was the gold medalist in the state tournament last spring, inked her intentions to play for Southern Utah University on Friday.
Thomas, who verbally committed to SUU last spring, is a 4.0 student at DHHS and has been on the first team all-region and all-state golf teams all three years of her young career. She has been the JAG Player of the Year five times and credits the junior golf program in St. George as one of the keys to her success. Tori’s sister, Nicole Thomas, also played golf for the Thunderbirds.
Thunder volleyball star Allie Beck is also signing to play at the next level. Beck, the daughter of former Desert Hills baseball coach Jerry Beck and a state champion in tennis, will ink a Letter of Intent to play for Salt Lake Community College on Wednesday.
Beck, an outside hitter who led the Lady Thunder in kills this season, helped her team to a third-place finish this season at the 4A state tournament. DH beat Snow Canyon in the third place match, accumulating 18 kills during the five-set contest.
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