COMMENTARY – More than 25 years ago, I had a couple of scholarship opportunities that I passed on, choosing instead to get a job and then serve an LDS mission.
Even now, in my mid-40s, I occasionally think about what might have been. I was young and immature and had no concept how big the offers were that were laid out in front of me. And though I have no illusions that I would have made it as a professional athlete or a professional musician, I can’t help but wonder what might have been.
In the late 1980s, I did get a partial scholarship (in journalism) and through that, some grants and a couple of student loans, I eventually graduated from Utah State University. By then I had a wife (Shelly) and a son (AJ) and all the bills that come with being a family man. My road was not the easiest one. I wouldn’t trade it now, but the incredible opportunities available to some of our local young people are out there and the smart ones are taking advantage.
No less than 34 Region 9 athletes have accepted full or partial scholarships to play athletics at colleges and universities throughout the country. And while some will serve missions before they ever start playing for their education, it is heartening to me that college recruiters and coaches are starting to recognize that southern Utah does, in fact, have some great athletes who have been developed by some dedicated coaches.
Below, I have listed the athletes and their future schools. It is probably not a complete list and if any readers know of other local athletes who have earned scholarships, please let me know and I will add them to the list.
Congratulations to these hard-working young people. The combination of school work, sports practices and church and family demands mean these were very busy kids.
Region 9 college signees by sport:
Josh Anderson, Desert Hills, signed by SUU
Ty Rutledge, Desert Hills, signed by SUU
Blake Barney, Dixie, signed by Weber State
Cody Boyer, Pine View, signed by Utah State
Wesley Kauvaka, Pine View, signed by SUU
Wes Moeai, Pine View, signed by SUU
Logan Stott, Pine View, signed by Utah
Austin Best, Snow Canyon, signed by Dixie State
Andrew Miller, Diamond Ranch Academy*, signed by Dixie State
Lindsay Jones, Desert Hills, signed by Dixie State
Hannah Harrah, Dixie, signed by Dixie State
Melissa Judd, Pine View, signed by USU Eastern
Maddie Jackus, Cedar, signed by Washington, Md.
Tara Shipp, Cedar, signed by Utah
Erica Hansen, Desert Hills, signed by Iowa Lakes CC
Caroline Lantor, Dixie, signed by Dixie State
Liz Thompson, Dixie, signed by St. Mary’s, Neb.
KC Gubler, Hurricane, signed by Western Wyoming CC
Amy Harris, Snow Canyon, signed by BYU
Hunter Low, Cedar, signed by SLCC
Easton Weaver, Cedar, signed by USU Eastern
Riley Gates, Snow Canyon, signed by BYU
Brogan Secrist, Snow Canyon, signed by Western Nevada CC
Savanah Eckhardt, Canyon View, signed by Black Hills State, S.D.
Kirsten Anderson, Pine View, signed by SLCC
Brytni Gurney, Snow Canyon, signed by Southern Idaho
Autumn Shipp, Snow Canyon, signed by Utah
Tristan Cowles, Dixie, signed by Iowa Western CC
Mitch Wilkinson, Dixie, signed by Dixie State
Brigham Whitney, Desert Hills, signed by UVU
Brad Wulfenstein, Desert Hills, signed by BYU
Michael Finch, Pine View, signed by SUU
Austin Smith, Pine View, signed by UVU
Rachel Stone, Pine View, signed by SUU
Tommy Ingalls, Snow Canyon, signed by Nova Southeastern, Fla.
* Diamond Ranch, while not in Region 9, is located in Hurricane.
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