2021 Boys Awards Announced

Issue 69 - All-American, Academic All-American, Bob Scott, Blake Strebel & Coach of the Year

Good afternoon lacrosse fans! The 2021 All-American, Academic All-American, Bob Scott & Blake Strebel and Coach of the Year awards were announced yesterday. I’ll publish the girls awards as soon as they are final and the coaches/players have been notified.

As always, this newsletter is brought to you by Vessel Kitchen.

All-American Award

This is a great class of All-Americans. Congrats to those were nominated and those who won.

Garrett Haas, Lone Peak, Attack, 2021
Haas took Utah by storm this year with 88 goals and 38 assists. Anyone who watched him play knows that he’s a special player and will do great things at Ohio State. Let’s also never forget about his 13 goals against Brighton, including the overtime game-winning goal. Haas also had a 10 point game against Pleasant Grove twice and a 15 point game against Skyridge.

“Well deserved award for Garrett,” said Lone Peak Head Coach Bruce Tucker. “One of the best players in the state and will probably the best player to come out of Lone Peak. He’s fun to watch and makes everyone around him better.” 

Jon King, Corner Canyon, Attack, 2022
King finished the season with 101 goals and 46 assists and tallied 10 or points in 6 games. Most impressive was against Green Canyon when he had 5 goals and 5 assists.

“Jon is relentless in his ability to go to the cage and in the way he rides,” said Corner Canyon Head Coach Aaron Ika. “Jon was a midfielder until playing at Corner Canyon. Not only did he excel since his freshman year, he was moved to the left hand side and has caused problems for any defender he has faced this year. Jon has had a great year putting the ball in the back of the net but that isn't where his game stops. He is a great assist guy as well. St Joseph's is excited about what Jon can do on the D-I stage.”

Mason Quick, Corner Canyon, Midfield, 2022
Quick had 89 goals and 33 assists this season and had 4 or more points in every game except one.

“Just a junior, Mason is a sniper,” said Corner Canyon Head Coach Aaron Ika. “He has been a terror for opposing defenses all year. Speed - check, ground balls - check, off ball play - check, step-down shooting - check. Mason has also increased his assist rate as the season has gone on adding to an already potent arsenal of skills. The D-I Utah commit is poised to make a name for himself at the next level.”

c/o CBreeze Sports

McKay Lock, American Fork, Defense, 2021
It was tough for opponents to score on Lock this season as any coach will attest.

“McKay is a pure coaches player,” said American Fork Head Coach Tyson Poole. “Always pushing, always grinding, always giving his best. He is a leader on and off the field and that’s what makes me most grateful for McKay. His IQ of the game is spot on! He understands the defensive side very well and executes his role soundly. McKay has a work ethic that is very admirable, It’s not surprise that McKay won this award. McKay congratulations on this achievement and to do it as a Junior, that’s big time. We are very proud of you.”

Connor Monson, Park City, Attack, 2021 (See below)

Eric Neilson, Corner Canyon, Attack, 2021
Neilson finished with 58 goals and 39 assists while having three games of 10 points: 3g, 7a against Brighton; 6g, 4a against Skyridge and 5g, 5a against American Fork.

“Eric is someone everyone wants on their team,” said Corner Canyon Head Coach Aaron Ika. “Lacrosse skills aside he is a quiet leader who comes to work and practices hard everyday. He is a great example to the younger Corner Canyon players on what it means to work hard and put others first. He will be an asset to the program he decides to play for after high school.”

Dallin Tanner, Mountain Ridge, Defense, 2021
“Dallin is one of those players, as a coach, you wish you had more of,” said Mountain Ridge Head Coach Trent Bangert. “Not only is Dallin extremely athletic he has one of the highest lacrosse IQ’s I have seen and an even better attitude. He is always present and will do whatever it takes to take his and his teammates' game to the next level. His defensive play is one of, if not, the best in the state and if we ever needed someone shutdown Dallin would always answer the call. As a two year Captain, he is the epitome of a leader on and off the field. He makes everyone around him better and has the confidence to explain to players and coaches what he is seeing, and what can be improved. With all that being said, Dallin works for it. He is one of the hardest working players I have ever been able to coach. He doesn’t just rely on his natural abilities he continues to grow and learn to bring in attributes that go way beyond talent.”

c/o Angela Webb - Aspen Media Works

Hunter Larsen, Westlake, Defense, 2021
“Hunter Larsen has been an anchor for our program,” said Westlake Head Coach Danny Horne. “For 4 years, he has been a varsity starter and captain. As a Freshman, he won 2nd Team All-State Honors. In 10th grade, he won 1st Team All-State Honors.  Last year, he no doubt would've made the All Region team like he did this year.  He is the epitome of Westlake's mission of "Lux et Virtus":  Light & Excellence.  On the field, he is the most talented defender I've ever seen, and over the last 4 years I've seen some incredible defenders.” 

Ayden Santi, Corner Canyon, Goalie, 2022
Santi finished with 144 saves while anchoring the best defense in the state. His save percentage through 18 games is 0.712%.

“The general of the Corner Canyon defense, Ayden has come into his own this year,” said Corner Canyon Head Coach Aaron Ika. '“The first to practice and the last to leave, he embodies everything this award is. Ayden would be the first to point to other guys that help him run the defense like Trace White, Lincoln Hanks and Justin Egan, that is just the type of player and person Ayden is. State leading save percentage and multiple shutout games only show the statistical things Ayden brings to the table. He does a lot more than people see on the field. Ayden is another Corner Canyon guy with an offer to play D-I lacrosse.”

Ace Nichols, Weber, Attack, 2022
“I couldn't be happier and more proud of Ace,” said Weber Head Coach Alex Gorton. “Such a huge accomplishment for him and extremely deserving. He puts so much work and time into his game from wall ball, to summer club teams, to breaking down film. Not only is he a great lacrosse player he's a great kid and teammate. He's got a great sense of humor and a true passion for the game, the majority of the time when he's on the field he's just having fun. Again, I couldn't be happier for him and can't say enough good things about him. Ace is well deserving and never backs down from a challenge. I'm honored to have coached him for 3 years.”

See past winners here. Here’s the the all-time All-American distribution by school:

Alta, Juan Diego - 9
Park City - 8
Brighton - 7
Corner Canyon, Lone Peak - 6
Bountiful, Waterford - 5
American Fork, Olympus, Skyline - 4
Bingham, Jordan, Judge - 3
Oakley, Riverton - 2
Bonneville, Fremont, Highland, Logan, Northridge, Pleasant Grove, Sky View, Syracuse, Viewmont, Mountain Ridge, Westlake, Weber - 1

Academic All-American Award

Michael Osborn, Waterford, Attack, 2021
“We are so proud of Michael for earning Academic All-American this year, although having worked with him everyday for the last 3 years it comes as no surprise to me,” said Waterford Head Coach Jack Matthews. “Mikey works hard in everything he does, whether that's on the lacrosse field, in the classroom or even performing with our school orchestra. Mikey has always found success in the classroom and as a four year starter for the varsity team he led the team in points every year. We are very excited that Mikey is one of 10 athletes to be recognized for this award.”

Connor Monson, Park City, Attack, 2021
“Connor and Tyler are two very deserving student athletes,” said Park City Head Coach Michael Persky about Monson and Tyler Vendetti (below). “In addition to being outstanding lacrosse players both are outstanding students and citizens. Tyler will graduate in top 10% of his class.  He coaches and referees youth lacrosse. He is also involved in a myriad of other service projects and has done so throughout his High School career. Connor is currently ranked 5th in his class and upon graduation will be heading off to the US Naval Academy to serve his country. Ironically, these two guys are probably some of the least likely to be seeking individual awards.  As I’ve gotten to know them its remarkable how often both of them put team ahead of themselves.  I have  pretty good sense that right now it’s more likely they are thinking about how to get the next win for the team, than they are celebrating these awards. I’m thrilled for them that they received this recognition.”

Carson Beynon, Farmington, Defense, 2021
“Carson is remarkable,” said Farmington Head Coach Christian Taylor. “Because I had seen so much time and effort he was putting into lacrosse, I was seriously blown away at all the other things he was doing. And then to be doing all those things at such a successful level, he's just amazing and I'm so happy that he's been recognized in this way.”

Hunter Larsen, Westlake, Defense, 2021 (See above/below)

Tyler Vendetti, Park City, Attack, 2021 (See above)

Luke Tucker, Lone Peak, Midfield, 2021
“Best utility player in the state,” said Lone Peak Head Coach and Proud Father, Bruce Tucker. “He does all the hard work in the midfield and defensively. He is a leader and motivator and we’re excited for the great things ahead for Luke.”

Braden Munns, Bear River, Goalie, 2021
“Couldn't be more proud of a young man who has worked so hard on and off the field,” said Bear River Head Coach Coj Miller. “Braden's work ethic is unmatched and yet contagious, he helps his teammates want to be better. Braden has been a true mentor and leader to this team from the moment he started playing goalie for us three years ago. His efforts in the classroom and the community have set a high standard for others to strive for. Braden deserves this honor and it is great to see him recognized by the lacrosse community.”   

Rhett Rice, Davis, Midfield, 2022
“I'm super stoked that Rhett won this award and is being recognized for the amazing student athlete he is,” said Davis Head Coach Dillon Yocom. “Rhett was instrumental in a lot of the success that we had this year at Davis. He is truly a work horse that will go until he has absolutely nothing left in the tank. What's even more impressive is that Rhett has managed to keep up a 3.9 GPA while playing lacrosse, football, comp lacrosse, and working with other trainers on speed and agility. Whatever Rhett is doing he always puts in maximum effort. As a coach, Rhett is the type of player you appreciate because of the way he is able to help lift up and help those around him whether it's on the field or in the classroom. He is definitely well deserving of this.”

Garrett Haas, Lone Peak, Attack, 2021 (See above)

Hutton Murphy, Olympus, Attack, 2022
“What doesn’t Hutton do well,” asked Olympus Head Coach Nick Merrell. “Besides the obvious outstanding play on the field, Hutton is a 3.99 student. A high honor roll recipient every semester he’s been in high school. And has also been awarded the Leaders of Tomorrow at Olympus. Outside of that he volunteers at the food bank, his church, and hosts youth lacrosse clinics in the summer. He’s simply outstanding in every way and very deserving of this award.”

See past winners here.

Bob Scott Award

The Bob Scott Award is given to high school seniors who go above and beyond in service to their team, school, and community. These athletes, who truly honor the game of lacrosse, are invested in the development of the game in their town and are exemplary teammates. In addition, they must be outstanding students with high academic achievement and serve as role models within their school community.

Hunter Larsen, Westlake, Defense, 2021
“Hunter's humility, work ethic, dedication, commitment, and grit is second to none,” said Westlake Head Coach Danny Horne. “One of my favorite athletes to watch growing up was Michael Jordan. Now it's Hunter Larsen. I mean that. Hunter will move onto Dixie State to be an Ambassador for the school and will make significant waves on the world stage in his life. He has a heart of pure gold as he takes care of our special needs community, fights to end ALL slavery and dedicates his free time to serving others, even using his Spring Breaks to digging water wells in South America while others are out partying. Hunter epitomizes what it means to be THUNDER.  Truly there is no kid more deserving of All-American, Academic All-American and the Bob Scott Award than Hunter. There are incredible kids in this state and it has been one of my greatest honors to associate with and watch so many of them.” 

See past winners here.

Blake Strebel Award

The Blake Strebel Memorial Award is given by the Utah High School Boys Head Coaches to a deserving senior who has demonstrated academic excellence in the classroom, leadership abilities, school and community involvement over and above the lacrosse field and overall superior personal characteristics.

Connor Monson, Park City, Attack, 2021 (See above)

See past winners here.

Coach of the Year

c/o Angela Webb - Aspen Media Works

Danny Horne, Westlake
“I'm profoundly honored and deeply touched,” said Westlake Head Coach Danny Horne. “To have been the nominee for Coach of the Year out of Region IV was shocking because all the coaches in Region IV are incredible men of character, integrity and dignity. They are my mentors. Each of them. I felt very inadequate to be the representative for Region IV with the incredible lacrosse giants in this league.  Then to see that I was voted as 2021's US Lacrosse Coach of the Year, out of all the incredible coaches in this state?  It was overwhelming. I had to stop teaching and remove myself from my classroom to gather myself. It's a profound honor. This award is a reflection of the great men I have as assistant coaches, the lacrosse boys who bought into the culture, all the phenomenal coaches who mentor me across the state, and the incredible community of parents, youth, administration, Alpine School District, police, fire, and so on who have given their unwavering support and mentorship. I am truly humbled and honored by this recognition and honor.”

See past winners here.

Enjoy the girls playoff games today. I’ll try to have a recap ready on Wednesday morning with all the action.

— Tim Haslam