2021 Girls Awards Announced

Issue 72 - All-American, Academic All-American, Jackie Pitts & Coach of the Year

Good morning lacrosse fans! The 2021 Girls All-American, Academic All-American, Jackie Pitts and Coach of the Year awards were announced this week. Congrats to all those who were nominated and to those who won.

Be sure to check out the Girls Championships today at Layton High School. The Girls Division C game will begin at 3:00 p.m. while the Division B title game will start at 5:00 p.m. The State Championship Division A game will begin at 7:00 p.m.

As always, this newsletter is brought to you by Vessel Kitchen. Please stop by one of its four locations and grab some grub this holiday weekend!

All-American Award

Kendall Keblish, Park City, 2021

Amelia Livingston, Park City, 2021

“I'm so proud of both Kendall and Amelia,” said Park City Head Coach Mikki Clayton. “They are very deserving of being named All Americans. They have both been varsity starters and major contributors to Park City lacrosse all four years of their high school careers and have left their stamp on the program. Each year they've gotten better and better and their stats this year really show what they can do on the field. They have led their teammates by example all season long, which shows in how our team has performed. I cannot say enough good things about them.”  

Clayton continued, “Kendall is the fiercest competitor with an unbelievable lacrosse IQ.  She is a force of nature and, like a true leader, brings that out of her teammates.  Colorado is lucky to have Kendall and I know she will continue to do great things.”

About Livingston, Clayton said, “Amelia is remarkably driven. She plays with a certain grace and elegance, it's hard not to watch her. Amelia is as driven in the classroom as she is on the lacrosse field. Her academic prowess is as commendable to her athletic abilities. I'm so proud she is being honored for both. Amelia will attend Boston College next year.”

Jaimeson Meyer, Waterford, 2021

“We are so proud of Jaime for earning this well-deserved honor,” said Waterford Head Coach Betsy Weidner. “Jaime is a relentless competitor who always pushes the tempo. It's no secret that Jaime has been a major key to our success as a lacrosse team during her time at Waterford. She works so hard on her game at practice and outside of practice. She also is a three-sport varsity athlete, which is a rarity these days. Her commitment to play basketball during her senior season this year particularly stands out to me—Jaime never, ever gives up. I am so excited to see what she will accomplish next year as she heads off to the D-I Naval Academy.” 

Haley Taylor, Brighton, 2021

“Haley, HayTay, Taylor is the top of the top,” said Brighton Head Coach Melissa Nash. “She’s the first player anyone notices on the field because of her power and finesse. One of my favorite things is that HayTay never complains. She could be really sore or having a bad day but she just keeps pushing forward no matter what. Go Ducks!”

Zoe Heffernan, Brighton, 2022

“Zoe is a workhorse,” said Brighton Head Coach Melissa Nash. “She never stops and never gives less than 100%. She transferred from Alta this year and has made an immediate, giant impact on our team - on the field and within our team culture. She is going big places in the lacrosse world and we are so glad she’s a Bengal. She is very deserving of this award.. watch out for her next year!”

Kylie Mortensen, Mountain Ridge, 2021

“Kylie is our senior team captain and is the core of our team,” said Mountain Ridge Head Coach Angie Brescia. “Everyone looks up to Kylie. She is the hardest worker, always challenging herself and her teammates, has given back to our community and juniors program, and excels academically. A beast on the field but the sweetest human you'll ever meet off the field. To be a first-year program with such a young team, I give a lot of credit to Kylie leading them to success by example. We are so proud of her and thankful to have had her as our fearless leader this season.”

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Gabriella Cheminant, Corner Canyon, 2021

“Ella is more than just a game-changing goalie,” said Corner Canyon Head Coach Matt Kenning. “She is an amazing athlete. She would have excelled at any position had she decided not to play goalie. This year as one of our senior captains she took on more of a leadership role and really helped mentor our younger players. She was the anchor of our defense and never got discouraged as she played every minute of the strongest schedule in the state by far.” 

Haven Buechner, Skyridge, 2023

“Haven is an excellent lacrosse player, and has the lacrosse IQ and maturity of a much older athlete,” said Skyridge Head Coach Colin Gill. “She leads our team in scoring and has been an integral part of our team.”

Kate Richards, Olympus, 2022

“Kate is a dream to coach,” said coaches Zana Spratling and Hanna Thatcher. “She is extremely strong and athletic, but she is also coachable and has the desire to be the best that she can be. The combination of her natural talent and her insane drive to better herself are what lead Kate to success. Over the years I have seen her become more and more of a leader. She leads through her actions. Kate is always the first girl on the line for sprints. She is always the first person to the huddle. She helps set up and take down practice day after day without complaint. She is a star player that still works for every second of playing time. Kate made varsity as a freshman but has never become complacent. Instead, she continues to push herself to become and achieve even more. Kate is a girl that will not settle. She constantly and consistently strives for more. This kind of character is rare in today’s youth. Another rare and priceless quality of Katie’s is her ability to encourage those around her. Kate has an unquenchable thirst to improve herself and at the same time has a remarkable gift of giving grace to those around her all the while pushing them to be the best they can be. She tactfully and positively inspires those around her on and off the field. She knows the strengths and weaknesses of each of her teammates. She knows what each of her teammates need to hear or do to play at their highest potential. She has a love and passion for the game that carries into her everyday life. Kate has reached out to me on several occasions throughout the years asking for advice on how to better herself in the off season. She sets goals for herself and will not quit until she has reached them. And with each goal she reaches she sets higher more far-reaching goals. I have no doubt that Kate will be able to accomplish anything she sets her mind to. When Kate turns it on, she turns it on. It’s like you can see the switch go off in her brain and at that point, nothing will stop her from getting to her goal. She is like that on and off the field. You don’t win All-American and All-Academic as a Junior otherwise. Perhaps the best thing about her all in mentality is that it’s contagious with everyone around her. Everyone choose to level up when they see Kate turn it on. “

Academic All-American

Amelia Livingston, Park City, 2021 (See above)

Haley Taylor, Brighton, 2021 (See above)

Kylie Mortensen, Mountain Ridge, 2021 (See above)

Shayla Stokes, Mountain Ridge, 2022

“I don't think that defenders get enough recognition with all the hard work they put in and the fact that we would fail without them,” said Mountain Ridge Head Coach Angie Brescia. “Shayla is such a strong, dependable defender who hustles and gives it her all every practice and game. She excels on and off the field and we are so thankful to have Shayla on our team.”

Mia Scharman, Bingham, 2021

“I could not think of a player more deserving of this award,” said Bingham Head Coach Sydney Christensen. “Mia has maintained a 4.0 all four years of high school, all while being a consistent leader on the lacrosse field. Being a student-athlete is not an easy feat, however, Mia showed up to practice every day ready to work hard and give it her all. She has a very bright future ahead of her.”

Lilly Snowden, American Fork, 2021

“It was great to have Lilly Snowden awarded the Academic All-American,” said American Fork Head Coach Ray Langhaim. “What a great honor for her to be awarded based on all of her hard work over the last four years. Really says she had to be disciplined in everything she has been doing. Being a significant contributor in lacrosse and also keeping her grades at a high level (perfect 4.0) is awesome. She is great to coach and a great example and leader! Always happy and positive outlook no matter the challenges that come her way. Way to represent American Fork High School.”

Rivanna Beuchner, Skyridge, 2022

“River is one of the strongest all-around lacrosse players I have seen,” said Skyridge Head Coach Colin Gill. “She plays both ends of the ball very well and is dominant on the draw. In addition to her incredible lacrosse skill, River has been a leader in her academics. She balances her schoolwork appropriately with lacrosse, and excels in both areas. I do not know what we would do without her and her leadership on and off the field.”

Kate Richards, Olympus, 2022 (See above)

“Not only is Kate an incredible, highly motivated, and hard-working lacrosse player, she is a great student,” said Olympus Head Coach Zana Spratling. “Kate has a 3.9 GPA. She is taking AP classes and she has a part-time job through most of the year. She is well-rounded in every aspect of her life.” 

Sara Lunt, Olympus, 2021

“Sarah excels at everything she does,” said Spratling. “Maintaining a 3.9, she had one A- her entire high school career, all while taking AP and college concurrent classes. She has natural talent for sure, but it is definitely her ability to put in the work that makes her so amazing. Sarah is never satisfied with where she’s at, she is always looking forward to the next level. Whether that be lacrosse, academics or friends/family, she always puts her 100% effort, all of the time. She was often one of the first people to practice, and always able to pull girls to the field on Saturday’s for a little extra stick work. We would often have her transition to midfield from defense, she was versatile and always up to the challenge. I have no doubt that Sarah will be the best at whatever she chooses to do. She is an absolute breathe of fresh air and I have been so grateful having her as a captain this year. Her ability to push people through example is unmatched. As this is her last year, we are going to miss her as our energizer bunny. She leaves big shoes to fill.”

Jackie Pitts Award

The Jackie Pitts 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.

Kylie Mortensen, 12th Grade, Mountain Ridge (See above)

Coach of the Year

Angie Brescia, Mountain Ridge

“Coach of the Year is still surreal to me but I am beyond honored to have been selected,” said Brescia. “I have been coaching high school girls for 11 years now with this being my first at Mountain Ridge. The community here is incredible. I have been welcomed and supported by staff and administration, have an army of parents volunteering their personal time to give the girls the best experience and allow me to focus on the players, players who come wanting to learn and work hard, and a husband who has supported me every step of the way. I wouldn't be here without them.”

Enjoy the games today! Should be a great weekend of lacrosse.

— Tim Haslam