2022 Utah Girls High School Awards Announced
Issue 101 - All-American, Academic All-American, Jackie Pitts & Coach of the Year
Congrats to all the players who were nominated and those who were selected.
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Bekah Bargeron - Mountain Ridge, Goalie, 12
Bekah is headed to Walsh University to continue her lacrosse career. Bekah played for the U17 Utah National Team in 2021.
“Bekah is kind, hard-working, and loves giving back to her lax community,” said Mountain Ridge Head Coach Angie Maughan. “We are so thankful to have had such a talented, hard-working young woman on our team to help lead our defense to success! We are cheering you on and Walsh is lucky to have snagged you!”
Sydnee Brinton - West Jordan, Midfield, 12
Also a swimmer, Sydnee was Region 3’s 2021 MVP and is second in points in the state this year. She played for Elevate Elite.
“Sydnee’s true ability as a player is how she is able to elevate the ability of everyone around her.” – Cliff Tomlinson, West Jordan Head Coach
Haven Buechner - Skyridge, Midfield, 11
A 2021 and 2022 USA Lacrosse All-American – with a year left, Haven is committed to the University of Richmond. She played for the U17 Utah National team in 2021 and 2022.
“Haven is dedicated in all she does. She excels both on the lacrosse field and in the classroom because she is able to consistently work hard and remains driven toward long term goals.” – Colin Gill, Skyridge Head Coach
Rivanna Buechner - Skyridge, Midfield, 12
River will play at Pomona College in Claremont, California next year. She was also named an Under Armor All-American. River played for the U17 Utah National Team in 2021.
“River is an exceptional player. Anyone who has seen her play or viewed her stats can see that. However, Not everyone sees what kind of an amazing individual and leader she is on and off the field. She’s a dedicated student, a driven athlete, and a friend to everyone on the team.” – Colin Gill, Skyridge Head Coach
Hunter Doyle - Brighton, Midfield, 12
Hunter is a three-sport athlete (soccer, swimming and lacrosse) who is committed to Westminster College. She played for the U17 Utah National Team in 2021.
“Hunter picked up a stick her freshman year of high school and hasn’t put it down since – while also playing soccer and swimming – and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She is a total athlete. We are so proud of Hunter’s accomplishments on and off the field. Westminster is a lucky team!” – Melissa Nash, Brighton Head Coach.
Zoe Heffernan - Brighton, Midfield, 12
A two-time All-American, Zoe will play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York next year. Zoe played for the Bay Area Tenacity Team and was on the U17 Utah National Team in 2021.
“I’ve said it again and again, Zoe is the smoothest player you’ll ever see – while also being extremely humble and selfless. She makes everything look easy and puts in a lot of hard work behind the scenes. She’ll be a Brighton legend forever – it will be tough to fill her shoes. We’re so proud of her and know she’ll dominate at RIT!” – Melissa Nash, Brighton Head Coach
Lilly Hunt - Park City, Attack, 11
Lilly was Park City’s leading scorer throughout the regular season this year. She was also selected as a Western Winners All-Star in 2021.
“Lilly Hunt had a breakout year as a Junior,” said Park City Head Coach Mikki Clayton. “She is a fierce competitor that hates to lose and will do whatever her team needs of her. Lilly has a knack for the back of the net - she scored 100 points (75g, 25a) which is tied for 8th in the state. She has a sheer will and determination to win and lead Park City in ground balls and caused turnovers as an attacker. Lilly is someone that all teams notice no matter where she is on the field.”
Ava Kimche - Park City, Goalie, 11
No. 1 in the state for GAA (goals-against average), Ava is only in her second year playing goalie. She is committed to Columbia University. She played for the U17 Utah National Team in 2021.
“Ava is only a second-year goalie and has gotten better and better week after week,” said Clayton. “Ava was No. 1 in the state for goals-against average with 2.991 and No. 2 in the state for save percentage with 63.6%. She is a phenomenal athlete, voted captain as a Junior and makes her teammates around her better. She was the quarterback of the defense and understands and sees the game so well since she was previously a field player.”
Allison Reading - Corner Canyon, Defense, 11
Allison is committed to UMass Lowell. She’s a Tenacity National Team member and plays Force Elite.
“Allie is an amazing athlete. She has blinding speed, superior stick skills, can lock down any attacker 1 on 1 and if she wanted, could be an elite scorer. She has a real passion for defense. She is also a team-first player and is very coachable. She does whatever needs to get done to help the team get better and win.” – Matt Kenning, Corner Canyon Head Coach
Samantha Riely - Park City, Midfield, 12
Sam was a USA Lacrosse Magazine Top 25 player To Watch in 2022 (Top 5 in the West) and was named as an Adrenaline All-American. Sam will play at UC Davis next year. She was also on the U17 Utah National Team.
“Samantha Riely is an all-around player on attack, defense, midfield, and the draw,” said Clayton. “She plays with the utmost heart and hustle. She has an extremely high lacrosse IQ and understands all aspects of the game extremely well - she is like having a coach on the field. She is a true leader on and off the field and has been a wonderful role model to our very young team. Sam finished the season with 101 points (62g, 39a), 88 draw controls, 38 ground balls, and 19 caused turnovers.”
WORLD FESTIVAL TEAM: 8 of these All-American and 6 of the All-Academic players will play for the Utah World Festival Team in Maryland over the 4th of July. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in the World Festival Tournament, represent Utah and watch as the USA team competes for the World Cup. Utah has a very talented team – we’re excited to see what the team does in Maryland! This team is coached by Melissa Nash and Mikala Davis.
Bekah Bargeron - Mountain Ridge, Goalie, 12 – 3.9 GPA
Haven Buechner - Skyridge, Midfield, 11 – 4.0 GPA
Rivanna Buechner - Skyridge, Midfield, 12 – 3.9 GPA
Hunter Doyle - Brighton, Midfield, 12 – 4.0 GPA
Morgan Eldredge - Herriman, Midfield, 11 – 3.9 GPA
Grace Garrett - Brighton, Attack, 12 – 4.0 GPA
Ava Kimche - Park City, Goalie, 11 – 4.0 GPA
Allison Reading - Corner Canyon, Defense, 11 – 3.9 GPA
Paige Runia - Mountain Ridge, Midfield, 12 – 4.0 GPA
Courtnie Wright - Brighton, Defense, 11 – 4.0 GPA
Jackie Pitts Award
This is an award that recognizes 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.
Winner: Rivanna Buechner, Skyridge, Senior
Congressional Award Gold Medal
National Honors Society Delegate Council
Head Coach, K-2 youth lacrosse team
Head Coach, 3-4 youth lacrosse team
Sterling Scholar State Finalist
32 on the ACT
Member of the 2021 Utah National Team
Member of the 2022 Utah World Festival Team
Coach of the Year
Melissa Nash, Brighton
“We’re all products of the company we keep and I’m lucky to keep great company with my six assistant coaches, our players and all the coaches in Utah. I love lacrosse and I love being involved with all of these amazing people.” - Nash