Emery Spartans host basketball awards
The end of the school year brings award banquets and recognitions for accomplishments throughout the school year. The Emery High basketball team held their annual closing awards banquet recently at the Castle Dale Senior Citizens Center. Head Coach Todd Jeffs along with coaches Ty Jensen, Scott Stilson and Cole Pitchforth spoke about the recently past basketball season.
This year's team had many accomplishments as they won their region championship. Coach Jeffs talked about the season and about the importance of basketball in his life. "Basketball has been a big part of my life and people tell me all the time that there is more to life than basketball, but I tell them right back, there's more to basketball than basketball," said Coach Jeffs who has coached more than 20 years at Emery High.
Basketball teaches teamwork and how to work as a team for the greater good. Basketball is a team sport and individual efforts help the core of the team to strengthen.
The coaches had the sophomore team, junior varsity and then the varsity team come forward for their awards. Each player received a team photo and an individual photo along with a stat book with their games for the year and the points, rebounds, blocks and other important statistics from each game.
Coach Jeffs had a remark about each of the players and his memories of the season. He said the team played Bear River better than anyone had the whole season. They were tied with 30 seconds left to go in the ballgame when the referee called a terrible call against Brett Mecham for a foul which wasn't really a foul, but tough defense. Coach Jeffs said this ball team has accomplished great things and he expects them to be among the top teams next season as well. One of the highlights for the year was the defeat of Wasatch in the first round of the state playoffs and the intense play of the team and the support of the Emery fans.
The sophomore players were brought up and Coach Jeffs said the thing he would remember about Jordan Lake was how he hated to run at the first of the season, but he stepped up and improved his running as the season progressed. Kashe Potter was remembered for his quickness and how he worked through a back injury and still came to practice and ran even though he was in pain. Kash Jewkes was remembered for his toughness and presence in the middle. Nick Stoddard was remembered for how he hated to get his hair cut for the season and when it was getting a little long the coaches would tell him to get a haircut and he'd go home and cut off an 1/8th of an inch. He was also remembered for defying gravity with his basketball shorts. Chance Huntington was remembered for being very quiet, but a very hard worker on the court. Ty Benson was remembered for being an all round good player and a good shooter. He was tough on the defensive end as well. Quinn Montgomery was fast on the court and quite feisty and always sticking his nose in sometimes where it didn't belong said coach. Gage Bell was remembered for always making a difference when he got into a ball game.
The junior varsity group consisted of Mark Guymon, Jake Fortner, TJ Furner and Derek Tuttle. Guymon was listed as being feisty on the court and a very good shooter, Fortner stepped up when he was called on and played hard. Furner was on the injured list most of the season, but still supported his team. Tuttle was a mainstay on the junior varsity team and saw much playing time and helped that team be successful. One of the highlight games for junior varsity was a win against Carbon in the Emery gym, after being defeated earlier in the season at Carbon.
The varsity players included: Gatlan Huntington, Nevin Jensen, Tanner Procarione, Colton Barnett, Karson Jensen, Cameron Hansen, Jason Giles, Brett Mecham and Taylor Tanner. Tanner and Mecham were remembered for being good support players and offering the team everything they could in their minutes of play off the bench. Nevin Jensen was the main player who brings the ball down the court and is therefore one of the most harrassed players on the floor. Jensen did a good job in his ball handling skills and his ability to shoot a three pointer in a hurry and under pressure. Barnett was a big force under the basket and had his share of blocked shots and big scoring nights. He was a real contributor to the win against Wasatch. Procarione was shifted around a lot in games between varsity and junior varsity and Coach said they just have to figure out a way to make him mad because Procarione plays better when he's fired up. Karson Jensen came alive his senior year and really acted like he was enjoying the game. He shot well and was a threat from everywhere on the court. He played defense well and was a well rounded player in this his last year. Huntington was an aggressive force on the basketball court and he played tough defense and was a good shooter. Hansen was always a positive force for the team and Coach Jeffs said he would miss Cameron and his presence on the team. Cam played hard each game and added points when Emery needed them the most. Giles was a hard worker on the court and earned a starting spot. He was all over on defense and a good shooter on offense.
Coach Jeffs said as they reflect on the season just past they also look ahead to the future. There are a number of basketball camps the team will attend and will also offer a Spartan basketball camp for the younger players in the county. Coach said the team will move into a new region next year, the region will include: Delta, North Sanpete, Richfield, Juab, Manti and Emery. He thanked the parents for their support of the basketball team and for the pre-game meals.