Girls take home silver from state
Gold-caliber team perseveres through season of injury and adversity to finish ‘pretty good’
The Box Elder High School girls’ track and field team tied for second place at the 4A State Track and Field meet last week, which wasn’t as good as coaches would have wanted at the start of the year, but was pretty good considering the struggles with injury the team has endured.
“I would say that we were expecting to win a state title, which we should have, but going into the state tournament with the amount of injuries we have had I would say that we would have been very blessed with a top three finish,” said coach Tom Davidson. “So to take second overall may not seem like we had a great year but it turned out pretty good in the end.”
The Bees tied Springville for silver with 54 points, missing the gold by 17 points against a balanced Orem squad.
According to Davidson, one key contributor could have made all the difference for the Bees, but an injured Josie Ball was limited to competing in one individual event and one relay. Ball took third in the 100-meter and helped the 4x100 team to a second-place finish.
“With a healthy Josie Ball we would have been able bring home first place,” Davidson said.
Ball was removed from the 200-meter, the 400-meter and the long jump. She was the defending state champion in the 200, placed second in the 400 and was third in the long jump at last year’s state tournament.
Ball suffers from an irregularly shaped hip bone that has resulted in tissue tears in both her hips. Coaches, Ball and her parents tried to manage the injury rather than fix it.
“Josie could have had surgery months ago but chose to postpone it until today so that she would help the team win state,” Davidson said.
It was something of a miracle that Ball got to compete in the 100-meter. On the way to the meet, she was delayed by two traffic accidents and then got a flat tire. Only a 45-minute delay in the 3,200-meter race allowed her to make the event. Ball missed second place by just one-one hundredth of a second.
Bees come out on top of pitcher’s duel against Springville to advance in state tournament
By Jeremy Jones
The Box Elder girls softball team had a strong start to the state tournament last week, as they won both games, first defeating Provo in a shutout, 6-0, and then finding just enough offense to beat Springville in a true pitchers’ duel, 1-0, on their way to the quarterfinals.
On Tuesday, Box Elder hosted Provo, the fourth-place team from Region 7.
While the Bulldogs were hoping to build on momentum from a late-season win over Mountain View that propelled them into the playoffs, the Bees had plenty momentum of their own that showed in the early going.
The Bees scored runs in each of the first four innings, lead by Kylie Jeffs who recorded two extra-base hits with a double and a triple, and opened up a 6-0 lead after four frames.
Once the hitting cooled off a bit for the Bees, they turned to their defense to finish out the game. Bayleigh Merrill pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts and the Bulldogs were never able to find any holes in the Bees’ defense as Box Elder preserved their lead.
The Bulldogs were eliminated from the tournament in their next game as they fell to Cyprus 9-5 on Thursday afternoon.
Box Elder advanced to take on Springville, who bested Cyprus 13-0 to set up the matchup with the Bees.
The game was a defensive battle from start to finish with both teams’ pitchers keeping control of the game.
As in most such games, it was simple mistakes that made the difference, and in a game with few errors, it was Box Elder that took advantage of the Red Devils’ miscues in the bottom of the third inning.
Springville allowed a no-out walk when their pitcher hit Nyah DeRyke with a pitch. DeRyke was able to advance to third, when a wild pitch allowed her to reach the plate.
Merrill again got the start for the Bees from the pitching circle and threw five scoreless innings. DeRyke replaced Merrill in the fifth inning after Merrill allowed a no-out walk.
The Bee’s only fielding error and a single loaded the bases with no outs.
But DeRyke and the Bees’ defense stepped up to the challenge, and a force out at home, a big strikeout from DeRyke, and a pop fly to first base ended the inning and left the Bees unharmed.
Neither team was able to threaten again and the Bees escaped with the win.
After the game, Bees head coach Taleas Marble explained that, at this stage in the game, any win is a good win.
“Against [the Bulldogs] I thought we hit it really well,” Marble said. “Against [the Red Devils] I thought we should have hit better. Their pitcher threw great, but I thought we should have had a few more hits. But we’re happy to be moving on and I feel like we’ve got a pretty good shot at going all the way. This is where it really gets fun.”
The Bees were scheduled to play Maple Mountain—one of the surprise teams in the tournament so far—on Tuesday. The Golden Eagles finished fourth in Region 8, but have come on strong in the tournament with convincing wins over Kearns and top-seeded Alta to set up the match against the Bees. (Results not available by press time).
Brigham City boxer will compete in national Junior Olympic tournament
By Sean Hales
A young Brigham City boxer will have his shot at representing the United States in an international competition later this year after walking away with a regional title from a match in Goodyear, Ariz., two weeks ago.
Damon Robinette, 15, didn’t get a chance to test his skills in the ring against one of the other state champs from Colorado, New Mexico or Arizona, since the only competitor in his weight class was disqualified prior to the bout.
Gaylen Robinette, Damon’s coach and father, said he’s a little nervous to have his son face some of the best young fighters in the country at nationals in Dallas, Texas, next month, especially considering Damon’s rather short resume of approximately 20 fights. However, Damon will spend some time prior to the national tournament training with 18-year-old Vladimir Estrada out of Salt Lake City, who will be fighting in the Golden Gloves Nationals this weekend.
Kayden Robinette, 12, was also scheduled to fight for a spot in the national event, but he missed making weight by one pound and was disqualified.
“He hit a little growth spurt,” said Gaylen Robinette.
Even though he didn’t move on, he got more attention after winning an exhibition fight against a fighter in the next weight class. Within a day, Kayden put on six pounds in order to make weight for the fight against a highly-favored 85-pound opponent from Arizona.
Kayden won the fight with a unanimous decision, 30-27, but Gaylen Robinette said the win was more decisive than that, as indicated by a “fantastic” upper cut Kayden landed in the third round that resulted in an eight-count for his opponent.
Following the bout, there was plenty of buzz about Kayden’s bright future.
“When they saw Kayden fight, I had pros and guys on the Olympic team saying, ‘Man, you’ve got a prodigy. He looks like a real Olympian,’” Gaylen Robinette said.
In a previous bout, Kayden beat the fighter going to nationals in the 80-pound weight class.