ST. GEORGE — Region 9 prep athletes celebrated rites of passage Wednesday afternoon.
Crimson Cliffs senior golfer Boston Bracken signed a letter of intent to play at powerhouse Arizona State next year, highlighting a long list of local athletes who committed to play sports at the next level.
Signing ceremonies took place in at least four local high schools this week as Region 9 continues to produce high-level student-athletes for the college ranks.
Following is a not-complete list of Region 9 athletes who are going on to play in college. Please send photos of local signees who might not be included in this report to St. George News.
Crimson Cliffs Mustangs
Crimson Cliffs senior golfers Boston Bracken (left, Arizona State) and Lincoln Markham (right, Brigham Young) at their signing ceremony, Washington, Utah, Nov. 8, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News
A large turnout of friends and family gathered at the high school to congratulate nine different Mustangs who are going on to play in college.
Leading the group is Bracken, named the Utah Golf Association’s men’s Player of the Year and a three-time state champion. Bracken goes to Arizona State with the potential to embark on a pro career after that.
“Super excited to be signing my letter of intent for Arizona State,” Bracken told St. George News in a video clip. “Super pumped to go down and play with some great players and learn from them. Let’s go Devils!”
Teammate Lincoln Markham will play golf in college but will stay in Utah, signing his letter of intent to play at Brigham Young University in Provo.
The largest contingent of college-bound Mustangs at the ceremony Wednesday were five key players from the two-time defending 4A state champion Crimson Cliffs baseball team.
Head coach Justin Abbott has turned the Crimson baseball program into a pipeline as no fewer than 10 players off the state champion squad have now committed to play at the next level.
Crimson Cliffs senior soccer players Ella Cotter (left, Utah Tech) and Avery Cardenas (right, Northwestern Colorado) at their signing ceremony, Washington, Utah, Nov. 8, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News
The leader of the pack is five-tool outfielder prospect Trey Evans, who signed his letter of intent to play at the College of Southern Nevada. The Coyotes are famous for being the college team of Major League all-star Bryce Harper.
Evans said he feels like the school in Henderson, Nevada, is a good fit for him, is close to home and has a proven track record of recruiting some of the top players in the country.
“I just want to first of all thank my parents, my dad, for all the countless nights in the cage, I wouldn’t be where I am without him,” Evans told the crowd.
Teammates Kyler Skinner and Dalton Davis will play baseball at Antelope Valley College in Southern California.
And Mustangs teammates Jarvis Osborn and Chachi Pincock will play for the Gauchos of Glendale (Arizona) Community College.
Rounding out the Mustangs at the signing ceremony were soccer players Avery Cardenas (Northwestern Colorado) and Ella Cotter, who will stay in St. George when she goes to play for Utah Tech next year.
“I love the coaching staff so much, and all my friends and family here that have supported me, and all my coaches live here,” Cotter said about why she chose to stay local. “I couldn’t imagine playing the game without them. I’m grateful for the relationships that I’ve been able to make through the sport.”
Desert Hills Thunder
Desert Hills seniors (L-R) Ava Lyman (cheer, Weber State), Tatum Gardner and Trinity Pilimai (volleyball, Gillette College) at their signing day celebration, St. George, Utah, Nov. 8, 2023 | Photo by Mark Musgrave, St. George News
Across town in the Thunder Dome, six athletes all signed letters to play in college.
The Region 9 champion and third-in-4A Thunder volleyball team was well represented as three of those seniors reached the next level.
Trinity Pilimai and Tatum Gardner will serve and volley at Gillette (Wyoming) College and middle hitter Lauren Larkin at Utah State.
Meanwhile, Desert Hills senior Ava Lyman will cheer at Weber State, Elly Hendricks will play soccer at Utah State and Reagan Terry will compete in gymnastics at Utah State.
Snow Canyon Warriors
Senior Avery Thorkelson, an All-Region 9 performer on the volleyball and softball teams at Snow Canyon for her entire four-year career, will pitch for the softball team at Snow College next year.
Earlier last week, Cedar senior Colter Bunnell signed to play baseball at Centralia (Washington) College.
Dixie holds its signing ceremony Thursday, Nov. 9, at the high school and five baseball players are expected to choose their college destinations.
Boston Vest (New Mexico State), Logan Leavitt (Glendale Community College), Ridge Erickson (Brigham Young), Cooper Bartholomew (College of Southern Idaho) and Braxton Yates (undecided) are all expected to sign their letters of intent.
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