Hot Shots May 2018
As Utah’s high schools continue growing at a rapid pace, so does the talent pool of student-athletes. In fact, Utah has become one of the most visited Western states by college coaches looking to fill their rosters, second only to California. In each issue, Winners Utah acknowledges the accomplishments of student-athletes, as they give everything they can in the school and on the field to make their communities proud. This issue’s honorees are poised to become the next line of athletes on the court, track, gridiron, diamond and slopes.
By Mikey Saltas
After a respectable freshman season where he batted .321 for Rowland Hall’s varsity baseball team, Austin Davison had a breakout sophomore campaign batting a gaudy .682 (30 for 44), a 1.227 slugging percentage and .722 on base percentage, all state-leading statistics. Davison, the catcher for the Winged Lions, led his team to the state playoffs in the 2A division in 2017 before losing to eventual runner-up Grand County High School. Graduating in 2019, Davison still has plenty of time to grow his legacy for Rowland Hall.
Brianna St. Clair
Desert Hills High softball star Brianna St. Clair has been ripping up the record books and rewriting them with her own name and stats. She is a tour de force on the diamond, as she led her team last season in batting average (.457), hits and doubles. She’s also a one-woman wrecking ball as a pitcher—of the 185 innings played by Desert Hills, St. Clair pitched 182.2 innings, leading the state with 24 wins and 326 strikeouts in the process. For reference, the next closest pitcher tallied 243 strikeouts.
A four-star outside linebacker recruit ranked No. 9 at his position and No. 209 in the country overall (and No. 2 in Utah) by Rivals.com, Lolani Langi is the heir apparent to the laundry list of star football products out of Bingham High School. Year after year, the Miners send top-tier talent to Division I football programs, such as Jay Tufele (USC), Dalton Schultz (Stanford) and brothers Star and Lowell Lotulelei (Utah). Lolani is the brother of Harvey Langi—another Bingham product— who played collegiately at BYU before making the roster at linebacker with the 2018 AFC Champions the New England Patriots.
Matt Van Komen
Though he’s always stood head and shoulders above his peers—he surpassed 6 feet tall when he was 11 and 7 feet by the time he was 13—Matt Van Komen is considered one of the tallest high school basketball players in the nation, now towering at 7-foot- 4. He used his height to tally the third most blocks in a single season in state history this year, only trailing Shawn Bradley. The 2019 prospect is still raw and growing into his body, but his enviable size has top college basketball programs from across the nation offering full-ride scholarship.
A cross-country phenom at Timpview, Aidan Troutner became the second consecutive Utahn to earn Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year honors, the other being Casey Clinger from American Fork High School. Like Clinger, Troutner will serve a two-year LDS mission before enrolling at BYU to run cross country. The athlete is coming off a couple of amazing performances, where he won NXR Southwest competition’s 5K with a time of 14:50.00 and then earned a Class 5A championship in Utah, finishing in 14:48.80.
Max Miller just finished up his junior year at the Winter Sports School in Park City and is poised to have a stellar finish to his high school career. The Alpine racer trains with the Park City Ski Team, and he was recently selected to attend a special development training camp in Europe, the only Utah skier of his age to do so. Snow is in the blood of the Miller family—his brother Andrew (class of 2016), a product of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard development pipeline, is an athlete at Dartmouth College.