In addition to those accepting football scholarships, 12 other Skyridge athletes chose opportunities to continue their playing careers at the next level and were honored in ceremonies at the school on Feb. 2.
“We really prioritize having the multiple sports together,” said Athletic Director Jon Lehman. “The kids support each other and we want to preserve that even though it makes for a bigger group.”
Cross-country and track
“It is really exciting to see Kylie, Elise and Jonah taking this next step in their athletic careers,” said Coach Jamie Alvizo. “All three of them expressed from a young age their desire to make it at the next level. They are all very dedicated individuals and are always looking at ways they can improve.”
Jonah Denison – Fort Lewis College (Durango, Colorado)
“Jonah is a true student of the sport and doesn’t just go through the motions,” Alvizo said. “He is deliberate in what he does because he knows the additive power of the small things that can make a big difference.”
Elise Hartsell – Salt Lake Community College
“Elise has had her fair share of setbacks physically and mentally through her running career but has never let that stop her,” Alvizo said. “Her continued perseverance through it all will continue to help her achieve whatever goals she sets for herself.”
In addition to being a distance runner for the cross-country and track teams, Olsen was a key member of the soccer team who tallied 10 goals and six assists during her senior season.
“Kylie is incredibly mature with her ability of time management and being 100 percent present with the task at hand,” Alvizo said. “She has been competing as a tri-sport high school athlete since her freshman year but never used soccer practice as an“excuse” for not getting her running workout in.
“Her ability to always be competitive will continue to take her far,” the coach concluded.
Haven Buechner, MF – University of Richmond (Virginia)
Second in the state last season with 51 assists and also made 73 goals, got 69 ground balls, tallied 26 caused turnovers and collected 74 draw controls.
“Haven is an incredible athlete on the field and just as incredible off the field,” said Coach Colin Gill. “She brings excitement, enthusiasm and expertise to all she does.
“I speak for myself as a coach and also for several of her teachers who are constantly telling me how much they love having Haven in their classes. I am excited for her upcoming experiences at Richmond as she continues to develop her already refined talent and love of lacrosse,” he added.
Elliott Plewe, P – College of Southern Nevada (Henderson)
In 17 appearances for the Falcons last season, had a 5-2 record with one save, 65 strikeouts and a .489 ERA.
“Nobody works harder at perfecting her craft than Elliott,” said Coach Tyler Plewe. “It has been a dream of hers to be a college softball pitcher since she was young, but the road has not been paved in gold to get there. She has learned that hard work, perseverance and resilience can overcome any obstacle.
“Most of all, she is grateful for the opportunity that Coach Johnston at College of Southern Nevada has given, and she’s excited about where this next step in her softball journey will take her,” he said.
“We will miss these girls, their talent and leadership abilities at Skyridge, but it is time for them leave the nest, to spread their wings and fly,” said Coach Toby Peterson. “We are excited to see what they can accomplish at the next level, and we know they will continue to make us proud.”
Addi Arnell, MF – Snow College
Contributed five goals and five assists in her attacking role. “Sheread the field well and could hold onto the ball while being pressured,” Peterson said. “She had a beautiful shot on goal and it didn’t matter which foot, right or left, she used, she could drive the ball.”
Four goals and four assists were a bonus in her role of controlling the passage of the ball both directions through the midfield. “She had amazing footwork, which enabled her to keep control of the ball while the team made runs ahead of her,” Peterson said. “I most valued her ability to see and read the field.”
Tessa Miller, D – Southern Virginia University
Outside back made 235 recoveries with 21 fouls and also scored once for the Falcons. “She was lightning fast,” Peterson said. “When a ball was sent to a player in her area of responsibility, she would immediately step on that attacker, before the player could get control and start their attack.
“She rarely got beat, but when she did, the attacker didn’t get far before Tessa was pressuring once again,” the coach added.
Wing defender made 253 recoveries with only six fouls and was hard to get by on her side. “She was so composed and reliable as an outside back,” Peterson said.
“We like to keep the ball in front of us so that we are only defending 180 degrees, rather than 360 degrees. The ball rarely got past Emily, and when it did, she was quick to transition,” he said.
Ava Young, D – Lower Columbia College (Longview Washington)
“She had big shoes to fill after the previous year’s backs graduated,” Peterson said. “It was going to take a strong leader to bring the group together and to teach them what we expected out of them.
“She was a rock in that position and did everything I asked her to do. She was strong and intimidating and she rarely hesitated,” he said.
Led her team with 357 kills (39%), 72 aces (240 points), 23 blocks, 347 digs and 503 serve-receptions.
“She can hit, pass and defend with the best in high school and better than most,” said Coach Silver Fonua. “She has a unique ability to handle stress in big games and she will go down as the best all-around player in Falcon history.
“Madi is focused, motivated and has the innate ability to bring out the best in her teammates,” he continued. “Her presence will be missed next year but I am grateful for the example and impression she has left with the program.”
Olivia Marshall, RS – Snow College
Tallied 214 kills, 21 aces, 38 combined blocks, 48 digs and 44 serve-receives.
“If you had the opportunity to watch us last season you would have noticed Liv without a doubt,” Fonua said. “She was the heavy-hitting Right Side that we went to when we needed to score. She was a physical presence at the net that gave us the toughness we needed.
“Even with the talent she has, Liv never stops learning,” the coach added. “She does not take shortcuts. She trusted the process and spent most days staying after practice getting additional reps. There is no limit on what she can accomplish on and off the court.”