Grand County High School athletic director Ron Dolphin presents senior Elton Kunze-Jones his Academic All-State certificate during the Spring Sports Awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 29. [Photo by Murice D. Miller / Moab Sun News]

The Grand County High School Spring Sports Awards Ceremony took place on Tuseday, May 29, opening with Academic All-Region honors. To qualify, athletes must maintain a 3.75 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or regular contributor to their team. In the event of a tie, honorees are determined by ACT scores.

Three spring sports athletes earned Academic All-Region honors — Alec Williams in baseball, Ryan Lewis in track and field, and Elton Kunze-Jones in boys tennis. Kunze-Jones also earned Academic All-State accolades.

Debate was recognized next for their performance over the course of the season. The debate team competed in 12 tournaments, placing in the top two in three of them. Five members of the debate team qualified for a national tournament this summer in Florida — seniors Grace Osusky and Aidan Guzman-Newton, junior Philip Geyser and sophomores Miranda Corbin and Ty Martinez.

After debate was recognized, GCHS athletic director and interim girls golf coach Ron Dolphin said his team showed great attitudes and great work ethics. All but two team members were first-year golfers, and they dropped about 30 strokes from their scores over the course of the season, he said.

Joopy Bamrungmuang earned All-State accolades after tying for ninth at the state tournament.

Baseball coach Jared Meador said he has been coaching the seniors on this year’s team since they were eight years old. Several members of the baseball team were given awards as voted on by their teammates.

Baseball’s most coveted award, the Teammate of the Year award, went to Noah White, who Meador said always put the team first. Gage Hansen was awarded the Step Up Player of the Year after committing only one error all season at first base. Rookie of the Year went to Macray Ellis, who spent varsity time at third base as a freshman when regular third-baseman Trevin Packard missed some games.

Workhorse of the Year for the fourth straight year was awarded to Bruin Meador, for being the hardest worker on the team. The Golden Glove Award went to Masen Ward, who played five different defensive positions over the course of the season. The Silver-Slugger award for best batter went to Alec Williams. Cy Young was awarded to Josh Jones, who boasted 65 strikeouts and a 6-2 record. The overall team MVP award went to Brayden Schultz.

In softball, awards were given out to each player, all of whom lettered. Among the awards, Rookie of the Year was awarded to freshman Jessica Jones. Defensive Player of the Year was awarded to Hannah Owen, whom coach Brook Shumway regarded as one of the top catchers in the state. Offensive player of the year was awarded to Hailey Cox. Most Improved was awarded to Corteney Noyes. The Most Valuable Player award went to Jaci Shumway, who led the state in doubles and led 3A in batting average, not striking out once on the year.

Tyra Robertson, the team’s only senior, won the team’s Terry Page Atta-Girl of the Year Award after starting for her entire high school career. Shumway praised Robertson, lamenting where the program might be if not for her commitment over the past four seasons

In boys tennis, the team scored at state for the first time in three seasons after qualifying in all three singles divisions and both doubles division.

Coach Skylar Johnston said the team made massive improvements from the beginning of the season to the end, especially the younger players, who filled varsity roles because of injuries and other commitments frequently throughout the season. One such injury was to junior Kai Wainer, who served underhanded for much of the season, and still qualified for state in No. 3 singles.

“If you ever want to see frustration, watch a kid lose to Kai while Kai is underhand serving,” coach Skylar Johnston said.

The boys soccer team, a young team with only two seniors, earned the respect and praise of other teams throughout the state for their competitiveness, going 5-7 and losing to Morgan in the first round of the state tournament. Coach Christopher Beitner, said in a statement that the Red Devils have proven themselves a quality program for the next several years.

Last but certainly not least, after winning the state 3A title in the boys division and placing third in girls division, the track and field team handed out its awards, recognizing the athletes for their contributions throughout the season and their performances at the state championship meet.

Assistant coach Randy Martin handed certificates to each of the girls in attendance before head coach Dennis Wells recognized the boys track team, which placed first in nine of their 10 meets throughout the season.

“I’ve crunched the numbers for next year and looking at where runners coming back next year finished at state, we’re on pace to score 145 points and the next best team is at 64,” Wells said, adding that he plans for the girls to take state next year as well.

Spring sports awards were part of the graduation week activities, culminating in the graduation of the Class of 2018 on Thursday, May 31, at 8 p.m., at Grand County High School, 608 S. 400 East.

Spring Sports Awards given as part of graduation week

“If you ever want to see frustration, watch a kid lose to Kai while Kai is underhand serving.”