Larry H. Miller Week 35 high school star athletes of the week

Deseret News Week 35 preps of the week
Deseret News Week 35 preps of the week


Miles Layton, Brighton (Jr.)

Miles Layton evened his record on the mound this season at 2-2 last week with a very memorable performance.

The Brighton junior threw a perfect game over five innings, striking out eight, as he led Brighton to the 10-0 victory over region foe East.

“Unbelievable performance from an outstanding young guy. Total team effort with some pretty solid defense behind him. Couldn’t be more proud of him and this entire group of kids,” said Brighton coach Mark Kleven.

For the season, Layton has struck out 21 batters with a 2.28 ERA.

At the plate, Layton is batting .320 with three doubles, one home run and seven RBIs.

Last season, Layton finished with a 6-3 record with 50 strikeouts.


Brielle Gardiner, Ridgeline (Fr.)

In her first year playing varsity softball, Ridgeline freshman Brielle Gardiner has already proven herself to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the state.

Gardiner is 11-0 on the season with 98 strikeouts.

At the plate, she’s already recorded six home runs, six doubles and 27 RBIs.

“She looks like and plays like an upperclassman. She has a presence as she walks on the field. I have probably never coached a player that loves or rises to the big moments more. Competition is her fire; she feeds on it. The bigger the game and the bigger the moment in the game, the more she is dialed in,” said Ridgeline coach Michael Anderson.

With Gardiner leading the way on the mound, Ridgeline is 13-0 this season.

“Bri has been a critical part to our season so far, both pitching and hitting. This past week facing Riverton, one of the top lineups in the state and full of great hitters top to bottom, she came to play,” said Anderson. “In the second inning of a tight game, she gave up a home run and a single. Most players would back off or fold to the challenge of those moments and the outlook of possible failure. Bri locked in and took it up a level.”

Miles Layton, Brighton baseball
Miles Layton, Brighton baseball
Matthew Bryant, Lone Peak track
Matthew Bryant, Lone Peak track
Brielle Gardiner, Ridgeline softball
Brielle Gardiner, Ridgeline softball | Andrew Titensor 713-4771
Taya Chalk, Mountain Ridge lacrosse
Taya Chalk, Mountain Ridge lacrosse
Andrew Clayton, Olympus lacrosse
Andrew Clayton, Olympus lacrosse
Joaquim Diniz, Layton Christian soccer
Joaquim Diniz, Layton Christian soccer
Violett Taylor, Rich track
Violett Taylor, Rich track
Cameron Moffat, Clearfield golf
Cameron Moffat, Clearfield golf
Ethan Woodward, Corner Canyon tennis
Ethan Woodward, Corner Canyon tennis
Jackson Wilkey, North Sanpete volleyball
Jackson Wilkey, North Sanpete volleyball

Boys soccer

Joaquim Diniz, Layton Christian (Sr.)

Senior midfielder Joaquim Diniz has been one of the catalysts to Layton Christian’s 6-0 start to the season.

Diniz has recorded three goals and two assists so far for the Eagles.

“The team has been doing well. We have a lot to work on, but the connection so far has been great.

“Joaquim Diniz has been an important piece to our puzzle. He has started in every single game,” said Layton Christian coach Lucas Almeida.

Two weeks ago, Diniz had his best game of the season, recording a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over Maple Mountain.

“His biggest strength and what he brings the most to our group is the ability to find through balls that nobody can. He has a vision that it is hard to find in soccer players,” said Almeida. “I know without a question that he is one of the top soccer players in Utah. Pure talent and hard work.”

Boys track

Matthew Bryant, Lone Peak (So.)

As a freshman last year, Matthew Bryant finished third at the 6A state meet in the discus with a strong throw of 146′08.75. Fast forward to this season and he’s already shattered that mark, and the sky appears to be the limit on his potential.

Bryant won the discus at the Alpha Invitational at Timpanogos High School two weeks ago, with a throw of 178′02.00, the top mark in the state this season. It was a staggering 32-foot improvement from state last season.

“Matthew is the type of athlete that coaches love because he is teachable and is always striving to improve his technique. He’s also a great teammate because he helps and encourages his teammates,” said Lone Peak assistant coach Dan Bryant.

Matthew Bryant also finished first in the shot put at Alpha Invite, with a throw of 53′00, which ranks fifth in the entire state this season. A year ago, he finished sixth in 6A at the state meet with a similar distance.

Girls track

Violett Taylor, Rich (Sr.)

Violett Taylor has been one of the premier athletes in 1A for the past four years, starting on Rich’s volleyball, basketball and track teams.

Last week at the Hurricane Invitational, she continued to show off that talent in a strong performance for her team, winning the 300 hurdles and finishing fourth in the 100 hurdles. She also placed in the top eight in the 100- and 200-meter races.

She won all four events at the 1A state track meet last year.

“Violett is a great young lady. She works hard at becoming better at each of her events. Her attitude helps make her and her teammates better. She (willingly) takes time to share her knowledge about the hurdles with the younger athletes on the team and encourages them,” said Rich coach Glenn Smith.

Taylor’s winning time of 44.57 in the 300 hurdles in Hurricane ranks third in the entire state this spring. Her time of 15.37 in the 100 hurdles is the sixth-best mark in the state.

Boys volleyball

Jackson Wilkey, North Sanpete (Sr.)

Balancing his athletics schedule between volleyball and track, North Sanpete senior Jackson Wilkey is wrapping up his high school career on a strong note.

In recent wins for North Sanpete and Morgan, the senior outside hitter combined to record 38 kills, 28 digs, five solo blocks and one ace.

“Jack is a huge asset to our team and has been a huge contributor to our success. His ability to not only be an offensive threat but a defensive one as well is a huge contributor to our success,” said North Sanpete coach Austin Ison.

North Sanpete owns a 7-8 record in the inaugural season for the UHSAA boys season, as the Hawks figure to be one of the top title contenders next month.

“In every match, he works hard and has been a player we can give the ball to when we need to win. He not only ... is a great volleyball player but is also a great jumper, competing in jumping events for the North Sanpete track team. Jack is a great athlete, teammate, and friend and we are proud to have him on our boys volleyball team.”

Boys lacrosse

Andrew Clayton, Olympus (Sr.)

A year ago, Andrew Clayton tallied 91 points (58 goals, 33 assists) for the Titans, and he’s picked up right where he left off. The senior has notched 16 goals and 15 assists this season, including two games in Colorado last week.

“Andrew Clayton has been one of the most consistent performers for us this year to date. Coming off a big road trip in Colorado against two great teams, he totaled 10 points with seven goals and three assists,” said Olympus coach Nicholas Merrill.

A first team all-stater last season, Clayton has been a major contributor in Olympus’ 6-1 record and current top ranking in 5A.

He is not just filling up the stat sheet, AC is responsible for several winning type plays not always seen with getting several ride backs and ground balls to extend possessions for us. He’s a quiet leader, but has had a very loud impact for our team this season,” said Merrill.

Girls lacrosse

Taya Chalk, Mountain Ridge (Jr.)

Taya Chalk has played a big role in leading Mountain Ridge to a 6-2 record this spring and the current top spot in the Deseret News 6A rankings.

Chalk has 16 goals and nine assists on the season to go along with 14 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.

“Taya is a huge part of our team’s success on and off the field. She’s a friend to everyone, kind, determined, focused and hard working. She is a captain who leads by her example and her teammates respect and look up to her. Taya is the player, teammate, and friend that everyone wants. We are so grateful to have Taya on our team,” said Mountain Ridge coach Angie Brescia.

Last week, Chalk enjoyed her best game of the season in Mountain Ridge’s 17-7 win over Bingham as she notched five goals, three ground balls, one assist and one caused turnover.

A year ago, Chalk recorded 26 goals and 12 assists for the 6A runners-up.

Boys tennis

Ethan Woodward, Corner Canyon (Sr.)

Ethan Woodward has been a four-year member of Corner Canyon’s boys tennis team, but this is his first year making a notable contribution at the top of the team’s lineup.

Woodward is 4-0 on the season so far, with a 3-0 record at first singles and a 1-0 record at second singles.

“He has always been a strong member of the team but this year he has really stepped up his game while playing in the first or second position on our team,” said Corner Canyon coach Allison Rideout.

A year ago, Woodward had a 17-2 record, with 14 of his wins coming at fourth singles — which isn’t a position during the state tournament. This year, however, he’ll be playing a big role for Corner Canyon at state next month.

“He is a quiet and composed player who steadily takes down his opponents. He has increased his speed and elevated his strategy on the court and because of that he is currently undefeated. As a captain, he sets a great example for his teammates as he is a committed and hard-working student and athlete,” said Rideout.

Girls golf

Cameron Moffat, Clearfield (Sr.)

Two matches into the Region 5 season, senior Cameron Moffat is off to a fantastic start for the Falcons.

Moffat has shot a 76 and 73 in Clearfield’s two matches and is currently tied for first in the Region 5 individual standings with a 74.5 stroke average. In the most recent match at Crane Field Golf Course, she shot a 73 to claim medalist honors.

“In my 10-plus years of coaching, I have never had a player of Cameron Moffat’s ability and character. Cam is determined, tenacious and talented in ways I cannot fathom,” said Clearfield coach Rick Gildersleeve.

A year ago, Moffat finished in 13th place at the 6A state tournament.

“Cam is the first at practice and the last to leave. She puts endless hours in mastering her craft. She is our team captain and leads by example. She is not demonstrative, but rather lets her golf do the talking. I am truly blessed to have Cameron Moffat on my Clearfield High golf team,” said Gildersleeve.