Annie Mecham, seen in a file photo from earlier this year, served up 23 assists as four hitters nearly reached double-digit kills against Viewmont.
After suffering first region loss to Bountiful, Bees return to form in straight-set win over Viewmont
October 18, 2017 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer
The Box Elder high school volleyball team made the most of their lone outing last week when they scored a straight-set win over region opponent Viewmont by a score of 25-18, 25-16, 25-20. The Vikings looked much improved compared to the teams’ first meeting earlier this season when the Bees romped to a straight set win on the road. This time around, in Brigham City, the Vikings came out looking like a team on a mission to pull off an upset over the number two ranked team in the 5A classification and kept things close early on. “[The Vikings] definitely played us better this time than last time,” said Box Elder head coach Kristine Harding. “They passed better, which led them to a stronger offense.” But the Bees were determined to keep pace with top-ranked Bountiful and maintain their unblemished home record. Emily Isaacson, Jaida Burt, and Shayna Baugh each came up with nine kills on the night and Andreanna Mckee chipped in eight kills to lead the Bees offensive attack that proved too much for the Vikings to handle. Annie Mecham gave assists on the bulk of those kills, recording 23, and also served up a team-high four aces to keep the Vikings on their heels. Backline teammates Morgan Reeder and Nyah DeRyke each came up with 11 digs on the night to start the offense for the Bees. On the frontline, Burt and Baugh combined for eight kill blocks in the middle while outside hitters Isaacson and Mckee came up with another eight to power the Bees to the victory. The win keeps the Bees in second place in the region standings at 4-1. The Braves held onto the top spot with a straight set win over Roy to move them to 4-0. Woods Cross grabbed the third spot in the region with wins over Roy and the Viewmont to move their record to 3-2. With two losses each last week, the Vikings and Royals sit in fourth and fifth respectively. The Bees played their only match this week on Tuesday, when they traveled to Woods Cross to take on the Wildcats (results not available by press time). On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the Bees will have their highly anticipated rematch with the Braves, this time on their home court. The Bees will be looking to avenge their only loss to an in-state team so far this year and won’t need any extra motivation as they face-off against the top-ranked team in all of 5A in their final home match of the season. The match against the Braves is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. The Bees will finish up their regular season next Thursday on the road against Roy before heading into the state tournament. The state tournament will be held at Utah Valley University in Orem Nov. 3-4.
Box Elder lineman Tyson Madsen shrugs off a couple of Woods Cross defenders to pull in one of his two touchdowns in the Bees’ 21-37 loss to the Wildcats.
Box Elder football team’s playoff hopes end with loss to Wildcats
October 18, 2017 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer
The Box Elder High School football team saw their playoff dreams come to a painful end last Friday night as Woods Cross secured their own playoff berth with a 37-21 win. The Wildcats built a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter to put the Bees in a hole early and left them chasing the rest of the game. The Bees again struggled moving the ball this week and got off just 54 plays, compared to 70 by the Wildcats, and put up a comparatively meager 211 total yards to Woods Cross’ 513. The Wildcats did the bulk of their damage through the air as quarterback Carston Naegle racked up 360 yards passing and two touchdowns. Naegle opened the scoring for the home team in the first quarter when he connected with wide receiver Judge Samuelu for a 12-yard touchdown. Tucker Goodfellow booted a 41-yard field goal early in the second quarter and Naegle added to the lead with a one yard dive later in the period to put the Wildcats up 17-0. The Bees found an answer just before halftime as quarterback Jeremy Kaleikini found lineman Tyson Madsen from eight yards out to cut the lead to 10, 17-7, at the halftime break. But the Wildcats curbed any momentum the Bees had quickly in the third quarter as Naegle hooked up with Jordan Johnson for a six-yard touchdown pass to start the period. Running back Justice Samuelu then supplied a highlight run as he scampered 39 yards for a score and gave the Wildcats a commanding 31-7 lead midway through the third period. Samuelu lead the way for the Wildcats ground game with 83 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown. The Bees were able to manufacture a drive late in the third, which was capped off by Kaleikini plowing in from a yard out to cut the lead to 31-14 at the end of the third. To start the fourth, the Wildcats drove inside the red zone, but were held by the defense and settled for a 28-yard field goal by Goodfellow, which pushed the lead to 34-14. Kaleikini again found Madsen, this time from 12 yards out, to cut the lead to 34-21, but the comeback attempt fizzled as the Bees couldn’t find enough offense down the stretch and the Wildcats ran out the clock. Madsen finished the game as the leading receiver for the Bees with 29 yards and two touchdowns on three catches. Kaleikini finished completing 10-of-19 pass attempts for 135 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions on the night. Goodfellow tacked on another field goal from 40 yards out late in the fourth quarter to set the final margin. The win lands the Wildcats in a three-way tie for second place as they, Bountiful, and Roy all finished the regular season at 2-2. Viewmont ran the table to finish first at 4-0 in region play. The coin flip to break the tie was held Monday to determine the remainder of the seeding from Region 5. For the Bees, they are left as the odd man out of the playoff picture. However, the team has a chance to send the seniors out on a high note as the Bees will host Bonneville tonight in the season finale. The Lakers have won three of their last four outings and are coming off a loss to Stansbury last Friday. The Lakers have also wrapped up the third seed in Region 11 in the 4A classification and will be looking for a tune-up against a 5A foe before beginning their own state tournament quest. The game against the Lakers is scheduled to kick-off from Brigham City at 7 p.m.
‘Match-of-the-year’ ends in favor of Bountiful, 3-0
After losing the first set, 25-14, frustration is evident on the Bees’ faces when an official reversed a point and gave it to Bountiful on a rules infraction.
October 11, 2017 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer
Last week started on a sour note for the Box Elder High School volleyball team when they traveled to top-ranked Bountiful last Tuesday evening and lost the match in straight sets before blasting Roy on Thursday to stay in second place in Region 5. In what was touted as the “match of the year,” which featured the top two teams in the 5A classification, round one easily went to the Braves as they jumped on the visitors early in the first frame and never let off the gas. Kaybrie Pe’a and Baylee Mittelstaedt each recorded nine kills for the Braves while Brooke Pe’a chalked up eight as the Braves rolled to the win 25-14, 25-9, 25-12. “I feel [the Braves] jumped out early and got the momentum. Then we could never get it back,” said Bees’ head coach Kristine Harding said after the match. “You can say lots of things went wrong that night, but the truth is [the Braves] stepped up and we didn’t respond.” Harding said that during the game, it seemed like the Bees could not pass off the Braves’ serves and gave up a lot of easy points. Following film and statistics review, however, Harding said the Bees’ passing was fine, and that the Braves simply played “flawlessly,” and frustrated Box Elder’s offense with stifling blocking at the net. When asked if the team had any takeaways for the next go-around with the Braves, Harding said, “Our girls know [the Braves] will always play their best against us and we need to be ready physically and mentally.”
Box Elder defenders gang up to take down Roy senior fullback Trace Tupe, who ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
Bees stopped short in defensive struggle
October 11, 2017 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer
The Box Elder High School football team grabbed an early lead against Roy last Friday, but were unable to muster enough offense later in the game as the Royals came back and grabbed a 14-6 win. Bees’ quarterback Jeremy Kaleikini threw for 143 yards and completed 8-of-18 pass attempts, but the Bees ran for just 19 yards as a team and had trouble sustaining drives all night long against a physical front from the Royals. The Bees were only able to get off 44 plays while the Royals ran 69. The Royals also had more success moving the ball up and down the field as they recorded 18 first downs on the night while the Bees gained just six. After the game, Bees’ head coach Robbie Gunter said the lack of early down success continually put the offense in a difficult spot. “We tried running on first and second down, but we would only get a yard or two, so then it’s second and eight or third and nine,” Gunter said. “We just couldn’t put many drives together.” The third-and-long situations proved difficult for the Bees as they were just 2-of-11 on third down while the Royals converted 6 of their 13 third down plays. The Bees opened the scoring in the first quarter when Kaleikini connected with wideout Braxton Moser for a 39-yard score. A failed two-point conversion left the home team up 6-0 after the first quarter. From there, the offensive woes for the Bees began, and a heavy dose of the ground game brought the Royals back. Trace Tupe punched in touchdown runs from six yards and three yards in the second and third quarters, respectively, to cap off long drives from the Royals and set the final margin. Tupe finished the game with 127 yards on 29 carries with two touchdowns. The Bees did come away from the game with some positives as it was their first game this season where they didn’t commit a turnover. The team was also only flagged for penalties twice in the game for 42 yards. But the lack of offensive productivity proved too much for the Bees to overcome and will have to be addressed this week as the team prepares for their final region game this Friday night on the road against Woods Cross. The Wildcats are coming off of consecutive losses to Bountiful and Viewmont and sit at 1-2 in region play. The Bees are on the bottom looking up with an 0-3 record and face a do-or-die scenario on Friday. A win for the Bees would put them into a tie with the Wildcats and force a play-in game, while a win for the Wildcats would secure them the fourth seed from Region 5 and knock the Bees out. The game against the Wildcats is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. Win or lose, the Bees will wrap up their home schedule next week when they host Bonneville on senior night. With fall break coming up next week, the game against the Lakers will be Wednesday night and is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Picking up where they left off
Bees return from week break to post fourth consecutive straight-set victory in win over Woods Cross
October 4, 2017 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer
Despite having a full week in between matches, the Box Elder High School volleyball team wasted no time finding their form against Woods Cross last Thursday as the Bees recorded their fourth consecutive straight-set victory, 25-13, 25-14, 25-18. Bees’ head coach Kristine Harding attributed the team’s success to their ability to understand their opponent’s weaknesses and attacking them. “The most impressive thing from tonight is, we gave the girls a scouting report and they came out and executed it perfectly,” Harding said. “They knew their defensive positions, who we were tracking, who we were going after. They showed a lot of maturity and a lot of energy.” Coach Harding went on to say that her team showed a lot of patience and maturity even when the Wildcats did find some success. “I felt like every player [for the Wildcats] had fast arm swings. [The Wildcats] had some good kills, but the girls never got discouraged by that. The attitude was, ‘They can bring it and we can bring it, so let’s just tag team.’ I think that mentality didn’t let them get discouraged or lose momentum,” Harding said. “We knew [the Wildcats] would get some kills, so when they did, our girls came right back and got theirs.” The Bees set the tone of the match right from the onset as tough serves from Annie Mecham put the Wildcats on their heels and kept the Bees on the attack. Even if the serve wasn’t an ace, it was all the Wildcats could do to get the ball back over the net, where the Bees pounced and fired back winner after to winner to go up 5-0 early. The strong serving continued throughout the first game as Nyah DeRyke and Andreanna McKee each joined Mecham in serving up multiple aces and helping to bury the Wildcats in the opening frame. In the second game, the Wildcats seemed to shake off some of the rust from the bus ride up and stayed close early, even taking an early lead at 6-4. But the Bees again asserted dominance as McKee and Emily Isaacson each came alive as the Bees regularly fed their outside hitters to take a 15-9 lead midway through the frame before cruising to a 25-14 win. Isaacson finished the night with 9 kills and 12 digs while McKee came up with seven kills, seven digs, and two aces from the service line. The Bees’ defense also was on display in the second as a big block kill from McKee and middle blocker Shayna Baugh put an end the frame in favor of the Bees. Baugh stuffed the stat sheet with seven kills, four kill blocks, 10 digs, and six aces on the night. Despite being down 0-2, the Wildcats came out with some fire in the third game and were able to trade points with the Bees behind 6 foot 2 inch senior and team captain, Whitney Mcewan. Trailing 12-11, the Bees called timeout and took control from that point. More blocking from the Bees put them ahead 19-14 and the Wildcats knew the end was nigh. Morgan Reeder stepped into the serving party and ripped two straight aces to bring the Bees to the brink of victory and a hitting error from the visiting team finished off the match. The win keeps the Bees on top of the region standings at 2-0 while the Wildcats fall to 1-1. Last night, the Bees had their first showdown of the season with top-rated Bountiful (results not available by press time). The Braves have been ranked first in 5A since the opening week of the season and last night was the Bee’s best chance to take over that spot. Tomorrow night, the Bees will be in action at home when they take on Roy. The Royals started region play 0-2 with losses to the Wildcats and Viewmont. The match against the Royals is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Clearfield’s quarterback finds himself in a familar position, as Box Elder’s Tyson Madsen tackles him for a sack. Madsen had two sacks as the Bees’ racked up four sacks and seven tackles for loss. Madsen also blocked a field goal attempt.
Quarterback Jeremy Kaleikini rushed for a season-high 171 yards and a touchdown, and proved to be the catalyst that helped the Box Elder High School football team snap a two-game losing streak as they beat Clearfield last Friday, 24-7. The win was far from perfect as the Bees were forced to overcome four turnovers during the game as well as being flagged for 10 penalties worth 187 yards on the night. After the game, Bees head coach Robbie Gunter chalked up the win to the team’s determination and grit even more than the execution of the game plan. “We just stuck with the plan tonight. I think the kids came out and surprised [the Falcons] a little bit because they had seen the film from our previous games,” Gunter said. “Our kids have always practiced hard, but didn’t always show it in the game. Tonight, we looked like we do in practice and that was the biggest difference.” Gunter went on to say, “Even though our kids made some mistakes, they didn’t let that get them down. They just played hard and were getting after it all night, so I’m very proud of them for that.” The win moves the Bees to 3-4 overall on the year while the Falcons fall to 4-3. This week, the Bees will get back to region action when they host Roy on Friday. The Royals enter the contest at 3-4 and 1-2 in Region 5, after a 35-28 loss to Viewmont.
The injury bug and bad bounces
McKenna Ricks focuses on coralling a loose ball in a match against Woods Cross last week. The Bees lost the match, 0-2.
Coach optimistic team can salvage season and make the playoffs
September 27, 2017 • Sean Hales • Managing Editor
A year that started with such promise—with the Bees out scoring opponents 15-4 en-route to a 5-0-2 record—has degenerated into a struggle to field a team and being the recipients of bad bounces that has since resulted in a record of 0-4-1. “We continue to be plagued by injuries,” said Box Elder High School girls’ soccer coach, Brett Harris. “It’s rough. We’re pretty beat up.” Last week, on the same day Emily Robb returned from concussion, she was forced to leave the game with another concussion. In all, the Bees lost two players to concussions and one with a high ankle sprain last week. The Bees have had to put freshman on the varsity pitch, at times this year. “It has been frustrating,” Harris said, adding that “the team has handled it well. The JV has really improved. They’ve improved every game.” In terms of bad bounces, the Bees’ first game last week was a prime example. “We lost to a team that didn’t score a goal,” Harris said of the Bees’ 0-1 loss at Viewmont on Tuesday. While the official score sheet credits Viewmont’s Paige Bowcutt with the first half goal, Harris said the ball, sent toward the net off a corner kick, bounced off the ground and was redirected off a Box Elder player into the net for an own goal. “That’s just the standard chaos that comes off set pieces,” Harris said. In the second half, the Bees produced many scoring chances, including a penalty kick, but were unable to capitalize. Two days later, on Thursday, the Bees dropped a home match against Woods Cross, 0-2. Harris said that given his team’s significant battle with injury, dropping a game to the top team in the region by only two goals is a testament to the girls. “That definitely tells you that everything is working,” Harris said. “The girls are battling to the very end. It makes me proud to be a coach.” The Bees are in fourth place in the region standings, and Harris is optimistic of his team’s chances to at least keep that spot and make the state tournament. “On paper, it may look more grim than it really is,” Harris said. The Bees have upwards of five players out due to injury, but most of them should return in time for the final two games of the regular season. “Even though we’ve taken our lumps, you can’t count us out yet.” Box Elder will play at Bountiful tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 28, and host Roy, on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
Box Elder’s Steve Handy concentrates on hauling in a pass in the first half against Viewmont. Handy was the Bees’ top receiver in the game against the Vikings, Viewmont, making three receptions for 39 yards.
Vikings send Bees to second straight loss
September 27, 2017 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer
Senior running back Cameron Brown rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Davis Weir threw for 195 yards and another two scores as Viewmont High School’s football team sent Box Elder to their second straight defeat, 38-13. After the game, Bees head coach Robbie Gunter said his team looked prepared during the week, but seemed to lack some necessary confidence once the lights came on Friday night. “This group of kids loves football. If you saw them in practice on Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday, you’d probably think, ‘Man, this is a good football team,’” Gunter said. “But when it’s game time, you have to have that same belief and we aren’t showing that on the field right now.” Coach Gunter went on to say, “I believe we have the talent to compete with anybody, but the kids have to believe that as well. We’re working in practice to build the team up and get them to see how good they are and how good they can be. And we’ll continue to work that process.”
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