When the Utah High School Activities Association announced that all spring sports would be cancelled, athletes across the state were devastated. All that demanding work, and no season to show for it. For many senior athletes, the cancellation of the season meant they would no longer participate in the sport they loved. These sports included boys’ tennis, baseball, softball, track and field and boys’ soccer.
For a few senior athletes, missing out on their senior high school season does not mean they will have to leave their support behind. These athletes have all signed letters of intent and will be bringing their athletic talents with them to the collegiate level.
Sage Bowers of Springville High School will play softball for Snow College.
Sage, an outfielder, has been playing softball in a travel league since 6th grade. While the game is what brought her to the field, it has been the experiences that have made her stay.
“My absolute favorite part of softball is the time I get to spend with my teammates, whether it’s playing in games, belting songs on the bus, goofing off in the locker room, or even conditioning,” she said. “I have gained my greatest friends from this sport and will forever cherish the time we got to spend with each other.”
Sage’s career highlights include traveling to state as a freshman and making a game changing catch to beat out Wasatch in the state tournament last year. She also earned several tournament championships with her club team, including Sanpete Shootout Champs and winning a USSSA championship ring in Tooele. More than the titles and game-winning actions, Sage it was what happened throughout her career that have been highlights.
“Doing a hook slide while running bases, diving to make a catch in the outfield, hitting home runs — Signing with Snow! These are what I will remember,” Sage said.
While still holding out hope for some sort of season, Sage said that the thing that has made her the saddest about missing her senior season is not being able to see her coaches and teammates. “When I was told our season was cancelled, I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “I immediately cried for all the things we wouldn’t get to do my last year. All the hard work we had put into this season and the high hopes we had for the state tournament. Luckily, I wasn’t alone in this and was able to Facetime and cry with one of my senior teammates and close friends.”
Looking forward to her future as a scholarship athlete at Snow College, Sage looks back with gratitude to time on her club team.
“My travel coaches were the key to helping me get noticed by colleges,” she said. “It also helped that I got to play with such talented girls! The summer tournaments our coaches put us in got us the exposure and experience we needed. They also scheduled double headers against snow every summer as well.”
Sage says she looks forward to “Badgering up” with her new team in the Fall.
Madyson “Maddy” Lackey of Spanish Fork will play softball for Snow College.
Maddy Lackey of Spanish Fork can play just about any position on the softball field, which is likely a key component in why Snow College has signed her on to play next season.
Maddy started playing when she was in fourth grade because she wanted to be just like her mom, who also had a love for the game.
She loves the team aspect that comes with the game, as the team works together to form close bonds. What she enjoys most about softball is playing defense and being able to make cool plays.
When asked about her career highlights, she joked about her injury-prone body.
“My career highlight has definitely got to be tearing both of my ACLs two years in a row,” she joked. “Haha, not really but taking second in state two years in a row is pretty awesome!”
While the 2020 season is the only season most seniors will have to miss, Maddy has already had to sit out two previous seasons due to injury.
“I had two ACL surgeries during my freshman and sophomore year so I have already missed two of the four years of playing high school sports,” she said.
“Now having another season taken away from me has been devastating for me. But, I think that going through what I went through with having to sit out for two years turned me into a really hard and dedicated girl for this sport. It made me realize that I can’t take it for granted, and I need to work hard every second I’m out on the field. This ended up paying off because someone is always watching!”
As Maddy prepares to play softball at Snow College in Ephraim, she says she appreciates everyone who didn’t doubt her coming back from my surgeries, and those who pushed her to become a better player
Mason Olson of Spanish Fork will play baseball for College of Southern Idaho.
For as long as he can remember, Mason Olson has played baseball. As a pitcher and an outfielder, for Spanish Fork High and the Mountain West Baseball club, Mason said his favorite part is winning and being with his friends on and off his team. He also said that he loved being able to play with his older brother, Sage.
“There have been a lot of great things over the years, but my sophomore year we were playing in St. George, and I started for the first time,” he said.
”That year, I also got to play with my older brother. Last year in the first round of the state tournament, we played two close games against Ridgeline and Park City, at our home field, and we won. That was really awesome.”
Missing out on his senior season, he said, has been really hard on him and the rest of his team.
“It’s been awful,” he said. “This is something that me and the rest of the seniors have been looking forward to our whole lives. We have all looked up to Spanish Fork players since we were little kids, and we were all pumped to be one of those players that people look up to. When I learned that the season was over I was mad and sad that it was all over and so was the rest of the team. We are all still sad about it.”
As difficult as it is to move on without his high school teammates, he said he is grateful to all of them, as well as his coaches and family for all their support.
“I want to thank my coaches over the past few years for helping me become better at baseball and for making me a better person and my parents,” he said.
“I also want to thank all the teammates that I have had for pushing me.”
Mason said he hopes to move to a division 1 baseball program after his time at College of Southern Idaho, with another goal of getting drafted and have a career in the Major Leagues.
Other spring athletes signing letters of intent are the following baseball and softball athletes from Salem Hills High School:
Cooper Loveridge: Air Force Academy.
Chase Higginson: College of Southern Idaho.
Kyle Coburn: Utah Valley University.
Miah Hartvigsen – Morrehead: Minnesota St. University. (Arianne Brown and Anderson Brown are Serve Daily contributors.)