Pleasant Grove • Pleasant Grove setter Brisa Winterton straddled a front-row bleacher and surveyed the gym. The Vikings girls’ basketball team was beginning its practice, and balls hitting hardwood drowned out the ambient noise percolating outside the gym.
Perhaps now that Winterton was witnessing that ownership of the gym officially had been transferred to the school’s basketball teams, it began to hit her that it was over. Never again as a player would she step on a high school volleyball court.
The All-Tribune Team
MVP » Brisa Winterton, Sr., Pleasant Grove
» Eliza Katoa, Sr., Layton
» Torre Glasker, So., Bingham
» Riley Lyman, Jr., Enterprise
» Britt Sederholm, Sr., St. Joseph
» Jessie Jorgensen, Sr., Timpview
» Rachel Gale, Sr., Pleasant Grove
The TribPreps team used our observations, input from coaches and analysis of season statistics to pick our All-Tribune team and All-Tribune MVP, which is comprised of seven of the best players in the state of Utah, regardless of classification. They are the seven we would pick if we needed to win a match.
First team » Eliza Katoa, Sr., Layton, OH; Brisa Winterton, Sr., Pleasant Grove, S; Rachel Gale, Sr., Pleasant Grove, OH; Torre Glasker, So., Bingham, OH; Danelle Paraday, Sr., Riverton, OH; Brooke Lamb, Sr., Fremont, OH
Second team » McKenzie Burrows, Sr., Fremont, S; Madison Wolford, Sr., Pleasant Grove, MB; Cyndey Lund, Sr., Lehi, DS; Kaitlin Verbitski, Sr., Northridge, OH; Emily Lewis, Jr., Lone Peak, OH; Lexi Thompson, Sr., Bingham, OH
Honorable mention » Whitney Wray, Jr., Fremont, OH; Megan Boudreaux, Jr., Bingham; Kendall Sargent, Sr., Davis, S; McKayla Houghton, Sr., Lehi, OH; Rylee Cate, Jr., Layton, OH; Rylee Rogers, Jr., Lone Peak, S; Amanda Wayment, Sr., Fremont, MB; Amanda Varley, Sr., Viewmont, OH; Brittley Eldredge, Sr., Northridge, MB; Kelly Erwin, Sr., Northridge, LIB; Kassidy Siddoway, Sr., Brighton, OH
First team » Jessie Jorgensen, Sr., Timpview, S; Kelsee Carlsen, Sr., Sky View, OH; Lauryn Dela Cruz, Sr., Timpview, OH; Taylor Duryea, Sr., Sky View, OH; Milanna Barnes, Sr., Mountain Crest, OH; Brighton Taylor, Sr., Bountiful, RS
Second team » Kacie Hirano, Sr., Woods Cross, LIB; Taylor Gustafson, Sr., Judge, S; Bryli Knell, Sr., Woods Cross, S; Kennedy Redding, So., Bountiful, RS; Lexi Lewis, Sr., Woods Cross, OH; Lexi Barrett, Sr., Mountain Crest, LIB
Honorable mention » Rachel Gondrezick, Jr., Judge, OH; Kassie Sorensen, Sr., Skyline, OH; Marissa Perrett, Sr., Mountain Crest, MB; Sidney Brandon, Jr., Bountiful, LIB; Madison O’Connor, Sr., Skyline, MB; Mallory Mueller, Sr., Box Elder, MB
First team » Alexsa Parker, So., Snow Canyon, OH; Blair Bliss, Sr., Desert Hills, OH; Alexa Goulding, Sr., Desert Hills, S; Shania Hurst, Sr., Hurricane, OH; Brooklyn Gubler, Sr., Hurricane, OH; Addie Edwards, Jr., Hurricane, S
Second team » Malary Reid, Sr., Hurricane, MB; Alisi Fakahua, Jr., Dixie, S; Marley Fakahua, Sr., Cedar City, OH; Samantha Loe, Sr., Desert Hills, OH; McKenzie Schenk, Sr., Morgan, MB; Sela Filo, Sr., Hurricane, RS
Honorable mention » Tali Stevenson, Sr., Dixie, MB; Julia Perez, Sr., Desert Hills, LIB; Jocie Bundy, Sr., Dixie, OH; Taylor Gordon, Sr., North Sanpete, OH
First team » Dakota Robinson, Sr., Enterprise, MB; Alisha Lewis, Sr., South Summit, LF; MaCail Wood, Sr., Beaver, OH; Riley Lyman, Jr., Enterprise, OH; Tatiana Su’esu’e, Jr., San Juan, OH; Sidney Springer, So., Delta, OH
Second team » Sara Morley, So., San Juan, OH; Marisa Eng, Sr., Rowland Hall, OH; Hadley Jensen, Sr., South Sevier, OH; Shaylee LeFevre, Sr., Delta, OH; Natalie Nicols, Jr., South Summit, OH; Sydney Lema, So., Grand County, OH
Honorable mention » Jade Palmer, Jr., San Juan, RS; Jessie Ivins, Jr., San Juan, S; Darbye Moyle, Jr., Enterprise, OH; Charity Bradley, Fr., Waterford, OH; Ashlynn Allred, Jr., Emery, OH; Jaycee Reber, Sr., Enterprise, OH; Kaylee Christensen, Jr., Enterprise, S; Schyler Jordan, Sr., Beaver, OH; Sara Matsumura, So., Rowland Hall, OH
First team » Britt Sederholm, Sr., St. Joseph, MB; Cami Lamborn, Sr., Rich, OH; Shaylee Gleave, Jr., Piute, OH; Jessica Bischoff, Sr., St. Joseph, OH; Audra Thurston, Sr., St. Joseph, MB; Shalyn Bagley, Sr., Piute, MB
Second team » Emily Jackson, Sr., St. Joseph, OH; Whitney Westwood, Sr., Piute, OH; Darri Frandsen, Jr., Panguitch, MB; Mady White, Jr., St. Joseph, LB; Ellen Peart, Sr., Rich, OH; Allie Wall, Sr., Dugway, OH
Honorable mention » Jessica Cuevas, Jr., Wendover, S; Cynthia Kimler, So., Dugway, S; Emily Lincoln, Sr., Intermountain Christian, OH; Chesney Campbell, So., Panguitch, MB; Whitney Allan, Sr., Piute, S
Winterton, the 2013 All-Tribune Team Most Valuable Player, pondered her career as a Viking, the matches she’d won in that gym and the girls she’d won them with. She thought about legacies. A leader on a team that won consecutive Class 5A state titles, she knew what she wanted hers to be.
"[Winning] is something I want to be remembered for, but I also want our team to be remembered for how hard we worked," Winterton said. "It’s a hard road to come back from a state championship to do it again. We struggled a lot this season."
Despite all of her personal success — she averaged 9.9 assists per set and had 268 digs this season, according to MaxPreps.com — any discussion with Winterton about Pleasant Grove’s season inevitably turns to her teammates. She eventually reveals why that is. Without her teammates, volleyball may not have become a passion she’s spent much of her life pursuing.
"I like volleyball because it’s such a team sport," she said. "You always have to be playing as a team. You can’t do it with one person, so you have to rely on others to achieve your goals. You build lifelong friendships."
Winterton gives credit to her teammates because she knows she wouldn’t have been able to bring another state title to Pleasant Grove alone. Yet sitting in the gym, she doesn’t lose sight of her contributions or of the price she paid to get the Vikings back on top.
"I’m just a really hard worker," she said. "Ever since sophomore year, I wanted to start. I always worked hard to be the No. 1 person at my position. I think I’m a fighter. I don’t like to lose."
Fighter is a word Pleasant Grove coach Allyce Jones also uses to describe Winterton, whose competitive streak can be traced to her mother.
"It’s kind of funny, because her parents will sit separate from each other because her mom’s so fiery," Jones said. "When [Brisa] is on the court, she looks like she’s pissed half the time, but it’s just because she’s so dang competitive.
"She’s a fighter. That was kind of the difference, that she kind of took that road as a leader. Didn’t matter what the score was, she was looking at her team, saying, ‘Hey, we’re gonna do this. Let’s go.’"
Winterton is unsure what’s next, now that her high school career is over. She said she has collegiate volleyball offers, but she’s unsure if that’s the right path for her. Her immediate volleyball future is unclear for the first time since she began playing when she was a child.
But if this season was it, if she’ll never play competitively again, Winterton regrets nothing of a career that’s taken her to the heights of Utah prep volleyball.
"It was definitely worth it," she said. "I would never put myself as, like, the No. 1 player, so that’s why I’ve always worked so hard. To finally have that recognition is a neat opportunity because I know how hard I’ve worked."
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