Cooper Vest played just seven games for Dixie High’s baseball team this season because the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of spring sports in Utah.

But those seven games were enough to land Vest the Gatorade Utah Baseball Player of the Year award. He’s the first baseball player in school history to receive the accolade, which means a great deal to him.

“I love my school,” Vest said. “My passion for Dixie High is super, super strong just because of the deep … tradition that is has, as well as the type of people and administrators and coaches that are there.”

Vest went 2-0 as a pitcher with 31 strikeouts and only two walks and one hit allowed in his senior season. On top of that, he hit .267 and drove in five runs.

In four seasons with the Flyers, Vest played 89 games, hit .364 and amassed 64 RBIs. As a pitcher, he had a 22-1 record with 252 strikeouts and an earned run average of just 1.16.

(Photo courtesy of Cooper Vest) Dixie High senior Cooper Vest stands at the plate for the Flyers. Vest, who will play baseball for BYU in the fall, won the Gatorade Utah Baseball Player of the Year award.

Vest said he felt “shocked” and “saddened” when he learned springs sports were canceled in the state. He felt mostly for the seniors who would not get a chance to play baseball in college.

“This was supposed to cap off and be the cherry on top of their baseball careers,” Vest said.

Vest signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at BYU. He’s been committed there, however, since his freshmen year at Dixie High. He will start school and his baseball career at BYU in the fall.

Vest won back-to-back 4A state championships with the Flyers in 2017 and 2018. Dixie High also went to the title game in 2019, but lost to Desert Hills, 16-3.

Vest said he’ll always fondly remember the dog piles from the two state title games the Flyers won.

“Those two games were unbelievable,” he said.