Whether it’s on the football field, basketball court or baseball diamond, Grantsville’s Brady Arbon is an imposing figure at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds.
He’s the type of athlete who gives opponents nightmares. But if you talk to his teammates, Arbon is a gentle giant – a fun-loving teammate who doesn’t take himself too seriously, but when the pressure is on, he always seems to deliver.
And, did he and the Cowboys ever deliver in his senior year. A baseball state championship. A third-place finish in boys basketball. A run to the state quarterfinals in football that saw them come within a two-point conversion of toppling eventual state champion Juan Diego. And Arbon was in the middle of it all, with clutch performance after clutch performance. It is for that reason that Arbon has been named the Transcript Bulletin’s Male Athlete of the Year for 2017-18.
During the Cowboys’ state championship run on the baseball field, Arbon was magnificent both on the pitcher’s mound and at the plate. He recorded an earned-run average of 0.38, including just one run allowed in two complete-game efforts in the state tournament. He had 58 strikeouts and walked just 10. Opposing batters hit just .153 off of him.
At the plate? All he did was hit .427, pound out 12 doubles, two triples and two home runs and drive in 21 runs. During the state tournament, he was 9-for-16 with three doubles and a triple, with two of those doubles coming in the state championship game against Carbon.
Arbon was also a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court. As Grantsville’s starting center, he averaged better than 15 points per game to go with 7.5 rebounds. But heading into the postseason, the Cowboys were a No. 4 seed that had been inconsistent at best, and they weren’t expected to do much.
Arbon was a key reason why Grantsville ended up making a memorable run to a third-place finish. In the first round of the tournament, he erupted for 30 points as the Cowboys knocked off former region rival Union. Five days later in St. George, he had 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in an overtime win over Grand, a team many picked to contend for a state title. He had 11 points in a semifinal loss to Manti, and just missed a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds in the third-place game against Delta.
During the football season, he had 48 tackles and four sacks, and was among the leaders in Class 3A with five interceptions. He was at his best in the biggest games: six tackles and a sack against Stansbury; 11 tackles against Tooele; five tackles, a sack and an interception against Morgan and seven tackles and a sack against Juan Diego. He also had 19 receptions for 314 yards and three touchdowns on offense, including a four-catch, 103-yard, one-TD effort against Tooele.
But stats don’t tell the whole story. Ask football coach Kody Byrd, basketball coach Bryan Detweiler or baseball coach Aaron Perkins about Arbon, and they all will have nothing but good things to say about Arbon the competitor, Arbon the leader, Arbon the teammate and Arbon the person.
The same goes for his teammates. During tense moments in the state baseball tournament, teammates said Arbon was as relaxed as ever, singing along with the music on the public-address system during breaks in play and generally keeping his team relaxed.
A great athlete. A better teammate and person.
There’s no better fit for the title of Athlete of the Year than Arbon.