Listed at a bulky, fit 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Grantsville senior Ammon Bartley is an imposing figure that makes opponents take notice, whether it’s on the gridiron or the hardwood.
That’s before he starts playing — before he shows off his soft hands and breakaway speed as a star receiver for the Cowboys’ football team, or before opposing coaches, players and fans see his athleticism and sharp passing as Grantsville’s “point forward” on the basketball floor.
And, to boot, he does it all with a smile.
Bartley is the Transcript Bulletin’s 2019-20 Male Athlete of the Year, having helped lead Grantsville High to one of its finest athletic years in recent memory before the spring sports season was canceled because of COVID-19. He earned All-State recognition in football and basketball, and the Cowboys found themselves among the top teams in the state in both sports thanks in large part to his contributions.
During the football season, Grantsville posted a 10-3 record and won its first region championship since 1998, several years before any of the current seniors were born. The Cowboys eventually reached the Class 3A state semifinals for the first time since the seniors were in preschool in 2005. Bartley played a huge role as quarterback Jackson Sandberg’s favorite target in the passing game, catching 68 passes for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns and leading the team in scoring with 68 points as he garnered Region 13 Most Valuable Player and First Team All-State honors.
In addition to his exploits on the offensive side of the ball, Bartley also recorded 67 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, an interception, two fumble recoveries, a sack and two quarterback hurries on defense.
Bartley opened Grantsville’s nine-game winning streak with back-to-back dominant performances in victories over Delta and San Juan. He had four catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns against Delta, including an 83-yard reception, and he followed that up with eight catches for 132 yards and two scores to go with an interception and 10 tackles against San Juan.
His offensive numbers weren’t as flashy in Region 13 play, but he was a force to be reckoned with on defense. He had five solo tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery and a tackle-for-loss against Summit Academy. He also had five solo tackles, a tackle-for-loss and a fumble recovery against Juan Diego, six solo tackles against South Summit and eight solo tackles against Morgan as the Cowboys clinched the region title.
His offensive numbers came back with a vengeance as the games got more important. He had five catches for 88 yards against Morgan and six receptions for 110 yards in the first round of the state playoffs against Union before an incredible eight-catch, 187-yard, three-TD performance against Richfield in the state quarterfinals that included a 92-yard catch and run. He finished his career with eight catches for 101 yards to go with five solo tackles in the Cowboys’ heartbreaking 22-20 loss to Juab in the semis.
For his career, Bartley finished with 98 receptions for 1,719 yards and 16 touchdowns in 31 games played. He also had 127 tackles, three sacks, nine quarterback hurries, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
On the basketball court, Bartley played a key leadership role for a young Cowboys squad that faced a lot of adversity. Grantsville lost five of its first seven games, and first-year coach Robb Collins was replaced by assistant Stace Riding just before Christmas. However, once region play began, the Cowboys found their stride and became one of Class 3A’s toughest teams, finishing second in Region 13 and ultimately finishing fifth in the 3A state tournament with a 15-10 overall record.
Bartley was an Honorable Mention All-State selection, finishing as Grantsville’s fourth-leading scorer at 7.4 points per game. He led the team in assists (76) and finished third on the team in 3-pointers made (18) and second in rebounds (155), steals (39) and blocks (13).
Just as he did during football season, Bartley stepped up on the biggest stages: the region season and the postseason. He had 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists against Providence Hall and 14 points, 13 rebounds and four assists against South Summit. He also had 22 points and eight rebounds against Summit Academy.
In the state tournament, he was at his stat sheet-stuffing best. He had five points, seven rebounds and five assists in the first round against American Leadership Academy, and added 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists in a tough quarterfinal loss to eventual state champion Manti. In the consolation bracket, he had 12 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals against San Juan to lift Grantsville into the fifth-place game against South Sevier, where he had five points, seven rebounds and three assists.