In a year when Tooele County athletes had so much success, it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few contenders for Female Athlete of the Year accolades.
In fact, while Grantsville’s Hannah Butler ultimately won the award, it wasn’t until the final month of the school year that things started to sort themselves out enough to determine a finalist from each school. The other two finalists for this year’s award also had incredible success in multiple sports and left their mark on the Tooele County high school sports landscape this season.
Stansbury senior Kalee Philips wasn’t just a three-sport athlete — she was a standout in volleyball, basketball and softball. As a defensive specialist/outside hitter during the volleyball season, she led the Stallions with 245 digs, was second with 318 serves received and ranked fourth on the team in aces with 45. Those efforts helped Stansbury finish eighth in Class 4A.
Then came basketball season, with Philips playing a starring role. She tied for the team lead at 9.4 points per game and added 3.1 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.6 steals per contest. She was second on the team with 31 3-pointers made as Stansbury finished second in Region 11 and advanced to the 4A quarterfinals.
On the softball diamond, Philips was the Stallions’ second-best hitter with a .500 average. She was tied for second on the team in doubles (11) and triples (5) and tied for third in home runs (2). She walked 17 times and had just four strikeouts, was hit by six pitches and reached on errors another seven times and had six stolen bases. She also committed just one error in left field, posting a .971 fielding percentage as one of just three seniors on a very young Stansbury squad.
Tooele’s Makenna McCloy will be back for her senior year in the fall after an impressive junior year in soccer and track. She was one of the most dangerous goal-scorers in the state on the soccer pitch, scoring 12 goals in 16 matches for the Buffaloes. She accounted for 63 percent of the Buffs’ total offensive output.
As good as she was in soccer, the track and field season is where McCloy shined brightest. At the Class 4A state track and field championship meet earlier this month, she finished third in the girls’ 100-meter dash, was sixth in the 200 and ran the anchor leg on the Buffs’ third-place 4×100-meter relay team.