Two Grand County High School softball players, Jaci Shumway and Tyra Robertson, garnered all-state honors following the 2018 season. Jaci Shumway, only a freshman, was named to the all-state first team for 3A schools throughout Utah. Tyra Robertson earned a place on the all-state second team and played in the senior all-star game to cap off her final season as a Red Devil. According to their coach, Brook Shumway, the all-state award is a “recognition of the best players in the state.”
All-state teams are decided by the coaches. Based largely on statistics, “coaches vote for players they feel were the top performers,” Shumway said. Coaches cannot vote for players from their own teams.
In her first season playing varsity softball, it was quite an achievement for Jaci Shumway to receive such a lofty place on the 3A all-state teams. Her father and coach said it is “kind of unheard of to get all-state as a freshman.” In the shortstop position, Shumway’s consistently stellar hitting and fielding caught the attention of the other coaches. Ending the season with an impressive .596 average made her “second in all 3A in batting average.” She also racked up five homeruns and 16 doubles. Unfortunately, a lingering injury from volleyball season prevented her from pitching until the end of the season, but she still kept a low 2.10 ERA and helped pitch during the state tournament. Her coach also noted, “Jaci didn’t strike out once the whole year.” Such success bodes well for Shumway’s future on the Red Devil softball team.
Robertson ended her Red Devil softball career in style. As the lead-off hitter, she batted a solid .427 average, hit eight doubles and stole seven bases. She also knocked nine homeruns out of the park. Robertson was a highly versatile player who “played every position the last four years,” said coach Shumway. Switching between outfield and catcher, plus everywhere in between, Robertson was able to fill in wherever she was needed. “She meant a lot to the team. It’s going to be hard to replace her,” Shumway said, describing how Robertson was essential to the team both on and off the field. The team did not have formally designated captains, so other players looked to Robertson to fill that role. “Tyra stepped up and was the vocal leader of the team,” said Shumway, adding that Robertson is “just a great girl… we’ll miss her.” In addition to softball, Robertson was a member of the cheer squad and participated in soccer, volleyball and basketball for at least a season.
While Robertson is finished with high school, she will be continuing her softball career. During the summer, she is playing on an accelerated club team called the Epic. The 18-and-under traveling team recruits “the best players in the state,” Shumway said. At the state championship tournament last weekend, Robertson’s team placed third. In the fall, Robertson will attend Lake Region State College in North Dakota to play softball.
At the same state championship tournament for accelerated softball teams, another of coach Shumway’s daughters, Paige, competed in the 14-and-under league. Her team, the Utah Heat, managed to take first place. Next year, Paige will be in high school and join her sister on the varsity squad.
ByBy Nathaniel Smith