High school baseball: Wayne’s Jaden Ellett named Deseret News 1A MVP – Deseret News
Jaden Ellett always had a way of making an impact on a game for Wayne’s baseball team. Whether it was at the plate, on the bases or with the glove, the senior could usually be counted on to deliver for the Badgers.
That was never more evident than in the 1A championship game in October. When the leadoff hitter stepped to the plate in the top of the first inning, he drew a walk, quickly stole second and eventually came around to score. In that one at-bat, Ellett set the tone for the entire game as Wayne routed Tabiona 16-4 to claim its first 1A championship since 2010.
That sequence in many ways summed up Ellett’s importance to Wayne’s baseball team this season, a big reason he’s been named the Deseret News 1A MVP.
“He brought a lot of intangibles to the team,” said Wayne coach Scott Ellett, who’s also Jaden’s father. “He’s one of those kids that’s always practicing. Put a lot of time in the offseason working on baseball. You’d often find him playing and practicing outside of the season, and even when we didn’t have practices in season he was practicing.”
All that practice paid dividends as the senior led Wayne with an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.273, a slugging percent of .721 and a batting average of .426.
His defense is what separated him from everyone else in 1A. Originally, Ellett was slated to play catcher, but a knee injury suffered in wrestling the season before limited how often he could crouch behind the plate.
It probably turned out to be a good thing. He was dynamite defensively at shortstop and won the team’s gold glove.
Ellett was so valuable at shortstop it really limited how often he contributed to Wayne’s pitching staff.
“It was hard to take him away from shortstop. It shored up our left side of the infield when he was on short. When he was there our defense was toughest. We had other pitchers who could pitch,” said coach Ellett.
He helped Wayne to a pair of error-free games in the 1A quarterfinals and semifinals, and even though the team defense was a bit sloppy in the championship, Ellett contributed in many different ways.
By ending his career as a state champion, Ellett will no longer be the odd-brother out at the dinner table. Two of his older brothers previously helped Wayne win state championships, and now it’s a feather in his cap as well.
“I have two older sons that both were able to hoist a trophy over their heads, and it’s been a dream of Jaden’s as he’s watched his older brothers,” said coach Ellett. “He was the little brother that followed his older brothers around. He started playing at a really young age, and baseball’s a big part of our family.”
That love for the game helped Ellett play through the knee pain that eventually required him to have surgery on his meniscus earlier this month. It’s rendered him to crutches, and might mean the end of his high school sports career, but if that’s the case he ended it with the championship he’s coveted most of all.
Class 1A MVP
Jaden Ellett, Wayne, Sr.
Class 1A First Team
Brendan Robins, Wayne, Sr.
Landon Chappell, Wayne, Sr.
Mason Morgan, Piute, Jr.
Kesler Blood, Piute, So.
Kix Roundy, Bryce Valley, Sr.
Justin Clyde, Tabiona, Sr.
Nick Gruet, St. Joseph, Sr.
Kobe Reck, Monticello, Jr.
Dusty Jones, Tabiona, Sr.
Dason Houston, Panguitch, Sr.
Ryan Westwood, Piute, Jr.
Trey Barney, Panguitch, Jr.
Reno Humphrey, Tabiona, Sr.
Landyn Brinkerhoff, Bryce Valley, Sr.
Brock Brinkerhoff, Wayne, Sr.
Class 1A Second Team
Bridger Steele, Tintic, Sr.
JD Sanchez, Pinnacle, Jr.
Nathan Dendy, Wayne, Sr.
Matt Morton, St. Joseph, Jr.
Kolton Owens, Panguitch, Jr.
Beau Bateman, Tabiona, Jr.
Brennan Wagner, Tabiona, Jr.
Porter VanOrden, Wayne, Sr.
Dylan Lefler, Tabiona, Sr.
Devin Lefler, Tabiona, Sr.
Cameron Lefler, Tabiona, Jr.
Daxton Tebbs, Bryce Valley, Sr.
Zack Davis, Wayne, Sr.
Cooper Williams, Wayne, Jr.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: email@example.com