ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Jake Dahle enjoys the ride for Bear River hoops, baseball

Sunday , July 15, 2018 - 5:15 AM

Jake Dahle was sitting in the car as his family was driving from Tremonton to Nephi to visit his grandparents.

It was Christmas Break, but Dahle was pounding the keyboard on his computer trying to finish an assignment for a Utah State english class. Or was it a psychology class?

He can’t remember exactly which, only that he worked on the paper at his grandparents’ house and finished it on the drive back to Tremonton that same day.

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Mazzie Melaney runs, shoots and kicks Fremont to victories

Such is the busy life of a multi-sport high school student athlete. Whether it was the airport or a hotel room or wherever, Dahle, a recently graduated Bear River baseball and basketball player — and this year’s Standard-Examiner Male Athlete of the Year — pulled off his balancing act.

Dahle loves both sports but started investing most of his time and energy into baseball after going to a camp at Treasure Valley Community College when he was a sophomore and talked to the team’s coaches.

“They said they were going to offer me (a scholarship) so that kind of hit me like, ‘Hey, I could be really good at this sport and if I keep working hard, maybe I can get bigger opportunities and stuff like that,’” he said.

As Dahle grew and got better at pitching, college scouts and even a handful of professional scouts took notice, intrigued by an athletic, 6-foot-4 kid whose fastball sat between 88-90 mph.

Utah, Utah Valley, Hawaii, Coppin State, UC Irvine and several junior colleges offered scholarships or roster spots and the attention fueled his passion for the game.

“It really helped me with the fact that what I was doing and putting all this extra time and effort into it is paying off, and maybe someday if I keep working hard my dream can come true of playing in the MLB,” Dahle said.

Dahle was undecided on what his post-high school plans were until July 11 when he committed to the University of Utah as a pitcher after the Utes coaches offered him a scholarship the day before.

Dahle, a Standard-Examiner All-Area Baseball First Team selection, had a 6-3 pitching record with a 1.73 ERA in 52 2/3 innings.

He struck out 79 batters against 12 walks and allowed a .211 opposing batting average. Dahle also batted .379 with 21 RBIs, 18 doubles and three home runs for the Bears.

In basketball, he averaged 14.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor for a team that went 16-7.

Dahle is extremely competitive. Case in point, one of his favorite professional baseball players is Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals’ prolific slugger whose edginess and fire sometimes rubs people the wrong way. But nobody denies Harper has an unstoppable passion for baseball.

Dahle said he kept playing basketball because the college and pro scouts he spoke with like multi-sport athletes and, being a pitcher, it gave him time to rest his arm before the high school season. But Dahle loves basketball, too, for its close-quarters fashion.

“I love the atmosphere it brings, I love the competitive nature and that ... you’re right there with your team and the other team and you’re right in each other’s faces. I love that,” Dahle said.

Both of Bear River’s basketball and baseball teams played well and went to the playoffs, but that wasn’t his favorite part of the high school sports season. It was the process.

“Hanging out with friends, working hard every day with all my friends, making relationships that’ll last a lifetime with those guys,” he said.

You can reach prep sports reporter Patrick Carr at pcarr@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @patrickcarr_ or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/patrickcarr17.

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