Every morning, a message greeted Riley Ottesen when he looked in the mirror.
It was scrawled on a piece of paper, held up by tape: "We will be state champions, and I will be 5A MVP."
For a while, the optimism of that statement was outweighed only by its boldness. But as the season went on, Ottesen took his own steps to make his goals a reality.
"It meant a lot to me, and I wanted to get there," he says. "We weren't going to be runner-up this year."
American Fork won its first title in 27 years thanks to Ottesen, The Tribune's 5A MVP who was never shy about his ambitions. But he perhaps surpassed even his own vision, pitching a complete game and knocking in the winning run for a memorable 5-4 victory against Taylorsville.
The No. 2 hitter in the order and one of the Cavemen's starting pitchers, Ottesen had a flair for stepping up in the postseason. He had a similarly heroic game pitching and hitting against Jordan, holding one of the state's most dangerous lineups relatively silent while going 3 for 4 himself. He also hit the game-winning sacrifice fly against Alta to secure a championship berth.
For the year, Ottesen went 9-1 on the mound with a 1.44 ERA, and also batted .460. Overall it wasn't a bad year for the junior but opponents should be sweating how he might try to top himself next season.
"I just want to keep getting better," Ottesen says. "This just shows how good we can be."