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Viking Tyler Jensen commits to play baseball at Utah Valley University

Tyler Jensen signs to play baseball with Utah Valley University. Jensen was joined by his parents, coaches and teammates at Williams High School. (Morgan Smith/WGCN)

Tyler Jensen signs to play baseball with Utah Valley University. Jensen was joined by his parents, coaches and teammates at Williams High School. (Morgan Smith/WGCN)

Whether its playing football, basketball or baseball, sports have always been a part of Tyler Jensen’s life, and now the long-time Williams resident is taking those skills to a new level with the commitment to play baseball at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah next year.

Tyler is well-known in the Williams community as a strong athlete who was a leader in youth baseball, basketball and football, and most recently has been wearing orange and black for the Williams High School football and baseball teams.

Last year, Tyler made the 1A Conference First Team and was selected as the 1A Conference Offensive Player of the Year for his talents on the baseball field. As the Vikings' starting catcher, Tyler finished the season with three home runs, six triples, twelve doubles and 40 RBI. He brought in 20 runs and had 43 hits. He recorded 13 stolen bases and put out 136 runners as catcher.

Although a talented football player, Tyler decided to focus solely on baseball following his sophomore year of high school.

“Taking that time off from football really helped me for baseball,” Tyler said. “I just focused on that and I don’t regret it.”

Tyler began playing baseball with Williams Little League and then continued playing with youth travel baseball teams in the offseason.

“I played with a couple of teams out of Flag, Rampage and the Seminoles,” he said. “Then I played with a team out of Bagdad for a couple of years and then began high school ball with AZ Pro out of Phoenix.”

Once Tyler began playing with the Williams Vikings high school team, he mostly focused on camps in the summer, including a month-long stint in Puerto Rico this summer to play with more experienced players.

“I didn’t think it would happen, but then I sold some firewood and other stuff to make money for the trip and was able to make it,” he said. “I was 17 and I got to play with a bunch of 23-year-olds. It was pretty cool.”

Tyler was on his own for the month, receiving intensive training from the coaches and other players.

“I just grinded baseball the whole month and it got me a lot better,” he said. “There were a lot of good players.”

Tyler has been considering playing college baseball since he was in Little League and once he was in high school he began attending scouting camps.

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Tyler Jensen scores the winning run in a walk-off win with Needles April 19. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

“I actually went to one camp in Utah Valley and that’s how they knew about me,” he said. “It’s a prospect showcase camp and they put me through a workout— seeing what I had.”

Tyler said he is excited for his final year of Vikings baseball, and is looking forward to the opportunity to play baseball at Utah Valley.

“It will all depend on my performance,” Tyler said about playing for Utah Valley. “Depending on how good you truly do is going to reflect on what you play or how you play.”

Tyler said he is looking forward to attending Utah Valley and is impressed with the coaching staff.

“The staff has really turned that team around,” he said.

Looking back on his experiences with baseball in Williams, Tyler said he is grateful to many of his coaches and community members for their support.

“Johnny Hatcher made a big impact because he coached me when I first started travel baseball,” he said. “And then he coached me when I first started at the high school.”

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Jensen heads to third base in a 2023 game. Jensen has signed to play baseball at Utah Valley University in 2024. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

Tyler said the current Viking baseball coach, Ethan Johnson, has also been supportive.

“He has been a big help with baseball and other things in high school. I’ve had a lot of good people in my life - a lot to choose from,” he said. “I want to thank my parents for all the support they’ve given me, and my family and friends for believing in me, and Heavenly Father for the path he’s paved for me.”

Tyler said he is grateful to the community of Williams for their support and the small-town Williams life that has helped raise him.

“I want to thank the coaches at UVU for this opportunity,” he said. “And my dad - he always told me hard work will beat talent at the end of the day.”


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