3 Park City athletes sign to play at next level | ParkRecord.com

3 Park City athletes sign to play at next level

Elle Martin, Easton Brotherson and Calla Troxel ready for next step

From left to right: Easton Brotherson, Calla Troxel and Elle Martin signed to play their respective sports at the next level last week.
David Jackson/Park Record

Three Park City High School athletes celebrated their next step with a signing ceremony last week. 

Elle Martin (tennis, Butler University), Easton Brotherson (track and field, University of Montana) and Calla Troxel (Santa Clara University, water polo) all declared where they’re going to play their respective sports. All three are set to play at the Division I level.

Martin was a fixture at the first singles spot on Park City’s girls tennis team for four years. She made it to the state semifinals in her senior season, and Martin’s excited to take her talents to Indianapolis to play for the Bulldogs.

“Everybody has kind of said, based off the college experience, when you know, you know,” Martin said. “I never really believed it until I got to Butler. I instantly clicked with the teammates and the coach. It just seemed like they’re just very similar to me, and it just seemed like a perfect fit in that aspect, and that was such a big factor for me when I was deciding on schools.”

Martin is also looking forward to the competition she’ll face in college. She’s spent the last four years playing the best high-school players in the state, but college tennis will offer its own challenges and opportunities.

“They play in the Big East Conference, which is a really cool and good conference,” she said. “We’re going to be visiting a bunch of cool schools, especially being near Big 10 schools and getting to play against them, too. It’s just a great team, too. We’re near the middle/top of the Big East, so it’ll be really good competition, too.”

Park City assistant coach Bradley Smith is excited to see Martin get her chance to play at the next level.   

“I’m so excited for her,” Smith said. “That’s a great school. She’s going to get a great education and be able to play college tennis. I just think that’s an incredible outcome, and she’s worked really hard for it.”

Smith said he’s coached the Miners for four years and watched her grow and mature in that span. He noted how she would also serve as  sort of a scout for the team. She knew the strengths and weaknesses of Park City’s opponents and would tell her teammates how to beat them. 

“She plays fair, she plays hard, she’s an incredibly hard worker, she doesn’t skip workouts,” Smith said. “It’s hard to say enough good things about her, really. She’s kind and compassionate and fun to be around. She’s supportive to her teammates, she’s everything a coach could want in a No. 1.”

Brotherson has been a star hurdler for Park City, finishing third at the Class 5A state meet in the 110-meter hurdles as a sophomore in 2021. Park City coach Dave Yocum sees him as one of the best in the state heading into Brotherson’s senior season.

“There were times when I was out with him in the fall while football was out there, and he was doing interval training while the football team was practicing, and I talked to the football players, and they were like, ‘Wow, that kid is just so good,’” Yocum said. “He’s a (Division I) athlete. He’s proven it, and there’s a good shot that, going into the winter season and then in the spring, he’s going to be one of the top hurdlers in the state.”

Yocum compared him to Jesse Helton, who competed in throwing events for Park City last year, graduated and signed with the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

“I’m just really excited for Easton signing for the fact that he’s got a huge presence in the school,” Yocum said. “He’s kind of like Jesse – everybody knows who he is. Jesse was a larger-than-life kind of guy. Easton, his actions speak a lot louder than his words. Everybody sees the work he does, and I think everybody respects that. Jesse, he had the whole package of persona, great athlete. Easton’s a little bit quieter, but the kids still respect him.”

Troxel, meanwhile, got her start in water polo after her brother started playing. Now, she’s preparing to play Division I water polo. 

“It’s really exciting, it was kind of always the dream,” Troxel said. “It’s harder coming from Utah, too, because there’s a lot less competition and it’s a really, really small sport. So, I kind of always had to put in the extra effort to be able to compete with California teams and everything and travel and go out of my way to practice on my own time. It feels really good that I met that goal.”

Calla Troxel on Monday at the Park City Aquatic Center.
David Jackson/Park Record

Troxel has been a leader for Park City in the pool, excelling both offensively and defensively and playing wherever she’s needed. For Park City, that ability was huge.

“Both offense and defense and leadership and also coachability, all of those things,” Park City coach Heather Flynn said. “She’s very versatile as a player, which was especially necessary this fall season because we really only had four experienced juniors and seniors. Otherwise, the rest of our team was really young and brand new. So, it was helpful to have her experience and for her to be able to play different positions than she normally does.”

Troxel received first team all-state honors after the fall season, and Flynn sees her as one of the best players in the state.

“Definitely one of the best players in the state, and she was first team all-state last year, too,” Flynn said. “She’s demonstrated definitely that she’s solidly one of the best players in the state. I would put her among the top two or three in the state. They’re all kind of at a similar level.”

Troxel is the second Park City water polo player to sign for a Division I college recently, and a track record like that shows Flynn’s younger players that it’s possible to play at the next level coming out of Park City.

“I think that just shows the rest of the girls, if you work hard and you believe in yourself, then you can achieve what you want to with water polo here in the state of Utah,” Flynn said.

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