When Jaxon Sorenson showed up to practice as a tall, skinny freshman, Idaho Falls coach Trent Johnson had a dilemma.
“We didn’t have a spot for him but we knew he was a great baseball player,” Johnson recalled. “He was going to earn a spot somewhere.”
Sorenson made the varsity team and by his sophomore year, he was a jack of all trades on a talented Tigers team, playing multiple positions in a lineup that reached the 4A state championship game. After being named a first-team utility player on the Post Register All-Area team, Sorenson spent the summer playing on the American Legion Idaho Falls Bandits team, which went on to win the American Legion World Series.
It was a pretty heady climb for a sophomore, and it didn’t go unnoticed.
After receiving an offer from Gonzaga, Sorenson committed prior to his junior year.
The past two years have been a bit of a whirlwind, with COVID-19 shutting down last year’s high school season and limiting the Bandits summer schedule, but like everything else, Sorenson has persevered.
He officially signed his letter of intent in November and didn’t miss a beat during the 2021 season.
Sorenson is the Post Register All-Area Player of the Year after another standout season in which he hit .514 with 12 doubles, seven triples and three home runs. He finished with 28 RBIs and 36 runs scored despite missing time with a shoulder injury.
But more important than the stats, the journey from being the tall, skinny freshman to an NCAA Division I college player has been impressive, Johnson said.
“The progression to sophomore year and ultimately to senior year, it was really just a kid that went out and played the game the right way,” Johnson said. “He made all of his teammates better.”
“I’ve been around Jaxon a lot,” said Ryan Alexander, who coaches Bonneville and is head coach of the Bandits in the summer. “The progression I’ve seen … is he’s got a work ethic that is second to none. He’s always enjoyed the process of baseball that is required to be good at it. As much as anything, what I’ve seen from Jaxon is a maturity and emotional development that, like players of his caliber, demand near perfection of themselves … His skills have gotten better every year because he’s willing to outwork people.”
Sorenson worked out during the pandemic shutdown and it showed during his senior year. He said committing early and then officially signing with Gonzaga may have taken some of the pressure off him this season.
Instead, the pressure may have shifted to opponents trying to get him out.
“Obviously his baseball ability and playing the game speaks for itself,” Madison coach Jason Ralph said. “He’s the type of kid who’s always making solid contact and hitting balls in gaps … When he stepped up to the plate he had that demeanor like, ‘I’m a hard out and I’m going to have a great at-bat, so good luck getting me out.’”
Sorenson again played multiple positions for the Tigers this past season as the team won 25 games and a district title. He said he was disappointed after losing two games at the state tournament, but the baseball journey continues.
“It didn’t finish as we wanted it to, but the memories and accomplishments we did make will be remembered for a long time,” Sorenson said.
“From a coaching standpoint, he’s a baseball dude,” Skyline coach Brett Taylor said.
Sorenson is currently playing in the Expedition League in North Dakota. The league is a wooden bat league for collegiate players.