Fabulous Freddy's Spotlight Player of the Day...

attachment-Steele Barben full graphic



We’ve covered some phenomenal players throughout the first few weeks of our Countdown to Kickoff Player Profile Features. Offense. Defense. Touchdown scorers. Touchdown stoppers. The guys up front who make it all happen. But there’s one position we haven’t featured. Some call this player the signal caller. Others, the field general. Most simply refer to this player as, “The Quarterback”.

We’ve been treated to extraordinary quarterback play over the years in Region 9. The 2022 season was no exception, as multiple senior quarterbacks battled to lead their teams to glory. One of those seniors did eventually help his team to the promised land, but it was a junior that consistently turned the heads of all in attendance. That junior was Crimson Cliffs quarterback Steele Barben.

After patiently waiting his turn for a crack at the starting spot, Barben shined in fall camp to win the QB1 position heading into the 2022 season. In his first varsity start, he completed 21-of-30 passes for 213 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Over the next two games he would toss three more touchdowns for a total of four touchdown passes in his first three games. And then the Superman cape arrived.

Barben went berserk over the next five games, helping the Mustangs win every contest and outscore their opponents by a 178-78 count along the way. Barben completed 80 passes for 1,254 yards and 17 touchdowns over the five-game stretch, and vaulted Crimson Cliffs to the top of the state and region standings/rankings. After a close loss at Dixie, Barben was back at it in back-to-back wins over Cedar, completing 41-of-64 passes for 667 yards and 12 touchdowns over the two games. In the state semifinals vs. Ridgeline, he tossed three more touchdown passes to send the Mustangs to the state championship game.

When the dust settled on the 2022 campaign, Barben had earned All-State and All-Region honors, and was the clear-cut choice for Region 10 MVP. In all, he connected on 226-of-358 passes for 3,093 yards and 39 touchdowns, the most of any quarterback in 4A and the fourth-most in all classifications in Utah. Out of 13 total games, Barben threw for at least two touchdowns in 10 games and four or more four times.

Of course, Barben isn’t just a football player. He’s a bona fide athlete, and stars in basketball and baseball as well. Some coaches might not like that. Some might want a player to specialize in one sport. But not Barben’s coaches. They know the things he learns and excels with in other sports will only make him a better football player. During the 2022-23 basketball season, Barben scored in double figures five times, including a season-high 19 points to propel the Mustangs to a massive win over Dixie. In baseball, he hit .357 and helped Crimson Cliffs to its second consecutive 4A state title. Something he hopes to bring to the football field after being oh-so-close in 2022.

The Mustangs are primed for another run at the trophy coming into the 2023 season. Out of 23 Crimson players who earned All-Region honors last year, 14 were juniors and will be back for the upcoming season. That list includes Boston Adamson (12 TD), Tyler West (5 TD),  and Luke Childs (5 TD), who combined to account for 22 of Barben’s 39 passing touchdowns in 2022. Crimson also added Andy Stokes as offensive coordinator during the offseason. The same Andy Stokes who helped Dixie win a state title and numerous region titles, and led 5A Timpview to back-to-back state championship appearances in 2019 and 2020. Add in Barben’s year of varsity experience and the maturity that comes with said experience, and you have a tried and true recipe for success.


“Having the last name Barben in this region comes with a lot of weight and responsibility. Steele has not disappointed. He is everything you look for in a signal caller. In his first year as a starter for us in a new offensive scheme last year, Steele shined.  

You don't find very many three-sport athletes like Steele anymore. With all the specialization that exists in sports, it's a dying breed. That in itself speaks volumes of who Steele is and how he has been raised. The Barben family is an incredible family! From the Dixie Barbens, to the Desert Hills Barbens, to the Snow Canyon Barbens. They are just great humans who raise more incredible humans. We are just grateful that we have a Barben here at Crimson.  

Steele has an opportunity to do some special things this year. He is one of our team leaders and he does a great job. He leads mainly by example, as he has the one common Barben trait, which is a lot of humility. He doesn't care for the limelight and he loves seeing his teammates succeed. We are excited to see Steele take it to another level this year being paired up with Coach Andy Stokes, who had the opportunity to coach Steele's cousin, Jacob Barben at Dixie, which turned out to be a pretty dang good pairing. We are excited to see Coach Stokes and Barben 2.0 play out!” 

-Crimson Cliffs Head Coach Wayne Alofipo

The Mustangs host Morgan on Friday, Aug. 11, to open the 2023 season.  

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