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South Jordan Journal

For BYU-bound Bingham senior Maddax Peck, family extends beyond the typical definition

May 08, 2023 02:26PM ● By Brian Shaw


The universal definition is “a group of one or more parents and their children living together as a unit.” But in other cultures, a family bond can perhaps be thought of another way. 

For Maddax Peck, who is half-Japanese from his mother, his kanji—or family bond—extends outside of his immediate family to Bingham head baseball coach Joey Sato.

“I wouldn’t be at Bingham if it wasn’t for coach Sato.  He is like a second father to me and I love playing for him,” Peck said. “He has been a big key to my growth as a person and a player.”

When Peck was younger, he said he looked up to older brother Maxton—older by only 18 months. For Maxton, he himself was a decorated two-sport All-State athlete who graduated from Bingham last year and is currently enrolled at SLCC, said the boys’ father Jackson Peck.

“I’ve always wanted to emulate my big brother in everything he does. He has been successful in everything he has done and has an incredible work ethic,” Maddax Peck said. “He pushes me to be better every day.”

For Maddax, being pushed to be the absolute best he could be came with a heavy price early, Jackson Peck said. But it was one he was willing to pay. 

“Maddax has always sought out and thrived on competition. When he was younger, he was always playing up on his older brother Maxton’s football and baseball teams,” added Peck’s father. “He even played a year of 12U baseball as a 9-year-old so he could get more experience at other positions. He wasn’t the star of the team and he had to work twice as hard as the older boys just to compete.” 

With that desire to do everything Maddax’s big brother was doing, however, also came what Peck’s father said was the groundwork for bigger things for the Bingham senior. 

“We feel it helped lay a foundation of future success,” Jackson Peck said. “As competitive as he is on the field, watching him transfer those qualities into the classroom has made us the luckiest parents. Maintaining a perfect 4.0 throughout high school while playing 2 sports at a very high level is such a remarkable achievement and it’s something that we are most proud of.”

It’s the kind of desire and positive energy that Maddax has inside of him that made him who he is, added Bingham head football coach Eric Jones, who with assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Fred Fernandes found unique, creative ways to use Maddax’s skill set on the Miners, who were Region 3 champs and reached the 6A semifinals. 

“Maddax has been phenomenal for us all year long. He’s the catalyst to our passing game, another quality threat running the ball, and he’s a dangerous punt returner,” Jones said. “I can’t say enough good things about the kid. He’s a 4.0 student, extremely respectful and humble. We were fortunate to have him on our team.”

For Maddax Peck, he said he isn’t quite done reaching all of his goals at Bingham. The baseball season is just getting underway after an unusually lengthy winter. A boy of more actions than words, it took him a moment to come up with some that he himself would like to accomplish in his final months at Bingham. Shohei Ohtani, the fabled Japanese star who plays for the Los Angeles Angels, is Peck’s do-it-all idol who “hits tanks and throws gas.” 

“Throw gas and win a ship [6A state championship in baseball],” said the do-it-all Peck who at 6’1” and 165 pounds can throw a fastball that averages in the 90s as he’s warming up and can reach a top speed in the mid 90s. Against nationally ranked Hoover [Alabama], Peck two-hit the mighty Buccaneers in five innings pitched for Bingham, April 2. 

Back at home in South Jordan, Peck again two-hit Lehi in five innings of action on the mound. Both were losses for the Miners, but Peck has been through those times before, and he won the next game he pitched [one-hit shutout vs. West Jordan in an 8-0 win, April 14] for a Bingham team that since April 11 has won four games in a row. Peck would never tell anyone this, but he also leads the team in RBI with 10. 

After wins or losses in either sport, Peck was seen immediately posing for pictures afterward with members of his extended family—a potential BYU commit in one, a longtime friend and club ball teammate in another photo. 

Smiling in all as he’s emerged to become his own person—always guided by that kanji.  

“Watching him grow from that little boy in the shadows and stepping into the spotlight as the type of young man he is today makes us immensely proud of him,” Jackson Peck said of Maddax’s journey. 

As is the custom, however, one does not take that journey on their own, added Peck’s father. 

“Watching our older boys chase their baseball dreams together is one of the great joys of our lives. We are blessed and excited to watch him [Maddax] play baseball at BYU next fall.” λ