Aspen’s Ufkes among area football players honored | AspenTimes.com

Aspen’s Ufkes among area football players honored

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

A season-ending knee injury cost Aspen running back Nicky Ufkes more than half of his senior season. It cost him the chance to log a second consecutive season with 2,000 or more rushing yards and the chance to suit up in the playoffs for a fourth time.

It did not cost him a spot on the 2A Western Slope’s All-Conference first team, however.

“We all hear great things about him down in Basalt. He’s the hardest working kid we know,” Longhorns head coach Carl Frerichs said. “He’s a great kid.”

Added Skiers head coach Mike Sirko: “There’s a lot of respect that he has across the league for what he has done. No matter what, he deserves this.”

Despite being limited to less than six full games, Ufkes, who rushed for more than 2,500 yards during a breakout junior season, compiled some impressive numbers this fall. He scored eight touchdowns and rushed for nearly 1,000 yards; his 978 were just 18 shy of the total team leader Daniel Ryerson amassed in 12 games.

“When we lost him, we were ranked No. 1 in the state and were undefeated,” Sirko said. “Things were looking good.”

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Aspen rallied behind its fallen star. It went on to finish 9-3 and secure a berth in the state quarterfinals. For their efforts, six Skiers (Ufkes, Jake Nugent, Quinn Morehead, Joey O’Callaghan, Daniel Munger and Dane Christensen) have been named to the Slope’s first team. Joining them are Basalt’s Scott Hoffman, Erick Enriquez, Sam Morrison, Daniel Olmedo, Tito Gamboa and Zach Mobilian.

Seven Aspen players (Ryerson, Forrest Thomas, Nate Mohrman, Jonathan Woodrow, Ben Karbank, Rex Christensen and Taylor Mayer) and six Longhorns (Ish Martinez, Tanner Banc, Carl Riggins, Tyler Schultz, Sean Chenoweth and Johnny Madrano) garnered honorable mention.

“This whole season was a huge step for us,” said Frerichs, who squad finished 7-4 and made its first postseason appearance in 27 years. “I feel like this program is getting stronger and bigger, and I expect good things to come.”

Ryan Corn, who last weekend guided Olathe to a victory over Brush, securing the program’s second state title in three seasons, was named coach of the year.

jmaletz@aspentimes.com