Longhorns, Skiers earn all-league football honors
The Aspen Times
The Aspen and Basalt high school football teams collected the final honors of 2013 when the All-Western League Team was announced this week.
The Skiers and the Longhorns had players named to the all-league first team as well as the honorable mention team. Voting was done by the conference coaches.
Aspen junior John Heaphey was honored as the conference kicker of the year for 2013. Heaphey, who did double duty as a starter on the Aspen boys soccer team, hit on 6 of 8 field goal attempts this year. His long was a 33-yarder. He also converted 27 of 30 extra-point kicks.
Other top individual awards included Olathe’s Trenton Jole, named the back of the year, and Liam Mortell, of Gunnison, was named the lineman of the year for 2013.
Gunnison coach Bob Howard, who led the Cowboys to the league title one year after they failed to win a conference game, as voted the coach of the year. Gunnison won its playoff opener this year before falling at Faith Christian in the second round.
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Aspen, which lost to Faith Christian in the first round of the playoffs, had five players voted to the all-conference first team.
They included junior Ryan Fitzgerald, senior Henry Woodrow, senior Matt Sovich, senior Luke O’Callahan and junior Evan Morris.
Fitzgerald was the conference’s leading rusher this year.
In all 10 games, Fitzgerald rushed for 1,687 yards for the 6-4 Skiers.
Teammate O’Callahan led the league in tackles for the second consecutive year. He finished with 100 tackles in 10 games as the Skiers qualified for the state playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
Five players from the Basalt High School football team, which closed the season with a flurry, were voted all-league.
Seniors Matt Williams, Cody Banc, Oswaldo Olmedo and Tim Johnson were voted to the all-league first team by the conference coaches.
Williams, an All-American high school rugby player, rushed for more than 400 yards and passed for more than 400 yards for the 2-7 Longhorns.
Banc led the Longhorns with 567 yards rushing.
Five more Longhorns were named all-league honorable mention.
They were junior Alex Nakagawa, junior Josue Vigil, senior Cody Hoffman, senior Felipe Martinze and junior Noah Schoenberger.
Aspen had four honorable mention selections. They were junior J.J. Ready, junior Tyler Tick, sophomore Triston Niskanen and junior Shea Strutz.
Here are the other Western League first-team selections:
GUNNISON — senior Liam Mortell, junior Michael Howard, sophomore Brady Wilson, junior Quinlan Travis, senior Taylor Miller, junior Jake Wallin and junior David Balliczek.
OLATHE — Trenton Jole, Taylor Carlson, Mario Hightower, Trenton Piatt, Tyler Lynch and Tommy Brew.
BAYFIELD — Senior Wyatt Williams, senir Clay Crawford, junior Zane Westbrook, junior Colter McMenimen and sophomore Zane Phelps.
PAGOSA SPRINGS — Senior Keenan Earley, senior Creede Wylie, junior David McRee, senior Jeremiah Miller and junior Marcos Quezada.
GRAND VALLEY — Senior Tyler Scott, senior Collin Weaks, senior Ivan Arizaga, senior Trenton Haggerty and junior Leon Hernandez.
COAL RIDGE — Senior Chris Contreras, junior Max Bettle and senior Jared Weller.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
There was some fun post-game banter about maybe making a run at the Europa League crown, or at the very least a championship here in Colorado, but coaches and veteran players alike made sure the Aspen soccer team had its eyes aimed at a more reasonable goal, like making the playoffs.