Peshek, Moore honored as AHS male and female athletes of year at banquet
There were jokes — some of them were even funny — a few awards to hand out and a few tears to shed. Just another Aspen High School senior athlete banquet where everyone was able to recognize and say goodbye to the class of 2018.
The event, held Thursday evening at the Inn at Aspen, was the final hurrah in a strong prep season that saw 19 of the school’s 24 teams make the postseason in some fashion.
As they are each spring, the main awards handed out were the Outstanding Male and Female Senior Athlete awards, presented to AHS seniors R.J. Peshek and Chelsea Moore. The award winners were chosen by both The Aspen Times and AHS athletic director Martha Richards.
“I’m really honored and this award means a lot,” Moore said. “Our class is so special in that we are so athletic and so supportive and have so much spirit that this is kind of a new era for the underclassmen as well. All of our sports teams went so far this year.”
Moore was a standout Nordic skier and soccer player who also ran cross country in the fall. Led by her father, AHS cross-country ski coach Travis Moore, she helped guide the Skier girls to the state championship in February, winning the classic race in the finale.
Moore then helped guide the AHS girls soccer team all the way to the Class 3A state semifinals for the first time in program history. She was even named the league’s player of the year.
“It’s really cool to be part of that,” Moore said of the soccer team’s historic run. “I’d just like to thank the coaches and everyone who has been so supportive. I think the coaches are really special in Aspen and the community that supports all of the sports. Soccer, cross country and Nordic have just been made amazing by everyone here.”
Moore will attend Dartmouth College in the fall where she plans to compete on the school’s very successful Nordic ski team.
Peshek was the heart and soul of the Aspen football team in the fall that went 8-2 and made the Class 2A playoffs for the first time since 2013. As the team’s quarterback, Peshek often carried the Skiers to win-after-win. He also was an integral part of the AHS hockey and lacrosse teams, which had equally as successful seasons.
The first high school memory that came to his mind was of winning the state championship in lacrosse as a freshman, although this year’s breakthrough season in football was a close second. Peshek was part of a strong group of seniors that played all three sports.
“It’s a huge honor,” Peshek said of being named the school’s senior male athlete of the year. “A ton of guys play all three of the sports and we’ve been able to create a bond through all those sports. That’s definitely helped translate to all three of them.”
Peshek is headed to Rhode Island’s Bryant University in the fall where he plans to walk on to the school’s football team. Bryant is an NCAA Division I FCS program. Peshek doesn’t yet know what position he’ll play, but said he’s just happy to continue his football career.
“One thing led to another and I ended up going and visiting and meeting with the football coach and just fell in love with the campus, fell in love with the area,” Peshek said. “It’s the spot for me.”
Two people in particular received standing ovations during Thursday’s banquet. The first was athletic trainer Celty Fitterer, who probably knows the kids as well as the parents do, while the second was Leah Moriarty, whose daughter, Caroline, was a senior this year. Leah Moriarty has been the school’s unofficial athletic photographer for many seasons. … There was one four-sport senior letterman this year for the Skiers, and that was Liam Rigney, who played soccer, golf, hockey and lacrosse. … Spencer Shaw and Jane Marolt were presented with the school’s highest character awards. … AHS girls tennis coach Steve Sand and boys basketball coach Alex Schrempf were recognized for their continued support throughout the season in sports they didn’t coach.
When asked if he is receiving any insider information on the terrain, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde — the boyfriend of Edwards’ own Mikaela Shiffrin — chuckled and replied, “You probably think so, but I actually I don’t.”