Thursday, December 5, 2002
Steamboat Springs Will Zimmerer gave a little pump of the fist when Steamboat Springs football coach Mark Drake announced Wednesday night that the senior lineman was picked to represent the Western Slope in this summer's all-state game.
The league is granted a delegated number of automatic invitations, and when no Sailor was given one initially, Drake nominated Zimmerer for one of the remaining at-large selections at the recent selection meeting.
Zimmerer, a Western Slope all-league pick, was given a spot, marking the second straight year Steamboat will send an offensive lineman to the June all-state game on the campus of Northern Colorado.
"It really means a lot to him," Drake said. "When you know how much it means to a kid, you're really happy for them."
Zimmerer was the only all-state selection for the Sailors this season, but he was just one of nine players given postseason honors from the league this fall.
All nine, along with the entire Sailors football team, were honored at Wednesday evening's end-of-season banquet.
Zimmerer, in addition to being named all-league and all-state, was selected by his teammates as the co-MVP, along with running back/defensive back Zach Forcum.
Forcum was also an all-league selection. He finished the season with 587 all-purpose yards, including 420 yards on 49 carries for a remarkable 11.7 yards per rush.
Seniors Patrick Rogers and Daniel Brenner were also all-league selections for the Sailors. Rogers, a fullback, carried the ball a team-high 99 times for 417 yards with eight touchdowns, also a team high.
Brenner led the team in tackles with 105, and the Colorado High School Activities Association also recognized Brenner for his athletic and academic accomplishments, as he earned first-team academic all-state honors.
Michael Herbert, a junior, received similar honors.
Seniors Cameron Shinabarker, Carter Dunham and Cooper Howard earned honorable mention academic honors from CHSAA.
Howard and senior Pat McMahon were tabbed honorable mention all-league. Howard played both sides of the ball for Steamboat, while McMahon was used primarily out of the backfield, rushing for a team-high 450 yards on 62 carries.
On Wednesday evening, Drake pointed out the accomplishments of players he expected to produce for the Sailors, and kids like Howard and Brenner that worked diligently before and during the season to turn themselves into outstanding student-athletes.
He is proud to have had both in 2002.
Steamboat wrapped up the season 6-4, finishing fourth in the Western Slope and missing the playoffs.
Drake finished the evening by challenging the underclassmen and returning varsity players to use past efforts by the graduating seniors as an example to follow in an effort to push Steamboat back to the top of the Western Slope league next season.