With high school sports in the past, and a summer filled with camps, bike and running races, I would be remiss if I didn't look back at the 2006-07 Steamboat Springs High School athletic season.
It was a successful season by so many standards. Multiple league championships. More than 50 athletes selected to all-league teams and more than 10 landed on All-Colorado or All-State teams.
While I split time at events with fellow reporter Dave Shively (if you didn't read his column Sunday, go back and do so. Good stuff.) I went to the memory bank - and useful database on our Web site - to pull out some of my favorite athletes, moments and teams.
So without further ado, some of my favorites from the past year.
Favorite male athlete to cover: Westin Cofer
I love football and love linebackers, so Cofer was easy. Talking to coaches throughout the year, Cofer was the player they feared the most. He finished the year with more than 100 tackles and seemed to be in on nearly every play. When he chased a quarterback out of the pocket it was like a lion chasing a gazelle. Cofer wanted to hit you and hit you hard. Mesa State - where Cofer will play football - really got a player.
Favorite female athlete to cover: Lisa Floyd
Floyd's the type of athlete that would do anything to win a tennis match. She played with an unmatched intensity level that led her to a fourth-place finish at state No. 1 singles. The best part, however, is Floyd will be back for another year.
Underrated male athlete: Tanner Stillwell
Although he didn't fill up the stat sheet in football or basketball, I think if you asked coaches Aaron Finch or Kelly Meek how valuable Stillwell was, they'd talk about his intangibles, toughness and leadership. Whether it was football or basketball, Stillwell would make a handful of plays that would change momentum.
Underrated female athlete: Betty Sasak
Sasak played an instrumental role on a girls soccer team that advanced to the state playoffs. Like Stillwell, Sasak didn't fill up the scoresheets, but had a hand in most things that went right.
Favorite team to cover: Steamboat Springs football
Again, I love football and it's always fun to watch a team that's good on and off the field. Although you're not supposed to cheer in the press box (it's a big no-no), I found myself cheering at Palisade, Laramie, Wyo. and at nearly every home game.
Favorite game of the year: D'Evelyn 52, Steamboat 48 in state basketball
I wanted to pick a win, but this was the game that really stood out to me. It had so many intriguing plots to it. Big versus small. Up-tempo versus patience. The game had everything. D'Evelyn took a big lead into the fourth quarter and Steamboat mounted a big comeback, even having a chance to win at the
Favorite teams to look out for: Boys lacrosse, boys basketball, baseball, girls and boys tennis.
These are just some of the teams I'm sure will be good next year. Lacrosse gets to see the benefits of its feeder program with the soon-to-be juniors and seniors. Basketball should be good - really good. Baseball has a solid senior class coming back from a year when they lost a ton of games by just a couple of runs. Both tennis teams will be very competitive on the state level, with shots at a team and individual state titles.
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