On the 'Net
For more information about the Colorado High School Coaches Association All-State games, including rosters and ticket information, visit www.colohsca.org. The games will be played June 14 at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
Steamboat Springs Ben DeLine and Michael Vandahl thought the next games they'd be playing would be in college.
But with the two being some of the best in Colorado at their respective sports - DeLine as a kicker in football and Vandahl as a guard in basketball - the Steamboat Springs High School athletes each have one pre-collegiate game left.
The two were selected to play in the Colorado High School Coaches Association All-State games June 14 at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
DeLine, who signed his letter of intent to play football at Colorado State University in February, will be the kicker for the South team.
"It's just an honor to get accepted and play one last time," DeLine said. "It's kind of like the last shebang for high school."
DeLine will suit up with former Western Slope League stars Jesse Kirstatter and Billy Logsdon of Palisade and Hazen Moss of Rifle.
Bill Cooke from Widefield will coach DeLine's team.
"It's always a huge honor," said Steamboat football coach Aaron Finch, who had former Sailors Lane Shipley and Westin Cofer play in the game last year. "It's exciting. I was lucky enough to do it in Wyoming coming out of high school. You get to spend a week practicing and playing with all the guys you played with and against in high school."
Vandahl was one of 10 players selected to the Class 4A basketball team. The senior point guard - who is undecided on his college destination - will play with and against many of the players he knew during a previous summer he spent playing for the Colorado Chaos.
All five classes selected 10 players. The teams will be divided and consist of players from Class 1A to 5A.
"I know all these players," said Vandahl, who is deciding whether to take a scholarship and play Division II or walk on at a Division I program. "It will be fun to play with them again."
Vandahl's team will be coached by Mark Munoz of Widefield and Mike Holloway of Sterling.
Vandahl leaves Steamboat as the school's all-time leader in assists (331), free-throw percentage (83.9) and 3-point field goal percentage (40.2). He also set the school's single season free-throw percentage his junior year, when he shot 90.6 percent from the line. That number is good enough for fifth all-time in the state.
"The one thing you always knew about Mike was he was going to come hard in every practice and every game," Steamboat coach Kelly Meek said. "He never took possessions off. Other coaches who watched him, and college coaches, would say he's a warrior. He's a non-stop, every-possession warrior. He's mentally tough. I would encourage parents of young players or parents whose kids are in junior high to take their kids down and watch Mike."
The All-State events begin June 10, when those invited get to practice with their new teammates. The basketball games begin with preliminary games at 8 a.m. June 14. Third-place games start at 9:30 a.m., and the championship game will be played at 1:30 p.m. The preliminary and third-place games are played at the campus recreation center, and the championship game is played at the Butler Hancock Sports Pavilion. The football game concludes the day and is played at 5 p.m. at Nottingham Field.