Routt County All-Stars
■ Graig Medvesk, Hayden senior, basketball, football, Moffat County baseball.
Medvesk’s talents were everywhere this season. He quarterbacked the Tigers to the state playoffs in football and was an all-league selection for Moffat County in baseball. Medvesk’s biggest accomplishments, however, came on the basketball court, where he was the Western Slope conference’s Player of the Year. He distinguished himself as one of the school’s very best when he eclipsed 1,000 career points late in his senior season.
■ Chris Zirkle, Hayden senior, track, Moffat County cross-country
After a third-place finish at state cross-country in fall while running for Moffat County High School, Zirkle spent his winter training for the upcoming spring track season. It paid off. At the state track and field meet, Zirkle won the 3,200-meter run and the 1,600 run in consecutive days, winning both races with thrilling late-race sprints to the finish line.
■ Lance Ostrom, Steamboat junior, soccer, hockey, lacrosse
It’s tough to pick Ostrom’s best sport. That’s what happens when an athlete like Ostrom is so good at everything he plays. He was a first-team all-league selection in soccer, hockey and lacrosse. In hockey, he also was named first-team all-state and led his conference in goals.
■ Ceanna Rossi, Soroco senior, volleyball, basketball, track
One in a long line of athletic Rossis, Ceanna was Soroco’s most consistent athlete. She anchored the volleyball team with her hitting ability, was a cornerstone on the basketball court and was part of four different relay teams that qualified this season for the state track meet.
■ Erin Koehler, Hayden junior, volleyball, basketball
Koehler was an imposing force as soon as she stepped on the court. As a junior, she was named to the first-team all-conference lists in volleyball and basketball. As a dominating center, she helped power the Tigers basketball team to the state tournament, leading the team in points and rebounds.
■ Hannah Moore, Steamboat senior, basketball
Moore led the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team in points with 17 a game. Whether it was from the paint or beyond the 3-point arc, Moore was Steamboat’s best player. There were stretches in games and the season where she carried the Sailors. She topped 20 points six times this season, including a career-high 30 against rival Moffat County.
■ Christian Ramirez, Steamboat sophomore
Ramirez shines in three sports. The sophomore started at quarterback for the football team, manned the blue line in hockey and was a key contributor in lacrosse. With another year of development, Ramirez could be all-league in each.
■ Mark Doolin, Hayden sophomore
Doolin was second on the basketball team in rebounds, behind fellow sophomore standout Jorge Valdez, and third in points. He’ll be the team’s top returning scorer. He’ll have a chance on the football field, as well, where he’s slated to take over at quarterback.
■ Nic Paxton, Soroco sophomore
Paxton quarterbacked the football team to the playoffs, led the Rams basketball team in scoring and showed his athleticism in track, qualifying for state in three events. With an injury-free year, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to shine.
■ Micaela Meyer, Soroco sophomore
Meyer was a factor on much-improved Rams volleyball and basketball teams. In track she qualified for state in hurdles events and on two relay teams. Larger roles and higher places could await in her junior season.
■ Josie Rossi, Soroco sophomore
Rossi spent much of her sophomore season waiting for her chance, but she showcased her athletic abilities in track, where she qualified for state as a part of two relay teams and in two individual events. Next year could be a big one for Soroco, with Meyer, Madison George, Lindsay Miles and Shelby Miles making a tough, experienced group. Rossi, too, could play a big role.
■ Sydney Bauknecht, Steamboat junior
Bauknecht started her first year as the point guard of the Steamboat Springs High School girls basketball team. Her ability on the court allowed Steamboat to free up shooters. On the soccer field, she paced the team in goals with a powerful left foot.
■ Hayden boys basketball, 19-4
Other teams went further, but none was as dominant as the Hayden boys basketball team. The squad, led by Graig Medvesk and Ben Williams, crushed opponents by an average of 22.5 points per game in a 14-game mid-season winning streak that set the squad on top of its conference. A loss in the regional finals ended early but didn’t erase a great season.
Coach of the year
■ Eric Hamilton, third year, Hayden girls basketball
Hamilton in his first year rode an extremely talented senior class to a third-place finish at state. He proved that wasn’t a fluke this year. Lacking any one superstar, his team relied on tall post players, but also experience, savvy and hustle to make state again. It’s starting to look like that tournament trip could become a regular occurrence in Hamilton’s tenure.
Utility player of the year
■ Jack Burger, Steamboat senior
Burger was a reliable force in winter on the high school’s cross-country ski team and in spring, on the track squad but was never better than he was in the fall. There, he qualified for state in two sports, finishing fourth at No. 3 singles in tennis and 19th in cross-country.
True grit performance of the year
■ Hayden junior Chad Terry at state wrestling
Despite wrestling with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for most of the regular season, Terry qualified for and made the state semifinals for the third consecutive year. There, his shoulder popped out of the socket four times, but he didn’t quit, eventually losing, 11-2. He opted not to wrestle in the consolation bracket and risk his senior season and finished sixth to earn his third state medal.
Most improved athlete
■ Isiah Mendoza-Forsyth, Steamboat senior, basketball
Mendoza-Forsyth has had huge potential since his freshman year. In each season that followed, glimpses of that came out. As a senior, however, Mendoza-Forsyth turned into the player everyone envisioned. He carried the Sailors down the stretch of the season, in the process making himself one of the best basketball players in the area.
Best games of the 2010-11 season
■ Steamboat Springs High School — Steamboat boys basketball defeats D’Evelyn, 53-51, in overtime, Dec. 9
A loss seemed inevitable as Steamboat trailed D’Evelyn, 42-26, with 7:25 left in the fourth quarter. Charles Wood scored 15 fourth-quarter points, however, and Isiah Mendoza-Forsyth hit a runner with 41 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Wood scored 5 more points in overtime to give Steamboat the improbable win.
■ Hayden High School — Hayden girls basketball defeats Swink at regional finals, 58-47, March 5
It was an important game because it sent the Hayden girls to state, but it was a great win for the Tigers no matter the circumstances. Hayden trailed by 8 points at half, but turned to Koehler, who scored 18, Haskins, who had 10, and a slew of seniors for a comeback not soon forgotten.
■ Soroco High School — Soroco volleyball defeats Hayden, 3-1, Oct. 23
Hayden has proven an insurmountable hurdle for Soroco sports for years, but the girls volleyball team broke through twice this season, the first time in a conference matchup that proved the squad’s drastic improvement in recent years was for real. The Rams took three of four games that day to reignite a Routt County rivalry.