Individual awards presented to MCHS boys varsity basketball players:
First team all-academic:
• Zach Raftopoulos — junior
• Angelo Raftopoulos — junior
All-academic honorable mention:
• Dustin Carlson — junior
• Brian Ivy — senior
• Jordan Wilson — senior
• Arylle Rademacher — senior*
* Team manager
First team all-conference:
• Jordan Wilson — senior
All-conference honorable mention:
• Dylon Camilletti — junior
Although the Moffat County High School boys varsity basketball team finished the season with a 6-17 record, coach Steve Maneotis said the Bulldogs had a more successful year than the record indicated.
“Our record doesn’t exemplify the kind of year we had,” he said.
Maneotis and the boys basketball team celebrated the season Tuesday night with a team dinner at MCHS.
The team celebrated on-court success, as senior Jordan Wilson was named to the Western Slope League’s all-conference first team, and junior Dylon Camilletti was named all-conference honorable mention.
Juniors Angelo and Zach Raftopoulos were named to the first team all-academic team, and seniors Brian Ivy, Wilson and team manager Arylle Rademacher were named all-academic honorable mention.
Junior Dustin Carlson also made the all-academic honorable mention team.
Maneotis, who resigned at the end of the season, said he has only positive memories from his 13 years on the MCHS bench, including the past three as head coach.
“I can look back and point out an example that was the difference in each game,” he said. “I can’t count how many times we were down by 17 to 20 points, and we closed the gap to three or four points. That just highlights this team’s effort.”
The dinner also highlighted each of the team’s players, including the five seniors.
Andrew Raftopoulos was a wing who Maneotis credited with bringing toughness to MCHS.
“He was our enforcer,” Maneotis said. “He watched out for everyone, and worked his butt off on defense.
“He made it clear you didn’t mess with his teammates, especially his family. A team always needs a guy like Andrew.”
Maneotis said MCHS received a spark when small forward Pablo Salcido came on board.
“It didn’t matter where we put him, he ran with it,” he said. “On offense, defense, he did an outstanding job. His actions spoke louder than words.”
Although he wasn’t a starter, Maneotis said the team wasn’t complete without forward Jeremiah Gordon.
“He poured his heart and soul into the game,” he said. “He never complained, and that’s the true test of a man.”
Maneotis said Ivy kept the team balanced.
“He was our quiet, solid leader,” he said. “He did a great job of keeping us centered.”
When Ivy was moved from a starting role to a key reserve, his true character was revealed, Maneotis said.
“He not only accepted the role, he flew with it,” he said. “That’s what I’ll remember.”
About Wilson, Maneotis said the team’s co-captain along with Ivy was the epitome of the Bulldogs’ tenacious attitude.
“I’ve watched this young man grow up,” Maneotis said. “In the beginning of the year, he was quietly putting together tremendous games.
“By the end of the year, he wasn’t doing it quietly. Everyone was trying to figure out how to stop him.”
Maneotis said Wilson earned the nickname “The Magnet” because of his ability to get the ball near the rim and cash in.
“It was fun to watch him play,” Maneotis said. “I was proud to see him carry on that Wilson tradition of being a competitor.”
Maneotis also credited team managers Arylle Rademacher and Kaylee Barnes.
“They both did an outstanding job,” he said.
The seniors weren’t the only players honored.
For the freshmen, coach Justin Gallegos said it was a year of improvement.
“The year started off a little rough,” he said. “But this team never got down. We went back and worked on everything, and this team grew so much during the year.”
Next year, the team should keep improving, Gallegos said.
“I’m excited to see what you can do as sophomores,” he said. “You have a lot to work on, and I know you will.”
Joe Padon took over the reigns of the junior varsity team for the year.
“I had so much fun coaching JV this year,” he said. “The kids improved so much — I can’t believe how much they stepped up.”
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com.