Caleb Frink earns big numbers in classroom, on football field in senior year at Moffat County
For Craig Press
You don’t have to be in an Advanced Placement math class to tally up a long list of big achievements, but if you’re Moffat County High School senior Caleb Frink, you’d probably be enrolled in that class anyway.
And, you’d probably ace it.
Though he only spent one year within Moffat County School District, Caleb will likely go down as one of its most noteworthy graduates if his 12th grade accomplishments are any indication.
Of course, part of that success is a continuation of his previous time at Grand Valley High School in Parachute where he was already a high-achieving student-athlete, with an array of AP classes adding up to a stellar grade point average.
Caleb noted that he’s had a particular focus on math and science the past four years.
“Math’s the biggest one for sure,” he said. “At Grand Valley there wasn’t really Algebra I and II, so my eighth-grade classes were mostly algebra-based, then freshman year I took pre-calculus and sophomore year it was AP calc, junior year was stats, then this year it was calc again at CNCC. I took AP physics and then finished AP chemistry last semester here. It’s been challenging, but nothing I can’t handle.”
His transfer to MCHS shook up the grading curve enough that administrators were unsure how to compare Grand Valley’s system to their own, with the ultimate decision being to name Caleb the valedictorian of the Class of 2021 alongside Alexa Neton as the top two students who both earned the title.
Caleb credited his hard work to encouragement from his parents.
“They push me to be my best and do the best I can, for sure. I never wanted to half it,” he said. “If I’m going to commit to something, I want to give it my all.”
The Frink family came to Craig last summer when Caleb’s father, Ryan, was hired as the new principal at Ridgeview Elementary School.
“This opportunity opened up for him, and he hasn’t looked back since,” Caleb said of his dad. “He was the principal at Grand Valley for years, but he says all the time that little kids are way less stressful than high school kids.”
With two younger children, Ryan admitted he was a little unsure how his oldest son would handle spending his last year of high school elsewhere.
“A kid moving is always hard, so a kid moving from a system he’s been in his whole life his senior year, he could take that a lot of different ways,” Ryan said. “I’m super-proud that he’s continued to be the kid that he is and developed good relationships with adults and students.”
Ryan added that he was eager to relocate to a more rural community. While Parachute is a far smaller town than Craig, it’s amid a lot of hustle and bustle right along the interstate.
“That whole area is just changing daily, so it was just a good time to get away from the I-70 corridor,” Ryan said.
Caleb said the original plan was for his siblings Hannah and Titus to live with Ryan in Craig while he finished out his time at Grand Valley with mother Leah with occasional visits.
However, the plan quickly changed as the family realized it would be much better to live together in Craig, albeit in rather cramped quarters at first.
“It was tough living in a camper at KOA for the first three months or so until we got a house, but it’s nothing I can’t say I wouldn’t do over again. It’s been a blessing,” Caleb said.
Leaving behind old friends was also rough, though when visiting Craig for the first time he ran across a new crowd.
“I met Logan Hafey, Corey Scranton and Emma Jones right when I got here, so they kind of took me in at the very beginning. It wasn’t too big a shock, since I already knew a couple people,” he said.
The learning process wasn’t much different at MCHS, which was affected by remote education as much as any other in Colorado as part of COVID precautions. Caleb said he didn’t mind the online format but greatly preferred in-person learning, particularly as he got to know classmates better.
He added that while he started the school year a couple weeks late, he was right on time for the football season, as Moffat County opted to take the field in the fall rather than the spring season originally planned out by Colorado High School Activities Association.
Caleb proved to be a tremendous asset as a running back and defensive back immediately, grabbing an interception several plays into the team’s first game and scoring their first touchdown minutes later.
All told, he averaged more than 100 yards per game, including a school record 99-yard touchdown sprint, as part of a schedule that, while short, saw the Bulldogs take the title in the newly configured 2A West League.
This led to his first playoff game — though ironically Grand Valley made it to the postseason without him in the spring season — a hard loss to top-ranked 2A team Resurrection Christian in which the Dogs were missing numerous starters.
“If we’d had all our starters in that playoff game, I think it would have been a much different game,” Caleb said.
Nevertheless, he wound up being named to CHSAA’s All-State First Team, with fellow seniors Daniel Cruz and Corey Scranton named Second Team, and Joe Campagna, Logan Hafey and Taran Teeter Honorable Mention.
The distinction was a proud one he’d wanted to achieve for a while, Caleb said
“At Grand Valley, I had a lot of goals, like to be an All-State player and to do well as a team. I wasn’t really thinking about how I wanted to rush for this many yards or score this many touchdowns,” he said.
Before the fall football season even began, he had already committed to play the sport at Colorado School of Mines, signing his official letter of intent this February.
Caleb said he plans to go into mechanical engineering or computer science, though he doesn’t have a full career trajectory plotted out just yet.
“I’m pretty open-minded. I don’t have a really set in stone idea of where I want to be in four to six years. I think my experiences and internships will guide me in the right direction,” he said.
Still, he said, getting his foot in the door at a prestigious place would be beneficial.
“It’d be great to one day say I worked for Ferrari or at NASA,” he said.
Caleb and his father both attributed part of his success senior year with the folks of MCHS who welcomed the family.
“Moffat County opened their arms to him, and he stepped right in whether it be in the weight room, on the field and in the classroom,” Ryan said.
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