Graduation 2018: Moffat County sports honors top student-athletes |

Graduation 2018: Moffat County sports honors top student-athletes

Moffat County High School's nominees for the Lewis "Dude" Dent Memorial Award and Outstanding Female Athlete. Top row: Kasen Brennise, COlby Beckett, Jaci McDiffett, Jacob Briggs. Bottom row: Miki Klimper, Jana Camilletti, Toryn Hume, Josie Timmer.

As the summer approaches and Moffat County High School sports teams prepare for a vacation mixed with off-season training, several Bulldog graduates will look back on the past few years as the nominees of the school’s top awards for senior student-athletes.

The Lewis "Dude" Dent Memorial Award ceremony takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Clarion Inn & Suites, a night that includes a variety of athletic awards and culminates in the presentation of the Dude Dent trophy and Outstanding Female Athlete for those who have achieved the most in sports and academics alike.

Dude Dent acknowledges one of the area's premier student-athletes, a well-rounded sportsman and scholar when he graduated from Craig High School in 1939. He was a fixture of football, basketball and track who continued his pursuit of excellence at Colorado A&M — now Colorado State University — before joining the United States' military effort in World War II. He was killed in action in August 1944, the same day as the liberation of France from the Nazis.

In 1957, Dent's life was commemorated with the award named for him given to a deserving male student of athletic talent, classroom excellence and a high caliber of personal integrity, complemented by the Outstanding Female Athlete award in 1977.

The nominees for 2018's Dude Dent are Colby Beckett, Kasen Brennise, Jacob Briggs, Toryn Hume and Miki Klimper, while up for Outstanding Female Athlete are Jana Camilletti, Jaci McDiffett and Josie Timmer, all of whom have achieved a great deal in the past year and throughout their high school careers.

Colby Beckett

Recommended Stories For You

On the MCHS gridiron this season, a heavy-hitting defensive line proved problematic for opponents looking to run the pigskin up the middle.

Beckett was among the most tenacious of Bulldog football players, finishing the year with more tackles than anyone on his team or anyone in the whole 2A Western Slope League with 86 total. He also tied for the most sacks in 2A WSL, causing 43 lost yards on five hits on opposing quarterbacks, all of which led to being included in the 9Preps All-Colorado list, among other honors, with plans to walk on to the football team at Colorado Mesa University this fall.

Beckett also competed in hockey during the winter on the Steamboat Springs High School team, a squad that saw a 14-6-1 season as the Sailors went as far as the state quarterfinals.

In the spring, he was a cornerstone of the Bulldog baseball team, playing on the varsity squad for all four years of high school. Besides holding down first base, he was tied for the most runs batted in for the team with 16, as well as a .294 batting average and .529 slugging percentage.

Among myriad other extracurricular activities — including competing for MCHS at the national level for Future Farmers of America and achieving bronze honors as part of the forestry team — Beckett also is the valedictorian for the Class of 2018.

Kasen Brennise

Out of all the nominees, Brennise is the only one who still has more to come in high school sports, defending his title as the top tie-down roper in Colorado during this weekend’s Colorado State High School Rodeo Association State Finals at Moffat County Fairgrounds.

Besides being a state champion last season in the event, he also was in the mix at the national level as well as at International Finals Youth Rodeo and as a team roper with sister Kinlie for Bloomer Trailers.

He won’t be hanging up his lasso anytime soon, having received a full-ride scholarship to compete in rodeo for Texas’s Weatherford College.

In addition to playing golf earlier in his time at MCHS, Brennise suited up for varsity basketball all four years, averaging 7.5 points per game on the court this past winter.

Jacob Briggs

There are few people at MCHS who have spent more time in the swimming pool than Briggs, who has swum competitively for the Bulldog boys team all four years of high school, as well as serving as the manager for the girls team for the past three.

Briggs qualified for the state championships in three of those four years in both individual and relay events, leading the team in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly this season. In a fourth-place team finish at the Western Slope Conference Championships, Briggs and teammates Brooks Birkinbine, David Prescott and Cody Evaristo were third in the 200 medley relay, in which they placed 21st at state, one of eight events the Bulldogs swam at the highest level in what would be their final season with a home pool.

Besides serving as the team captain, Briggs also was elected student council president in a senior year that saw him voted Homecoming King and Prom King.

He’ll also put his leadership skills to the test with his next step after graduation, which will be enlisting in the US Air Force.

Jana Camilletti

A 20-7 season and the first entry for Lady Bulldog basketball into the Final Four since 2006 brought with it a slew of honors for MCHS players, Camilletti more than any, as the recipient of Colorado High School Activities Association All-State Second Team, as well as All-State First Team from MileHigh Prep Report.

As a threat on offense, Camilletti led girls hoops in multiple statistical categories with her performance this season, amassing 301 total points, 37 three-pointers and 106 free throws and the highest free throw percentage (68) in the 3A Western Slope League.

She likewise received coach Kenley Nebeker’s HARASS — Hustle, Armor, Rebounds, Assists, Steals and Sixth Man — Player of the Year for her efforts on the court.

And, as many awards came at the end of the season, the beginning of the year brought with it MVP honors leading up to a Denver Nuggets game on the floor of the Pepsi Center following Lady Dogs’ blowout against Aspen.

Toryn Hume

A tower of power in three separate sports seasons his senior year, Hume was another hard hitter on the Bulldog football line, ranked 10th in the 2A WSL in total tackles with 55, achieving a rare feat for a lineman when he scored a touchdown with a block of a Steamboat punt.

Moving into the winter, Hume was among the stronger contenders in the 220-pound weight class along the Western Slope, leading up to his second-place finish individually and All-Conference honors at the 3A Region 3 Tournament as part of Bulldog grapplers’ overall team finish as runners-up.

A 1-2 run at the state finals capped off a 25-12 year, also earning Most Improved among his teammates.

In the spring, Hume hit the throwing rings for track and field, building up steadily in both the shot put and discus, hitting a distance of 136 feet in the latter for fourth place at the Western Slope Multi-Leagues Meet.

Though he just missed moving on to the state championships, a good consolation prize was being part of the Bulldog boys’ team win of the conference meet.

Miki Klimper

From freshman to senior year, Klimper was a regular visitor to the wrestling state championships, making it as far as the final bout the past two seasons, ending with the silver in the 170 class on both occasions, but it was the progress that led up to it that was a defining trait of his athletic journey.

A 40-4 senior season included with it a second consecutive regional championship, a win at the Valley Viking Invitational and runner-up at the Warrior Classic to name a few, gaining the most pins (22) of any of his teammates along the way, plus All-State Second Team.

Before wrestling season began, Klimper did a little bit of everything for the football team, second in league rankings behind Beckett in total tackles (78), as well as three sacks. On offense, he was tied for the most touchdowns on the team with five, as well as 299 receiving yards part of 460 all-purpose yards.

Versatility also came into play when track season came around, as he competed in sprints, relays and hurdles.

Though the league meet brought with it a shocker as he narrowly finished second in the 300-meter hurdles — placing fifth at state — he nonetheless walked away with gold in the 4×200 relay along with fellow runners Victor Silva, Elias Peroulis and Jared Atkin. The same quartet later fought and clawed their way into the finals in both the 4×100 and 4×200 at state, seventh and sixth, respectively, to overcome low initial rankings and show the Moffat County resolve.

Jaci McDiffett

Persistence has been the name of the game for McDiffett as an all-around player on the basketball court.

Averaging four points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game, a workmanlike balance on offense and defense was part of her skill set, as was a ferocity beneath the rim, with a knack for finishing off contested shots in the post.

On the other side of the ball, she racked up 130 total rebounds, second only to Brooke Gumber on the Lady Bulldog roster, as well as fourth overall in the 3A WSL, picking up an All-Conference Honorable Mention as the squad won conference, district and regional titles leading to a state run that also saw them defeat the top-ranked 3A girls team Kent Denver.

McDiffett likewise buckled down for the golf season, regularly notching the best scores for the group in each tournament and incrementally posting better and better bests. Despite a typical Northwest Colorado spring that limited golfers in terms of weather — including Moffat County’s home tournament being cancelled altogether — she led the Bulldogs at the regional tournament, tied for 28th, having represented the school at the tourney all four years at MCHS.

Josie Timmer

Whether serving, spiking or any other element of the game, Timmer was a multi-talent for Lady Bulldog volleyball, working as a leader alongside Camilletti as the lone seniors on a still young team. A difficult schedule in the fall was highlighted by a defeat of Roaring Fork that broke the team’s long-running cold streak at home.

Timmer also suited up for hoops in the winter as she joined the Lady Dogs for the lengthy stretch into the playoffs, but her true forte came in the spring with the track and field season.

She saw great success in both solo and group events, finishing the league meet with dual championships as she got the gold in her specialty, triple jump — which she plans to compete in at Fort Hays State University in Kansas — and the 4×400-meter relay alongside Emaleigh Papierski, Abby Bohne and Quinn Pinnt.

Moving along to state, Timmer hit the podium three times, with eighth place in triple jump, fifth in the 4×400 and gaining her highest placement at the big time with bronze in the 4×200 with Papierski, Pinnt and Stephenie Swindler, passing the baton literally and figuratively to the girls who will continue the track tradition.

Moffat County High School sports awards

CHSAA Active Scholar — 3.5 GPA or higher in two or more CHSAA activities in the past three years

Grant Wade

Molly Neton

4-Year Scholar — 3.6 GPA, at least one varsity letter each year

Colby Beckett

Kasen Brennise

Brent Cook

Jaycee Holman

Toryn Hume

Jaci McDiffett

Chris Moschetti

Elias Peroulis

Josie Timmer

Josh Turner

Drake Zimmerman

Three-Sport Athlete — 3.5 GPA, three varsity letters in 2017-2018 school year

Colby Beckett

Miki Klimper

Kelsey McDiffett

Emaleigh Papierski

Cale Scranton

Josie Timmer

Toryn Hume

Lewis “Dude” Dent Memorial Award nominees

Colby Beckett

Kasen Brennise

Jacob Briggs

Toryn Hume

Miki Klimper

Outstanding Female Athlete nominees

Jana Camilletti

Jaci McDiffett

Josie Timmer