Moffat County athletes gain top honors at Dude Dent awards ceremony
The end of another school year at Moffat County High School means it’s that time again to highlight the best senior student-athletes as part of the Lewis “Dude” Dent Memorial Awards Ceremony.
The annual event took place Monday at the Center of Craig, handing out a variety of honors, such as three-sport athletes and four-year scholars, as well as its namesake trophy.
Taking the Dude Dent award was Logan Hafey, with Halle Hamilton the winner of the Outstanding Female Athlete.
Hafey has competed in cross-country, football, basketball and track and field during the past four years, with all-conference honors in both football and basketball in his senior season.
As a junior, he earned a state title in the 300-meter hurdles, as well as twice breaking the school record in the event.
In the past week, he brought the record time down a third time to 39.19 seconds in the state preliminaries, indicating he was well on his way to a second title. However, he caught his foot on the last hurdle in the finals, hitting the track but retaining runner-up status with quick reflexes to get across the finish line.
In his acceptance speech, he noted that even setbacks have helped him in his life journey.
“Sports have always been a blessing to me. They have taught me so much — grit, integrity, leadership and tenacity,” Hafey said. “It means pushing myself to the limit and never giving up, to the point where I’m making the game-winning sack for the league championship or pulling myself through the ground and finishing up at the state championship meet. Whatever obstacle comes my way, I know I can get through it.”
MCHS head track coach Todd Trapp spoke on Hafey’s behalf.
“Logan’s work ethic and positive attitude toward competing at the highest level is the characteristic that sets him apart from his competition,” Trapp said. “I honestly don’t remember a day when Logan didn’t bring it at practice.”
With Hafey headed to Colorado Mesa University to compete in hurdles and relays, fellow award recipient Halle will also be bound for collegiate track at University of Hawaii.
As part of state champion relay groups as a freshman and junior in the 4×200 relay, she kept up the standard of excellence during this year’s state event, including placing second in the 4×400, third in both the 4×200 and 400 dash, and fourth in the 200 dash.
She’s also been a three-time state qualifier in cross-country, as well as the MVP for the girls basketball team, leading the team in scoring, assists and steals, earning All-State honors from Colorado High School Activities Association, Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports and Colorado High School Coaches Association.
Her father and coach, Eric Hamilton, regaled the crowd with details of Halle competing with her older siblings on the court and continuing to stay fierce.
“I have personally never been around or coached anyone that wanted to win more than Halle,” he said. “The tougher and more demanding the competition, the more she seems to thrive and enjoy it.”
Accepting the award, Halle said she felt humbled to be alongside the likes of impressive past winners, among them her uncle and older brother.
“Knowing that so many deserving people before me have received this award, I feel extremely grateful to be standing in front of you today in the company of these very worthy nominees,” she said.
MCHS first named its biggest sports award after Dude Dent, a multi-talented athlete who competed in football, basketball and track and field, as well as being a high-achieving student, graduating from then-Craig High School in 1939 and going on a scholarship to Colorado A&M, now Colorado State University.
Among the honors he received in college were being named to the Big 7 All-Conference football team and being named the best all-around athlete in the Mountain States Conference.
Drafted into World War II before completing his degree in mechanical engineering, he was killed in action in France in 1944 and awarded the Silver Star.
The school also began the Outstanding Female Athlete Award in 1977 to complement the original award and has since provided them to multi-sport athletes who also maintain academic excellence.
Though there could be only two recipients for the Dude Dent awards, the winners were in good company with six other solid student athletes
Jacie Evenson — Volleyball, basketball
With Bulldogs volleyball having its best season in more than a decade, Jacie Evenson was a significant part of the team’s success as Moffat County’s starting setter for the third consecutive year, as well as being team captain.
She added 471 assists throughout the fall, her most productive statistic yet in a run that saw her put together 1,160 since her sophomore year. She also had 17 aces at the service line and 21 blocks in an all-conference year.
Coach Becca Sage said fellow Western Slope coaches were nearly unanimous voting for Evenson.
“There was no doubt in any of their minds that Jacie was a standout player and young lady,” Sage said. “They remembered her leadership, her skill and her attitude.”
Her performance continued into the basketball season as she recorded 108 points, 13 three-pointers, 67 rebounds and 41 steals in a well-rounded season on offense and defense as she again earned all-conference honors.
Evenson will be attending University of Wyomingd and majoring in physical education as she seeks to pursue a career as an athletic director.
Trace Frederickson — Football, wrestling, track and field
Trace Frederickson was part of a phenomenal backfield on the gridiron this season, rushing for 123 yards and catching for 32, adding three touchdowns in a high-scoring year.
At linebacker, he was part of a defense that routinely shut down the opposition, and individually, he had 36 total tackles and a sack to help him attain an all-conference distinction.
Assistant football coach Nick Colgate noted he could tell early on that Frederickson was a devoted member of the roster.
“There’s no questions asked, no nothing. You ask him to run through a brick wall, he’ll do it for you.” Colgate said.
As part of a packed roster on the wrestling team in a particularly competitive weight class, Frederickson took every opportunity to grapple, finishing the winter with a 6-4 record.
During track season, he specialized in distance running, most frequently in the 800-meter run and 4×800 relay, reaching a time of 2:13.94 in the solo half-mile at the Multi-League Meet.
Amid sports and school, he has also been preparing for a career coming straight out of high school. After working as an electrical apprentice for the past two years, he plans to continue in the electrical trade.
Emma Jones — Cross-country, basketball, track and field
Emma Jones went the distance this year as the lone member of the girls cross-country team to qualify for state after placing 14th in the highly competitive Class 3A Region 1 Meet. She was also the only senior runner in her class to compete at the 3A state meet all four years, helping her decide to run at the next level for Colorado College.
Jones joined best friend Hamilton with two state titles in the 4×200 relay and also twice earned state medals in the high jump, in which she also won a 3A Western Slope League championship this season.
Gaining considerable minutes this hoops season as part of a packed roster, Jones was invaluable to the team thanks to her spirit, said assistant basketball coach Joe Padon.
“It’s Emma’s happiness that makes her stand out,” he said. “It’s her continuous laughter, her unparalleled kindness, and the joy she has for everyone around her and for life itself.”
Bree Meats — Cross-country, basketball, track and field
Bree Meats has been a steady part of Moffat County’s running program for the past four years, twice attending state cross-country and running the 4×800 relay at the state track meet the past two years.
Playing basketball early in her high school tenure, she shifted to focus on staying fit for running during the winter. With plans to run at Chadron State College, Meats will continue to stay fleet of foot while pursuing a degree in biology.
Assistant cross-country coach Jennifer Pressgrove spoke on Meats’ behalf, noting how apparent her hardworking nature was from the get-go.
“I met Bree the summer before freshman year, and she was already out doing consistent summer training. That’s pretty rare for freshman to do that,” Pressgrove said. “She had always pushed herself in practice without complaint, which can also be rare. She always wanted to get better and determined to put in the work to be the best and topped it off with a positive attitude.”
Carson Miller — Football, baseball
As one of several reliable receivers on the gridiron, Carson Miller logged 215 receiving yards this season with three touchdowns, the longest an 80-yard reception that started off a high-scoring game against Aspen.
As a defensive back, he added 19 tackles and two interceptions as part of a season that saw him not only receive all-conference recognition but also CHSAA All-State Honorable Mention.
Assistant football coach Brayden Peterson stated that Miller consistently worked hard even when he was nowhere near the pigskin.
“When being a wide receiver on a run-dominant team, you may not always get those highlight plays, but week after week while us coaches would break down game film, Carson was always seen making those downfield blocks,” he said. “Those are what turn a 10-yard run into a 30-plus run and score some big touchdowns.”
For the baseball season, Miller added 11 RBI with 10 hits and six doubles, as well as being a strong all-around presence in the infield, including 14 strikeouts on the mound. This fall, he’ll attend Montana State University to study engineering.
Ryan Peck — Golf, football, basketball, baseball
Peck has been the starting quarterback for Bulldog football for three years, making the playoffs each season and gaining a league championship as a junior.
In his senior year, he threw 12 touchdowns and had 1,048 passing yards with more than 2,700 total yards across the past four years. He also ran in five TDs as part of 227 rushing yards.
Peck was almost never off the field this fall as the Dogs’ regular kicker and also becoming a fearsome defensive end with 42 tackles, three sacks and a safety to earn all-conference and All-State Honorable Mention.
As a varsity basketball player since freshman year, he stood out as a rebounder this year, leading his squad and the Western Slope League with 193 boards in the first winning season for boys hoops since 2015.
During spring baseball, Peck led the Bulldogs at the plate with 35 hits and drove in 25 RBI that included nine doubles, four triples and five home runs, with a .636 batting average and 1.218 slugging percentage across the regular season.
Peck will attend Utah State University with plans to attain a professional pilot license.
Coach James Romansky spoke for Peck, noting how the oversized freshman he saw several years ago has grown into a great leadership role.
“He has stepped into the reins of being a captain on our baseball team perfectly. He was exactly the captain that we needed this year. Those were not easy shoes to fill, but he filled them, all size 14,” he said.
As part of the awards ceremony, MCHS also acknowledged juniors Lizzy LeWarne and Cort Murphy with CHSAA’s Active Scholar Award for a GPA of at least 3.5 and competing in two or more sports across the past three years.
The Three-Sport Athlete Award (3.5 GPA and three varsity letters in the current year) went to Halle Hamilton, Emma Jones, Logan Hafey, Johnny Lopez, Cort Murphy, Evan Beaver, Ryan Peck, Lizzy LeWarne, Boden Reidhead, Hudson Jones and Brook Wheeler.
Four-Year Scholar (3.6 cumulative GPA and one varsity letter every year) went to Logan Hafey, Ryan Peck, Bree Meats, Taran Teeter, Halle Hamilton, Olivia Profumo, Emma Jones, Caden Call and Pepper Rhyne.
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