Moffat County scholar-athletes compete for Dude Dent honors
A school year’s worth of blood, sweat and tears soon comes to a close for all Moffat County High School athletes, and for seniors it’s the end of an era after several years of sports accomplishments.
The next week will see some of the best and brightest vie for the biggest trophy the school has to offer.
MCHS’s Dude Dent Memorial Award takes place at 6 p.m. Monday, May 22, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, highlighting the top senior student-athletes as well as younger high-achieving members of Bulldog sports.
The top award is named for Lewis “Dude” Dent, a 1939 Craig High School graduate renowned for excelling in multiple sports, including football, basketball and track and field. Dent was also a top athlete at Colorado State University — then Colorado A&M — before joining up for the military in World War II, where he was killed in action in 1944.
The Dude Dent award was created in 1957 and the complementary Outstanding Female Athlete in 1977.
The awards serve to honor students who have lettered in multiple sports across the past four years while also maintaining stellar grades.
Here are this year’s nominees.
Alexis Jones — volleyball, track and field
As the captain and starting setter for the volleyball program, Alexis Jones was counted on to be in the right place at the right time to get her teammates the best possible ball to spike it home.
With 354 assists — one of the top five results in the 3A Western Slope League — she was integral to the Bulldogs’ first winning season in 15 years, which also saw them make the regional round of the state playoffs. Alexis Jones was one of three Moffat County players to take home All-Conference distinctions, a First Team honoree.
In the springtime, Jones has been a crucial part of the track and field team, qualifying for the 3A state championships in high jump three consecutive years, including placing eighth as a sophomore.
More recently, she was runner-up for the 3A WSL in the high jump earlier this month while also winning a conference title as part of the 4×400-meter relay team.
Cayden King — volleyball, basketball, track and field
A varsity competitor since her freshman year, Cayden King has been a difference-maker.
As a powerhouse hitter in volleyball for three years and one of the most feared Moffat County hoopsters as a freshman and sophomore, King saw a roadblock as a junior when she tore her ACL on the court.
Though she missed most of her senior volleyball season, she more than made up for it during the basketball season. Even though her injuries have been hard to shake, she racked up 225 points, 10 rebounds, 32 assists, 26 steals and 15 blocks to be named the 4A Western Slope League Player of the Year.
She was also named All-State by both CHSAA and Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports, as well as being selected for the statewide showcase game, The Show.
King has also been a state-qualifier in long jump and relays for MoCo track as a sophomore, with this season seeing her claim league gold in both the 4×100 and 4×400.
Lizzy LeWarne — volleyball, basketball, track and field
Anyone who competed against the Bulldogs volleyball team this past fall had their work cut out for them with middle blocker Lizzy LeWarne in their face.
LeWarne was an All-Conference First Team selection for her proficiency in shutting down opponents’ hitting with 91 blocks, ranked second in the league.
As for basketball, her numbers from her junior year as the 3A WSL’s top rebounder carried over and only increased as a senior. With 281 boards this winter, she was not only the best in the statistic for the Western Slope but also set a school record for rebounds in a single season.
With a dozen double-doubles — a league best — she was also the leading scorer for the Dogs with 242 points, sharing the team MVP honors with King, with whom LeWarne also competed alongside during the CCGS All-State game.
As a regular at state track in multiple relays the past two years, LeWarne joined King, Jones and Teya Miller this season to win the league title in the 4×400.
Johnny Lopez — football, basketball
As part of Bulldog football’s secondary defense, Johnny Lopez was a perpetual threat to opposing quarterbacks. He was the best in the 2A West this fall in interceptions, stealing six passes throughout the season, including one pick-six.
Though his strong point was on the other side of the ball, Lopez also showed how beneficial he could be on offense when he was temporarily moved to a running back role with a standout game against Steamboat Springs that saw him earn three touchdowns and triple-digit rushing yardage.
Lopez was one of 10 Bulldogs to gain All-Conference and one of five from that group to be named First Team.
During the hoops season, he was one of only a handful of players who were in for all 23 games.
As a player who helped set up his teammates for success with his midcourt play, he had a breakout game against Rifle to lead scoring for the night with 17 points.
Cort Murphy — football, basketball, baseball
Called into action as a freshman quarterback in a high-pressure playoff game, Cort Murphy showed his toughness from the get-go. As he kept going in the sport, he proved his versatility as the league leader in interceptions as a junior and the team’s most productive tackler as a senior.
This fall saw him take on the starting role under center, but Murphy was briefly benched with a knee injury midway through the season only to come back as a tight end.
In all, he threw for 426 yards with two touchdown passes and only one interception, ran in five TDs with 161 rushing yards, and had 100 receiving yards to gain his second All-Conference distinction.
Murphy dealt with an ankle injury that caused him to miss part of the basketball season, but nonetheless added 113 points and 115 rebounds to pick up All-Conference honorable mention.
On the baseball field this spring, he was utilized as both a center-fielder — with the fewest fielding errors on the team — and as a pitcher, earning 18 strikeouts.
Ian Trevenen — cross country, track and field
As part of MoCo cross country, Ian Trevenen racked up mile after mile across the past four years, part of the Bulldog boys state-qualifying team as a freshman, junior and senior.
Cracking the top 100 3A runners in the state in both of the past two seasons, Trevenen took 11th in the 3A Region 1 meet as a junior and brought his placement down to eighth a senior, with the Dogs earning third among teams both years.
His best time in the 5K was a 17:29.3 during this fall’s Delta Pantherfest, in which he placed sixth.
Trevenen kept up with the distance events during the spring track season, as well as hitting the high jump pit regularly, qualifying for state as a sophomore — the same season he was league runner-up — and junior.
As part of the 3A Western Slope League championship team this season, Trevenen added to the tally — which Bulldog boys won by only one point with fifth place in the high jump and fourth in the 4×400 race alongside teammates Zeke Cordero, Patrick Neton and Jimi Jimenez.
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