Top Yampa Valley athletes
Christian Ramirez, senior
Ramirez was a three-sport star. He was the quarterback of the football team, helping the team to its first wins in two seasons. He also played all over the rink in hockey, earning all-state honors as a defenseman. He is also a midfielder on the lacrosse team and likely an all-Mountain Conference selection.
Ryan Jeep, junior
As a sophomore, Jeep was a boy of potential. As a junior, he began to play as a dominating force. At 6-foot-4, he was the kind of tight end receiver threat that quarterbacks drool over, and he was a beast at defensive end. On the basketball court, he led the team in scoring for the second consecutive year and had more than twice as many rebounds as any other Ram. Playing baseball for Steamboat Springs High School, he was one of the team’s best pitchers and hitters. The most exciting part is he has one year remaining to do it all again.
Carter Kounovsky, junior
Kounovsky played soccer and was the best basketball player. On the basketball court, he was Steamboat’s most reliable scorer and turned into a shutdown defender. He should have a big year next year.
Ben Wharton, junior
Wharton was one of the top hockey players and is Steamboat’s biggest offensive threat in lacrosse.
Jessica Rossi, sophomore
Rossi plays sports with an aggression that often sets her apart. It certainly did during the basketball season, when she led a strong Rams squad in scoring.
Megan Stabile, senior
Stabile was a reliable guard on the basketball team and one of the soccer team’s most consistent threats. She rarely came off the soccer field, logging lots of minutes.
Meg O’Connell, junior
O’Connell was Steamboat’s best runner in cross-country and track. On the Nordic team, she was always one of Steamboat’s top finishers.
Michael Samuelson, senior
Moffat’s workhorse running back also was one of its key defensive players. Samuelson averaged more than 100 yards per game on the ground and racked up 15 touchdowns. He also was among the team leaders in tackles (82) and sacks (8) as a defensive end. Samuelson also played hockey for Steamboat, scoring seven goals in eight games.
Matt Hulstine, senior
Hulstine did only one sport in his senior year of high school, but his extra focus on swimming paid off in a big way. He set two school records (in the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter breaststroke) and will compete in the 4A state meet in both events as well as swimming with teammates in the 200-meter medley relay. Through last weekend, Hulstine’s 58.84 seconds in the breast stroke is the fastest time in 4A this year and second best in any classification. He signed to swim at the University of Denver next year.
Lisa Camilletti, senior
In her first year of high school volleyball, Camilletti was an all-around player for the Bulldogs. But the senior made her biggest mark as the point guard for the girls basketball team. She led the team in scoring (11.7 points per game) and shot 37 percent from beyond the arc. She also was second on the team in assists and steals and scored 25 points in the Bulldogs’ Sweet 16 loss to Kent Denver
Brenna Ciesco, junior
By midseason, it became clear Ciesco was one of Moffat County’s top runners. Ciesco was the Bulldogs’ top finisher at their home meet, and also led the way at the 3A state meet for Moffat County. She doubled as a key cog in the girls soccer team’s midfield, scoring three goals and four assists in a record-setting season for wins.
Ben Custer, senior
Custer also is a three-sport star. He was the football team’s best defensive player, provided rebounding and toughness on the basketball court and plays goalie for the lacrosse team.
Matt Regan, junior
Regan was one of his team’s go-to wide receivers in football. He also led the Rams in tackles. He had another strong winter season, finishing second on the team in points per game and was one of the top players, on the mound and in the batter’s box, for the baseball team. Penciled in to take over at quarterback this fall, another year of highlights seems likely.
McKenzie Repollo, senior
Repollo was arguably Steamboat’s best basketball player this season. Playing both guard positions, Repollo was a deadly outside shooter. She also joined the lacrosse team and was solid in net for her first time playing.
Jorge Valdez, senior
In basketball, Valdez led Hayden in points on the season and was second only by a hair in points per game. He also led in blocked shots and steals and was second in assists. He put his athleticism to good use in track, qualifying for state in high jump and long jump.
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As Christmas’s oldest debates about traditions come back around, one tends to stick out among the rest. Do you put up a real Christmas tree or a fake one?