Yampa Valley female athlete of the year: Allie Ehlers is a Bulldog sports fixture
To Moffat County senior Allie Ehlers, playing sports always has been the obvious choice.
“I’ve played soccer since kindergarten,” she said. “I’ve always had to be doing something. Sitting at home sounds boring.”
So when Ehlers moved to Craig two years ago after spending her freshman and sophomore years at Coal Ridge High School, she got involved with volleyball right away, in order to make sure boredom didn’t become an issue. Since then, she’s been a fixture on Moffat County sports teams, a key player in every volleyball, basketball and soccer game during that stretch.
As a junior, Ehlers played fewer minutes in basketball, but with seven seniors graduating in front of her, she stepped into a much larger role this season.
“I liked to watch those girls play,” she said about the class of players in front of her. “I looked up to Kori (Finneman) and the way she played and the way that team played.”
More comfortable as a wing player, Ehlers had to spend more time inside this season, especially on defense with Moffat County’s limited size. She responded to the challenge well, leading the Bulldogs in rebounds (6.7 per game) and ending up second on the team in scoring, averaging nine points per game. More importantly, she was at her best in big games, scoring 18 points in a must-win game against Coal Ridge and 13 to go along with 10 rebounds in Moffat County’s district championship win against Olathe.
“We started getting along better at the end of the season,” Ehlers said about the team’s chemistry. “We wanted to go farther than last year’s team and all got on the same page.”
In her two years at Moffat County, the girls soccer team has had its two best seasons, making the only trip to the postseason in program history last year and going 7-8 this season.
Ehlers has been at the center of that success, leading the Bulldogs with 15 goals this season. But her contribution is greater than just scoring. She took every free kick in offensive territory for Moffat County and every corner kick, as well. If the ball went out of bounds, Ehlers’ strength to throw it in was a weapon nearly as good as a free kick.
It’s that ability, and her love of the sport, that Ehlers will bring to Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas, where she’ll play soccer next fall.
“I’m pumped for it,” she said about the next step in her athletic career. “I’m ready to start working with the girls, have a new surrounding and a whole different team.”
Some students are choosing to chart their own course after graduation, bucking the conventional path of college or trade school, but with no less ambition than their degree-seeking peers. Moffat County High School senior Tyler Gonzales is one such student, who has chosen to dive into a full-time job at Chaos Ink after graduating and feed his passion for design and entrepreneurialism.