Green River Star -

By Pete Rust
Contributor 

Several receive post season honors

 


Led by Senior Blake Waite, five seniors, three juniors and one sophomore received post season honors.

Those who made the 3A all-conference list included seniors Waite, Hunter Spartz, Drew Wilson. Taylor Thornton, and Gabe Bunderman, along with juniors Cole White, Chance Hofer and Candon Croft, as well as sophomore Chase Stoeger. Waite and Spartz were also 2015 all-conference selections.

Making all-state for 2016 were Waite and Spartz, who were also all-state in 2015 and Drew Wilson, along with Stoeger.

Waite was last year’s Defensive Player of the Year in 3A and is the Wolves’ lone representative to the exclusive Wyoming Super 25 Players. The awards for top offensive, defensive player and top lineman have yet to be announced.

Reflecting on the season, head coach Don Maggi expressed that he was proud of the how the players dedicated themselves to hard work in the weight room and attending camps and doing all the little things to make themselves better players.

Maggi felt that while they did not achieve their goal of getting back to the championship game, the kids and coaches should have no regrets as they won eight games and grew as both players and people. The unfortunate method of breaking a tie, a coin flip, put the Wolves in the unenviable position of having to travel and play the second ranked team despite finishing in a three-way tie for the conference championship which clearly gave the Wolves the toughest road of the three first-place finishers. While not making any excuses, the schedule combined with losing two key starters in Wilson on both sides of the ball, and William Harvey, who was able to play on offense with a severe ankle sprain, but was missed on defense, had an impact on the Wolves.

Maggi indicated Harvey played smart and was always in the right position which solidified the defense, but the loss of the two seniors made the road to the championship game even harder to navigate. Despite not reaching their goal of “finishing,” the team had a season most teams would envy.

As to next year’s prospects the Wolves, who had 15 seniors on this year’s team giving them a pretty experienced unit, return 20 juniors, many of whom had considerable playing time particularly at the skill positions. Maggi noted that they will need help at some of the line and other positions, but many of the junior varsity kids have been playing together for a number of years and if they dedicate themselves in the off season, the team should be in a competitive position once again next year.

In the end, Green River demonstrated they had one of the top teams in the state and with hard work in the off season the program should once again be competitive next year.

 

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