GRHS athletes play hard in 2018
December 26, 2018
By DAVID MARTIN
The Green River High School athletic programs produce amazing athletes and teams year in and year out. The 2017-2018 season for high school athletics proved no different.
Under a new head coach, the Wolves played hard, but were unable to reach the playoffs as they had done earlier. Sweetwater County School District No. 2 hired Marty Wrage as the school's head football coach, replacing Don Maggi who previously had resigned from the position. The Wolves overall record was 2-6, but had come close to victory in games against Rawlins, Evanston and Cody. It was the game against Cody, ending in a 24-20 loss for the Wolves, that ended their season. Despite the less than stellar season, several players were recognized on the All Conference and All State lists. Erik Gwaltney, Anthony Mitchell, Anthony Johnson, Caison Straw, and Kyle Ivie were named All Conference, while Mitchell, Johnson and Straw were named All State.
The Lady Wolves season ended in Rock Springs at the regional volleyball tournament this year. The team was ranked second in the southwest quadrant and defeated Riverton in four sets at the start of the tournament. The Lady Wolves found themselves in the consolation bracket after a loss to Kelly Walsh, facing a tough match with the Lady Red Devils of Evanston. A loss in three sets ended the Wolves' dreams of a state tournament berth.
The Lady Wolves swim team had an impressive season in 2018. The team secured a second-place finish at the state swim meet and broke several records along the way. The team of Lauren Jensen, Hailey Uhrig, Lauren Lee and Ashley Jensen broke the school record in the 200-yard medley relay, while L. Jensen, L. Lee, Alexa Lauze and Sydni Sanders broke the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay by more than 6 seconds. Uhrig also broke the school record in the 100-yard breaststroke.
"The girls were excited," head coach Colleen Seiloff said. "They really worked hard this season. It was nice to watch them celebrate."
The 200-yard medley relay team finished second, while the 400-yard freestyle relay team finished third. Individually, Uhrig finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke, Sanders took fifth in the 200-yard freestyle event, L. Jensen took third in the 100-yard backstroke and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley, Lee took fifth in the 100-yard butterfly and sixth in the 500-yard freestyle, Lauze took third in the 500-yard freestyle and Lillian Munoz finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke.
GRHS's golfers have improved over last year, with many of the players competing in the 90-95 range during the season.
"Last year, it was hard to break 110," assistant coach Mike Baker said.
The team won its home invitational, with Kaleb Saccamono, Drew Gibson, Trevor Moser and Connar Wilkins medaling at the competition. The team's boy's group finished 10th at state, while the girls groups did not have enough placers to field a team.
Head tennis coach Phil Harder's players continue to improve. While the team didn't return home from state with championships, several players were nominated for Al State honors. Those players were Brett McKeehan, Jordan Anderson, Kaitlyn Sharp and Sydney Beutel. McKeehan and Anderson competed in Doubles No.3, where they placed second at the tournament. Sharp and Beutel also finished second, competing in the Doubles No. 2 division. Megan Counts and Gabrielle Heiser also fared well at state, earning a third-place finish in Doubles No. 3.
The Lady Wolves would not go to state in 2018. In a season where a majority the Lady Wolves' starting lineup was sidelined due to injury, the team would remain winless in conference play and were eliminated from the regional tournament in Jackson after losing their first game.
"They got along really well throughout the course of the season," head coach Rick Carroll said of the senior players. "They were good role models for the younger ones and they had a good work ethic."
Like the Lady Wolves, the boys basketball team would also not go to state in 2018. The boys has a strong start in their season, but struggled during the last few weeks of conference play. They would lose five of their last six conference games, their only win coming from a victory against the Rock Springs Tigers during the annual Make-A-Wish match. The Wolves would take on the Natrona County Mustangs, a team the Wolves had previously defeated in Casper. Their following game would not go as well, with the Wolves getting knocked out of the tournament following a 58-56 loss.
A young swim team earned three All-State nominations and took fourth at state, led by Michael Richmond, James King and Ethan Moffatt. Moffatt took the gold in the 100-yard breaststroke and seventh in the 200-yard individual medley; while Richmond took second in the 200-yard IM and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and King took third in the 50-yard freestyle and second in the 100-yard butterfly. The Wolves' relay teams also achieved at state, with the team of Richmond, Moffatt, King and Lane Hutchison taking second in the 200-yard medley relay and the team of King, Dean Lyon, Hutchison and Richmond finishing third in the 400-yard freestyle relay. During a season when several records were broken, three school records were broken at state. Richmond broke a record in the 100-yard freestyle, Moffatt broke the record in the 100-yard breaststroke and the relay team of Richmond, King, Moffatt and Huchison broke the 200-yard medley relay record.
"We're a young team and the good news is we get to come back next year with a good team," Seiloff said in an interview after the state meet. "We moved up from last year and we just continue to improve each year."
Under the direction of a new coach, the Wolves remained highly competitive despite not being able take home the state title for a third year in a row. Head coach Josh Wisniewski and his team were able to capture the regional title in 2018, but took fifth at state in a competition where only 28.5 points separated the state champions from Cheyenne East and the Wolves. The Wolves had a few stand out performers on the team at state. Payton Tucker and Dominic Martinez took home the state titles in 2017. Tucker earned the title at 182 pounds while Martinez was the champion in the 106-pound weight division, the same division where GRHS's Clayson Mele took third.
Kade Flores took third in the 113-pound division, while Nathan McCann took second in the 138-pound division. At 145 pounds, Tanner Adam took second, while his teammate Garrett Harris finished in third place. Jon Ty Leininger took second at 160 pounds.
The Lady Wolves' soccer team struggled in 2018, losing to Natrona County in overtime at the regional tournament. Like the Lady Wolves basketball team, injury played a heavy role in the Lady Wolves' season, resulting in junior varsity players playing on the varsity squad in many games. Holly Hunt, Chezney Mamalis and Carley Kettering were pillars for the team. Mamalis and Kettering were named all conference at the end of the season.
"It was a rough ending, especially for our seniors," head coach Tracy Wyant said.
The Wolves soccer program continues to improve year after year. With a winning season and the regional championship under its belt, the team ultimately took third at the state tournament, ending its season on a high note after defeating the Laramie Plainsmen in a 2-0 shutout in the consolation bracket. The team was able to finish a place higher than its fourth-place finish in 2017. Seven players were named All Conference: Christian Alatorre, Haden Counts, Alex Davis, Erik Gwaltney, Chase Stoger, Patrick Marchal and Gregory Marchal. Gwaltney, Davis and the Marchal brothers were named All State.
The GRHS track team ended its season with one state champion and two All-State nominees. Erika Wilson was the state champion in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5'4." Natasha Young finished the season with a second-place finish in discuss, earning All-State honors with a 120' 07" throw.
In total, 18 qualifiers made it to the state meet at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper. Other strong performances came from Mariyah Brady taking sixth in the 100-meter hurdles and David Martinez taking fourth in the boys' discuss competition.
Several other competitors set personal and season best records while at the meet.
"I am excited for the future for our track and field team," head coach Dan Hansen said at the end of the season.
Hansen said he believes the large group of younger competitors the team attracted will mean the team will be more competitive in future years.
The GRHS cross country team had a great season, which culminated in one runner earning All State honors. While the girls side of the team was unable to field enough runners to earn team points, individual runners remained competitive. Kaisa Arielle and Madison Doak lead the group with great runs throughout the season.
For the boys, Marcos Valerio and Tanner Adam would lead a boys team that continually improved throughout the season. Valerio's hard work paid off at the end of the season with a seven-place finish at state, earning him All-State recognition.