Luke Graham: The year that was |

Luke Graham: The year that was

Luke Graham

— The school year is done.

Prep sports are done.

But we’d be remiss if we didn’t look back at the year that was for high school sports in Routt County. We’ll be making our first selections of Routt County athletes of the year, as well as top athletes from each public school, in the June 22 edition of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. But before we get to that, here’s a look at the top moments from the year that was.

Sept. 8, 2007

Steamboat volleyball at Moffat County

The rivals went to a deciding fifth game. After Moffat County jumped out to a 16-15 lead in the final game, Steamboat rallied and wouldn’t be denied. The Sailors rallied to score the next three points and take an 18-16 win, with the final kill courtesy of Kacey Bull. The win helped propel the Sailors into a successful season that ended when Steamboat ended up in the toughest District tournament in Class 4A.

Sept. 14, 2007

Steamboat football at Eagle Valley

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Not much else could be said about this game. Eagle Valley tied the game on a 79-yard touchdown pass with less than 30 seconds to go. The game seemingly was bound for overtime before Austin Hinder found Nigel Hammond on a 67-yard touchdown pass to give Steamboat a 34-27 win. The win put Steamboat at 1-1 in the Western Slope and proved to be an early turning point in the Sailors season.

Nov. 10, 2007

Hayden football at Byers

Hayden found itself in an all-too-familiar situation. The Tigers were smaller, slower and expected to lose against the perennial state power. But like they’ve done for the past five years, the Tigers found a way to win, 14-12, punching a berth into the Class 1A state semifinals.

Dec. 8, 2007

Steamboat boys basketball vs. D’Evelyn

For the seniors on the Steamboat boys basketball team, D’Evelyn was the team they couldn’t beat. For three years, D’Evelyn beat up Steamboat. But in the finals of the Steamboat Shoot-Out, Steamboat clamped down on defense and woke up on offense, beating D’Evelyn, 61-50.

Feb. 23, 2008

State wrestling meet

All three area schools went to the Pepsi Center with legitimate contenders to win a state title. Although Routt County came up empty in terms of championships, Soroco’s Justin Iacovetto and Dennis Morgan finished as runners-up. Hayden’s Mitch Doolin and Coy Letlow each placed high, as did Steamboat’s Houston Mader. The exciting thing is Iacovetto, Doolin and Letlow all return this year, no doubt with state titles on their mind.

March 18, 2008

Steamboat girls soccer vs. Glenwood Springs

With a young Steamboat team looking to find its identity, the early league game showed just what type of team Steamboat could be. The Sailors fell behind 1-0 early in the second half. But sophomore Kiersten Henry tied the score in the 71st minute and added the game winner with a minute left in overtime to give Steamboat a 2-1 victory.

April 5, 2008

Steamboat lacrosse vs. Alexander Dawson

Steamboat’s been trying to establish itself as a lacrosse power for years now. Up until this April game, Steamboat had never beaten Alexander Dawson. Playing their second of three games in a 24-hour stretch, the Sailors dominated, winning 9-5 behind a balanced attack. Seven players scored goals for Steamboat and gave the program a much-needed win and boost.

Oct. 13, 2007, May 10, 2008 and May 17, 2008

Those were the three dates Routt County crowned state champions. The first came via the racquet of Ramsey Bernard. Bernard beat Justin Hermes in the championship match at No. 1 singles, 6-0 and 6-2. The second came when Molly Weiss won a state championship in tennis at No. 3 singles. Weiss beat Niwot’s Amanda Lee, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Routt County’s final state championship came when Holli Salazar blew away the shot put field, throwing 41 feet, 7-3/4 inches. The throw was the longest of the year by any high school girl in Colorado.

– To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail