Routt County athlete of the year: Top teams
Steamboat Springs High School boys golf team
Steamboat Springs High School golf coach Steve Dodson had the best and worst situation on his hands last fall.
On one hand, he had four student-athletes poised to be in contention both days of the 4A state championships in Pueblo.
On the other, he had even more qualified golfers who had to stay home, showing just how strong the Sailors team was in 2014.
In the end, it was Brandon Martin, Spencer Petersen, Will Firestone and Britt Walton who got the nod to compete at Walking Stick Golf Course Sept. 29 and 30. As a team, Martin, Petersen, Firestone and Walton placed fifth in Class 4A, just behind four Front Range powers.
Individually, Walton took sixth overall and was in the leader group heading into the final day of the championships. The squad was led by the 4A Western Slope coach of the year in Dodson, who retired following his 11th season on the links.
Soroco High School girls basketball team
The Soroco High School girls basketball team had its eyes set on state, and it fell short, losing for the second consecutive season in the finals of the regional tournament, a game short of the eight-team championship showdown in Pueblo.
Still, it was a season like few ever in Oak Creek for the Soroco girls as they won the league title for the first time since 1996, taking the Western Slope-Gore League with a 19-4 overall record. The Rams avenged their one loss in the league with a dominating 69-45 shellacking of West Grand in January.
At its best, Soroco was a three-headed offensive monster — featuring senior Jessica Rossi, junior Briana Peterson and sophomore DaKota Bruner — complemented by a very strong supporting cast filling out the starting lineup and coming off the bench.
Bruner was lost with a knee injury midway through the season, and while that may have helped lead to the team’s demise at regionals, it didn’t slow it down in the regular season, and the squad still accomplished all of its goals there.
This is a strong era for Soroco girls basketball, and this was a great chapter in that story.
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Sherry Burlingame never imagined herself as a chief of police.