SSHS’s Labor wins league player of the year in volleyball
Steamboat Springs — Players like Steamboat Springs High School’s Maddie Labor rarely win player of the year awards. The problem is, the senior was a libero on the Sailors’ volleyball team, a defensive position, a spot that is often passed up for awards in favor of the taller girls up front who do the hitting and blocking.
But Labor was a special player on a special team, and even the 4A Western Slope League voters couldn’t deny this, naming her the league’s player of the year.
“I’ve never seen it go to a defensive player before. So that in itself reflects on the impact that she had on the success of our team this year,” SSHS volleyball coach Wendy Hall said. “I think she’s deserving because she works so hard to try to get this team where it wanted to get this year. They all worked so hard.”
Labor, who signed to play volleyball at Regis University in Denver, was among the leaders in a deep class of 10 seniors that guided the Sailors to their best season in years. Steamboat volleyball won 19 regular-season matches, won its first conference title since 2002, and hosted a regional tournament as a No. 8 seed before a heartbreaking loss to Silver Creek that ended its season.
Still, the loss at the end didn’t take away from the season the Sailors had. Alongside Labor, fellow seniors Maritza Wiedel, Abigail Wiedel and Jenna Miller were all named first team all-league. Seniors Annie Osbourn and Hayley Johnson were honorable mention selections.
Hall was named the league’s coach of the year.
“I just think they made the town of Steamboat proud this year,” Hall said of the players, especially noting the seniors. “They just were tremendous teammates and tremendous role models to our younger kids. That is really, I think, what is so special about this group. The fact they won the league championship is truly icing on the cake.”
The volleyball team wasn’t the only fall sport to get a player of the year honor, as senior Joe DeLine of the football team was named the league’s special teams player of the year alongside his all-conference honors. DeLine was a strong returner for the Sailors, as well as providing a strong leg as a kicker and punter.
Five others made all-league honorable mention in football: seniors Jake Crouch, Marlin Rowan, and Ernesto Saenz, and juniors Matthew Hansen and Charlie Harrington.
The Sailors’ football team went 4-6 this season, winning its final two games over Summit and Glenwood Springs.
The Steamboat boys’ soccer team had a season nearly as impressive as the volleyball team, going 12-4 overall. The Sailors fell just short of Battle Mountain for the league title, but did enough to have the opportunity to host D’Evelyn in a home playoff game for the first time since 2009.
The Sailors had three players earn all-league honors in Charlie Beurskens, Jack Salyer and Cruz Archuleta. Salyer was also named second team all state. Will Beurskens was named all-league honorable mention.
Overall, Steamboat Springs High School had a very strong fall sports season, which also included a regional championship from the boys’ tennis team and runner-up regional finishes from boys’ golf and girls’ cross country.
Soroco’s Logan, McCollum win RAM Awards
Soroco High School senior Eric Logan might be too tough — and too nice — for his own good. An injury late in the Rams’ football season limited the star fullback in practice, and coach Dick Dudas often had trouble figuring out if he was OK or not.
“He played the last two games with a torn right quad in his thigh,” Dudas said. “The next week before the Hayden game, he did not practice. He was in therapy all week.”
Regardless, Logan convinced Dudas to let him play and he put on a performance that did nothing to show anyone he was injured. Logan was one of the key seniors to guide the Rams to a 4-4 record, with them winning their final three games after a 1-4 start.
For this reason, Logan was named first team all-league alongside senior end Warren Hayes.
“The senior leadership we had, although we only had five seniors, was excellent,” Dudas said. “I think one of the reasons, especially after we got to our level of competition, we did so well was because we had no egos on our team.”
Junior quarterback Isaac Jonas, sophomore lineman Schuyler Carlson and freshman running back Jace Logan, Eric Logan’s younger brother, were all named honorable mention all-league. Dudas also created a special team award, a “Selflessness” award, for senior Storm Veilleux, who played nearly every position for the Rams this season and did whatever was needed.
On top of his all-league honors, Eric Logan was given a RAM Award by the high school, given annually “to a player who displays good attitude, selflessness, good grades, is a leader on and off the court/field, and epitomizes all the attributes of a great athlete.”
Also receiving a RAM Award was senior Cala McCollum of the volleyball team. Soroco’s volleyball team went 11-9 this fall, and had two players earn all-league honors in seniors Lucy Carlson and Briana Peterson. McCollum and senior Kali Constine were named honorable mention all-league.
Also of note, both sophomore Ben Kelley and freshman Chloe Veilleux were named all-league in cross country. Both were state qualifiers, and both finished in the top 10. Veilleux earned all-state honors for finishing in the top six.
Hayden football had one player earn first team all-league honors in junior Christian Carson, who led the team with 104 tackles.
“More than anything it was his toughness,” Hayden coach Ryan Wilkie said. “He’s a tough kid and he’s going to be a senior next year, so we’ll be expecting a lot from him.”
Earning honorable mention honors for Hayden football was senior Judd Magee.
“He didn’t play last year and came back this year and was really effective for us,” Wilkie said. “He was a leader for us on offense and defense. He did a great job of staying after practice and working hard.”
The Hayden football team finished the season 1-7 overall, while the Hayden volleyball team went 2-17.
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