Steamboat girls basketball coach leads Routt County winter sports awards
Hockey’s Kempers named first-team all-state
When Maggie Crouch took over the Steamboat Springs girls basketball team in early December, she was taking on a team that only won one game last season and struggled for years, not earning a winning league record since 2009-10.
Crouch coached the Sailor girls to an 8-15 overall record and a 7-5 Western Slope league record. Upon the conclusion of the season, Crouch was voted Western Slope Coach of the Year.
“It’s really exciting, especially for a first-year coach,” Crouch said. “But, honestly, it comes down to a lot of what this team was able to do and that these girls were able to buy into a different philosophy and coaching strategy. We were able to work together.”
Crouch, a 2014 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, started coaching at the junior varsity level in 2015. Two years later, she spent a couple years as the seventh-grade coach at the middle school. She was in the middle of taking a break from coaching when she took on the Sailor girls.
“We’re really thrilled with how it ended,” Crouch said. “We missed the state tournament by one spot and we were really hoping to get into the tournament, but the fact we were even in the discussion this year after how things started is incredible.”
Four girls basketball players were named to an all-conference team, along with many other Routt County winter athletes.
On the ice, Steamboat boys hockey, which reached the state semifinals, saw five Sailors on awards lists, headlined by forward Andrew Kempers, who was named first-team all-state.
“In hockey, we would call him more of a power forward, meaning he uses his size and his skating to his advantage,” said Steamboat hockey coach Brian Ripley said of Kempers. “And it’s really hard on defensive players to stop him and keep him away from the front of the net and keep him from areas where he can score.”
Additionally, defender Walker Ripley was named an all-state honorable mention. Walker is a strong player because of a combination of hockey sense, speed and agility, his coach said.
“He’s more of that heads-up, smart player that uses vision well,” Brian Ripley said. “He sees the ice really well. You see him make some amazing passes up the ice.”
Sam Campbell – first team all-conference
Grace Harper – honorable mention
Caroline McLaughlin – honorable mention
Darby Martinez – honorable mention
Cade Gedeon – first team all-conference
Parker Lindquist – first team all-conference
Kellen Adams – first team all-conference
Ben Bogan – honorable mention
Andrew Kempers – first team all-state, first team all-conference
Walker Ripley – all-state honorable mention, first team all-conference
Max Kenney – honorable mention
Tanner Hamilton – honorable mention
Indi Kretzschmar – honorable mention
Kaleb Young – first team all-conference
Cole Muhme – first team all-conference
Henry Dismuke – first team all-conference
John Bene – second team all-conference
Layton Morrison – honorable mention
Layton Morrison – all-conference honorable mention
Alison Rajzer – all-conference
Bella Svoboda – honorable mention
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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