20 Most Promising Wyoming High School Athletes - Wyoming Magazine


20 Most Promising Wyoming High School Athletes


20 Most Promising Wyoming High School Athletes

In their December 27, 1999 issue, Sports Illustrated chronicled the top sports figures ever to come from Wyoming, the Equality State.

Boyd Dowler from Cheyenne topped the list. Named NFL Rookie of the Year, Dowler helped the Green Bay Packers nab two Super Bowl wins, and played from 1959 to 1969. #2 on the list was Lance Deal from Caspar, Wyoming who took home the silver medal in the hammer throw at the 1996 Olympics. And, #3 on the Sports Illustrated list was Cheyenne-native John Godina, the world champion shot-putter who won the silver medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics, as well as the Jesse Owens Award.

Some sports fans say that professional athletes are the most exciting to watch while others go crazy watching the Olympics, or their favorite college team. But, folks in Wyoming have to agree that given the talent there, high school athletes are often the most inspiring to watch.

Here are twenty high school stand out athletes in the state of Wyoming that are awesome to follow:

Boy’s Football

1. T.J. Abraham, a versatile athlete from Powell High School, plays running back and line backer, and does triple duty on the punt return team. At five feet, eight inches and 150 pounds, this rocket-fast junior will be fun to watch. Last season, he rushed for 987 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also returned the football 404 yards, resulting in 163 defensive points.

2. Junior Matt Fowler from Rock Springs High School is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs in at 195. Fowler will be one of the best returning running backs in the state next fall. He’s part of a team that emphasizes rushing and the rest of the team is perhaps stronger than ever before. 2016 looks like a good year for Fowler and the Tigers, perhaps the best in a decade. Last year, Fowler had 1,293 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

Other football stand outs include Theo Dawson of Jackson Hole, who was named the Wyoming offensive player of the year with a staggering 2,283 total yards rushing, and Zach Taylor of Gillette, who was honored as the Wyoming defensive player of the year with 48 solo tackles and 71 assisted tackles.

Boy’s Golf

3. In 2016, Riverton High School’s star golfer Easton Paxton will look to lead the Wolverines to their fourth consecutive 4A title. A three-time Class 4A state champion, Paxton has made a verbal commitment to play for North Carolina State after graduation. He also had offers from Auburn and Arizona State. Paxton has been playing the U.S. Junior Amateur circuit for three year now, winning the Junior Boys’
North & South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst, North Carolina this past year.

Girl’s Volleyball

4. Junior Cosette Stellern
5. Junior Sierra Stellern
6. Junior Katie Loken

This Cheyenne East volleyball trio is red hot and will be hard to beat. The Thunderbirds have taken the Class 4A state championship title three out of the past four years. Last season, they finished 33-1 overall and achieved an amazing 28-match winning streak.

Cosette Stellern, the 2014 and 2015 Star-Tribune Volleyball Player of the Year, was also a finalist for the National Junior Player of the Year by prepvolleyball.com. At 5 feet 11 inches, Madison Lilley, from Blue Valley West High School in Stillwell, Kansas won the award.

Standing six feet tall, this past season, Cosette Stellern had 280 kills for the Thunderbirds, a school record. She was named the Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year two times. Always a competitor, Stellern also excels on the track. In April 2016, she won the women’s shot put, throwing 40 feet, and the discus at 133 feet.

Girl’s Track & Field

Speaking of women on the track, here are a few more up and coming women athletes to watch:

7. Andri Dewey is just a sophomore and she’s already a stand out for Green River High School. A sprinter, she recently placed first in the 100 meter race on March 24 at the Pete Wilson Memorial Invitational, clocking in at 12.37. That same day, she also was the winner in the women’s long jump, sticking it at 15 feet even.

8. Riley Rafferty, also a sophomore, runs for Sheridan High School. Look for great things from this girl. On April 8, at the 2016 Queen City Invite, she ran 59.15 in the 400 meter race.

Boy’s Track & Field

On the male side of the track, there are some exciting stars to watch, as well.

9. Alec Richardson, a junior at Riverton High School, is one fast young man. He competes in the 100 meter and 400 meter races. Recently at the Roy Pete Invite, he was top in the 100 meters at 11.24 and top in the 400 meters at 55.93.

10. LaMont Frisby, a junior at Kelly Walsh High, is a sprinter on the move. On April 8, at the Trojan International Meet, he ran a 11.24 in the 100 meters and a 23.35 in the 200 meters. Watch for great things from this young man.

11. William Nolan from Cheyenne Smith High School will definitely keeping things challenging this year. Also a junior, Nolan ran the 200 meter in just 22.38 seconds on April 2 at the Altitude Running Invitational.

12. Damien Hawkins rounds out some of the best men’s track and field high school athletes for 2016. As a sophomore at Evanston Senior, he’s already showing great promise. He threw the discus 81 feet at the March 22nd Davis Super Meet and wowed fans again on April, throwing the javelin 98 feet during the Copper Hills Invitational Meet.

Boy’s Soccer

The April 9th match between the Kelly Walsh Trojans and the Riverton Wolverines highlighted the soccer talents of two up and coming soccer talents. Though the Trojans finished 3-13-0 and have already scored 11 goals this season, it was teamwork from the Wolverines that clinched their 2-1 win.

13. Braden Djezvian started the scoring, making their first goal at the 35 minute mark. He had to fight his way past three Kelly Walsh players before kicking it past goalkeeper Austin Haupt.

14. Perhaps the highlight sweet spot of the match was Matteo Deponti’s game-winning score 62 minutes into the match. As a transfer student from Italy, it was Deponti’s first high school goal in the states. The fans loved it.

Wit all this talent, Riverton’s men’s soccer team is definitely a contender this Spring.

Girl’s Swimming

15. This past season, Annie Waldum from Gillette High School was selected as the Wyoming State High School Class 4A Girls Swimming and Diving Championship. As a Senior, she secured state records in the 4A 100 breaststroke and won the 200 individual medley. She also swam on the Camels’ winning 200 free and 200 medley relay teams. Waldum will be heading to #3 ranked Tennessee in the fall and is aiming to make the Olympic Trials cut later this year, or in 2020.

Other women standouts who made the All-State Girls Swimming Team this year include two sophomores who will be returning to competition next season. Watch out for:

16. Rebecka Anderson, a sophomore from Rock Springs High School, is a two-time 4A state champion in the 500 free and the 100 backstroke.

17. This past season, Sani Carsrud, a sophomore from Gillette High School, won 4A individual titles in the 100 butterfly and the 50 free, and also was on the Camels’ 200 free and 400 free record-breaking relay teams.

Boy’s Basketball

18. While there are many stand out players in Wyoming, Hunter Thompson, a junior from Pine Bluffs, is the one making headlines. After receiving college offers from Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah State, Montana, Nevada and San Diego, Thompson chose Creighton University in Omaha. This past season, Thompson averaged 20 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, taking the Hornets to the Class 2A state championship. He has been named All State three years in the row ever since he was a freshmen, and will be returning next year to play a final season for the Hornets.

19. Worland’s Hoyt Nicolas is also a big man on campus. With Nicolas at the helm, he helped to cap off the Warriors’ season with a 67-51 victory over Douglas High School and a 23-4 record overall. Fans had been waiting a long time for the win. It was Worland’s first state championship since way back in 1921.

Girl’s Tennis

20. The list ends with a woman who was bound to make history. This past season, Sheridan High School senior Julia Fenn became the first woman ever to win four number one state singles titles in Wyoming. In 14 state tournament matches over four years, she never once lost a set. He won 6-0 in 20 of her 28 sets, and lost only 10 of 178 games.

With young men and women like these, Wyoming fans are bound to be proud. Next season is just around the corner, so watch for more exciting sports moments brought to you by the talented teens from the Cowboy state.

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  1. Brenden

    May 4, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Hunter Thompson committed to the Creighton Blue Jays of Omaha, not Illinois.

    • Tyson Waggener

      May 4, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Thanks Hunter. Corrections were made.

  2. Patrick

    May 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Emily, you should write a similar article focusing on the 20 most promising students in the Fine Arts (Art, Music,Theatre). Plenty of excellent candidates, I am sure.

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