by Patty Unruh
The Gilpin High School Winter Athletic Awards program was held on Wednesday, April 13, in the Gilpin school auditorium. Athletic Director Jeff Schuessler and all coaches thanked multiple individuals, organizations, and the parents for help and support and especially recognized the students for outstanding representation of Gilpin County High School.
Schuessler presented four-year commitment awards to those seniors who played sports through their entire high school career: Jon Gonzales, Chase Boulter, Jonathan Ramsey, and Khristine Barr.
5280 Academic All-League awards for basketball went to Katelyn Armstrong, Annabel Diekman, Berkley Davis, Jada Gohdes, Khristine Barr, Nick Peterson, Eryk Lorenz, Matthew Immordino, and Chase Boulter.
Colorado High School Activity Association (CHSAA) Academic All-State First Team honors went to Matthew Immordino, Eryk Lorenz, Chase Boulter, Jada Gohdes, and Berkley Davis.
Gilpin girls’ basketball team received an All-State Academic award for maintaining a cumulative average of 3.5 or higher, through the efforts of Khristine Barr, Katelyn Armstrong, Annabel Diekman, Berkley Davis, Jada Gohdes, Aspen Nadeau, Cicely Lepro, and Keely Schmidt. The team also received the 5280 League Team Sportsmanship Award.
Schuessler also advised that this was the last season for Gilpin to be part of the 1A 5280 League. “We are joining the 2A Mile High League. Our enrollment increased enough to put us into a higher classification.”
Craig Ball, head wrestling coach, spoke about his team’s accomplishments. He said, “It was my first year to coach wrestling. I didn’t wrestle in high school or college, and my techniques were somewhat unorthodox! But we had a great year.”
Assistant coaches were Joe Stranaly, Courtney Nightengale, and Royce McLain. Coach Nightengale’s prior high school and college wrestling experience helped the team greatly.
Team members were Dante Nadeau, Sam Ghaffari, Jack Ball, Angel Gomez, Josh Trujillo, Manny Gomez, and Tristan Froio.
Trujillo was recognized for earning a fifth-place berth at regionals, just one spot out of the state bracket. He was named the team’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Katie Yocom and Joni Schmidt coached the cheerleaders, who were being awarded for both their fall and spring seasons.
Yocom said, “Cheerleaders are trusted to choose and perform the cheers according to the game in progress. They are role models and represent the school with honor.” Yocom especially mentioned their homecoming and Veterans’ Day performances.
Sixteen team members won letters and megaphones. First year: Cheyenne Cowles, Shania Gonzales, Kristi Schmidt, and Courtney Holmes. Second year: Katelyn Armstrong, Aspen Cowles, Carley Johnson, Skylar Murdock, and Aspen Nadeau. Third year: Breanna Kennedy and Keely Schmidt (awarded as co-captains), Annabel Diekman, Carlota Saez-Aymerich, Jada Gohdes, and Berkley Davis. Senior Milena Sanchez tried cheerleading for the first time and was praised for her effort and commitment.
Head Coach Jeff Schuessler and Assistant Coach Brook Ramsey recapped their 7-15 season, in which they learned to overcome difficulties.
“We had 23 players last year and lost over half of them,” Schuessler said. “Those who came back had little varsity experience, and some had to play different positions than formerly. Two of our starters had concussions early in the season. But we won enough games to be in a good position for the district playoffs.” The team beat Cheyenne Mountain in the playoffs but experienced losses to Jim Elliot Christian and Rocky Mt. Lutheran, ending one game shy of going to regionals.
Kreuwan Khangkhamono and Aspen Cowles were thanked as team managers, along with junior managers Skyley Ramsey and Faith Ramsey.
Brook Ramsey coached the junior varsity players, who were Kristi Schmidt, Courtney Holmes, Shania Gonzales, Trystin Swan, Skylar Murdock, Carly Johnson, and Carlota Saez-Aymerich.
Coach Schuessler honored the varsity team: Khristine Barr, Jada Gohdes, Berkley Davis, Annabel Diekman, Keely Schmidt, Cicely Lepro, Aspen Nadeau, and Katelyn Armstrong. Barr was the team’s leading scorer and made the 5280 All-League Second Team. Lepro got 5280 Honorable Mention.
Team awards went to Armstrong (Eagle Attitude Award), Lepro (Best Offensive Player), Davis (Best Defensive Player), Schmidt (Most Improved Player), Johnson (Junior Varsity Most Valuable Player), and Barr (Overall Most Valuable Player).
Barr, the team’s only senior, related, “The last four years were tough, and sometimes I wanted to quit, but I’m happy I didn’t because of all the friends I made. They taught me everything.”
Boys’ head coach was Paul Hanson, and assistant coach was Lisa Boulter.
“Lisa did a great job developing the junior varsity team,” Hanson asserted. “They won nine games.” Hanson also noted the support of Assistant Coach George Snyder, who coached the team in the 1960’s and has consulted with the program for the past several years. Snyder brought his coaching and reporting careers to a close at the end of the 2015-16 season. He will surely be missed.
Hanson praised his team. “They are a fantastic group of student athletes. They understand how to operate as good teammates and how to represent the school in a fine manner. We had the best record in Gilpin boys’ basketball history – 13 wins and 5 losses. We have a lot of talent returning and lots to be excited about.”
The team reached a number 12 ranking in the state out of 65 high school boys’ basketball teams for the 1A classification, finished third in the 5280 League, and had winning streaks of five and four games.
The freshmen players were Daniel Jewell, Cooper Lindberg, Brekken Billman, Chad Holmes, Alex Wilhelm (Most Improved Player), and Will Lorenz (Freshman Player of the Year).
Sophomores were John Immordino, Austin Boulter, and Chris Burtschi.
Juniors included Braedyn Perez, Eryk Lorenz, Nick Peterson (War Eagle Award, Chairman of the Boards Award), and Matthew Immordino (All League Honorable Mention, War Eagle Award).
Seniors honored were Jon Gonzales, Jonathan Ramsey (War Eagle Award, Defensive Player of the Year), and Chase Boulter (30 varsity wins, over 1200 points in his career, War Eagle Award, Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-League, All-League Player of the Year, CHSAA All-State Honorable Mention).
The trio of seniors spoke about their coaches. Chase Boulter praised Coach Hanson. “I wouldn’t want any other experience in high school basketball. He was a great coach all four years.”
Jonathan Ramsey thanked Boulter for coaching the junior varsity and helping coach the varsity, and Jon Gonzales recognized George Snyder’s coaching help.