Accomplishments in basketball, wrestling, and cheerleading
by Patty Unruh
The Gilpin High School Winter Athletic Awards program was held on Wednesday, April 5, in the Gilpin school auditorium. Athletic Director Jeff Schuessler and all coaches thanked multiple individuals, organizations, and the parents for help and support.
Schuessler presented four-year commitment awards to those seniors who played sports throughout their entire high school career. Nick Peterson, John Immordino, Eryk Lorenz, Berkley Davis, Annabel Diekman, and Keely Schmidt received certificates for their commitment to the Gilpin athletic program.
Academic All-State recognition went to the wrestling team and the girls’ basketball team. Each team had a combined grade point average higher than 3.5 to qualify.
CHSAA (Colorado High School Activities Association) Honorable Mention Academic All-State went to Aspen Nadeau, Braedyn Perez, and Nick Peterson.
CHSAA First Team Academic All-State honors went to Katelyn Armstrong, Berkley Davis, Eryk Lorenz, Austin Boulter, Josh Trujillo, Matthew Immordino, and Cicely Lepro.
Katie Yocom and Joni Schmidt were the cheerleading coaches. Yocom noted that cheerleading is nearly a year-round sport and highlighted the girls’ performances at homecoming, the Veterans’ Day program, and a Denver Nuggets game. In addition, the cheer squad led the Gilpin crowds at football and basketball games and kept up their grades.
“It’s a unique sport,” Yocom said. “It requires individual and unison effort. The cheerleaders determine and call their own cheers and chants. The team this year displayed maturity and integrity and kept their positive attitude and work ethic.”
Team members were Keely Schmidt, Breanna Kennedy, Katelyn Armstrong, Noemi Correa, Aspen Cowles, Cheyenne Cowles, Bailey Hobson-Kroll, Courtney Holmes, Carly Johnson, Dakota Kennedy, Madison Kennedy, Aspen Nadeau, Kristi Schmidt, Joleen Slack, and Anna Yocom.
The team has two cheerleaders graduating in May, Keely Schmidt and Breanna Kennedy. Both have cheered for Gilpin County School since their Pee-Wee Cheer days in preschool. Yocom thanked them for their contributions over the years and awarded Schmidt with a plaque for leadership.
Carly Johnson was recognized for choreography she created at last June’s cheer camp.
The wrestling awards were presented by Head Coach Pete Morgan, who remarked, “This has been a one-of-a-kind experience. There was 100 percent attendance at all activities. We dominated everywhere we went. We won 75 percent of our matches and medaled in 16 out of 19 at 3A and 4A tournaments. They made us all look good and earned the respect of others.”
Morgan awarded junior Josh Trujillo his third-year varsity letter and bar, along with a special participant’s award from CHSAA for competing in the State wrestling tournament this season. Booster Club President Gigetta Nadeau also presented a special gift to Trujillo for his participation at State.
Head Coach Schuessler and Assistant Coach Alan Smith presented the awards to the girls’ team. Brook Ramsey also served as an assistant coach. Schuessler mentioned the thank-you lunch that the team served to the community’s first responders last December as one of the best things the girls had done during the season.
The girls’ motto was “BEAttitude,” which stood for Battle: Effort, Attitude. Schuessler explained that the team worked hard at the goals exemplified in this motto but didn’t quite achieve what they had hoped.
“They are a great group; they just need grit,” he said. “The competition level in our new league was higher this year. We had some good games in December and early January, but the season got tougher after that.”
The varsity team earned a 7-13 season record, competing against nine opponents that were ranked in the top ten at one time or another.
The junior varsity won half of their games, but the very young team struggled some with injuries and illness. Schuessler felt that they showed great promise for the future.
Schuessler recognized team managers Tabi Gray and Aspen Cowles.
The team members were Alicia Johnson, Nicole Adams, Jessica Wilhelm, Lena Warren (Most Improved Player), Sarah Trujillo, Samantha Smith, Joyce Jewell, Shania Gonzales, Courtney Holmes, Kristi Schmidt, Trystin Swan, Cicely Lepro (Best Offensive Player and Mile High Honorable Mention), Carly Johnson, Aspen Nadeau (Eagle Attitude Award), and Katelyn Armstrong (Coach’s Award).
The seniors included Annabel Diekman (fourth year award), Rachel Schmalz, Keely Schmidt, Berkley Davis (Best Defensive Player).
Head Coach Paul Hanson and Assistant Coach Lisa Boulter presented the boys’ team awards. Hanson noted that the team maintained a 3.3 grade point average.
“They are great student athletes and will make All-State next year,” he affirmed. “We had a tough December but got things going in the second half of the season, hitting our stride as we neared post-season. We won games and were competitive, getting better and stronger as a team.”
Hanson highlighted several games, including Gilpin’s league win against Lyons. “We beat them in their own gym, which no one expected. It was our best win on the road.”
He also reported that the Eagles won five of their last seven games, including against rival Nederland. Gilpin beat Twin Peaks and Front Range Christian, prompting Hanson to exclaim, “This is our new tradition. We’ll beat them every time we see them. We’ve shown that we can compete and win in this league.”
The team members were Kian Lamar, Daniel Jewell, Chad Holmes, Cooper Lindberg, Brekken Billman (Most Improved Player), Alex Wilhelm, Will Lorenz (Eagle Award), John Immordino, Chris Burtschi, Austin Boulter (Chairman of the Board Award for leading the team in rebounds), Braedyn Perez, Matthew Immordino (achieved 1,049 career points), Nick Peterson (Eagle Award, 431 rebounds in career and led in assists), and Eryk Lorenz (Eagle Award).
Immordino, Peterson, and Lorenz together played in 34 victorious varsity games during their high school careers.
Team leaders honored their coaches with praise and gifts after receiving their awards.