Demons, Bears earn all-league honors
The conference-champion Glenwood Springs girls soccer team continues to collect accolades.
This week, the all-conference selections for the 4A Western Slope League were announced along with the player of the year and the coach of the year awards.
Glenwood Springs sophomore defender Heidi Wild was selected the 2002 player of the year in the WSL.
And Steve White of the Demons was selected as the 2002 coach of the year.
Wild led the voting by the league’s coaches as she was named to the all-conference team.
She was joined on the all-league team by three Glenwood Springs teammates – senior Brieanne Rippy, junior Chelsea Strautman and junior Cassie Carlson.
Two more Demons were named to the all-league honorable mention list. They were senior Sarah Cunningham and junior Ashley Jentzsch.
Two Rifle players were selected to the all-conference team. They included junior Ashley Gavito and sophomore Brenda Cruz.
Rifle’s Nicole Erpestad, a junior, and Torri Johnson, a senior, were listed as all-league honorable mention.
The all-league team included three players from Steamboat Springs – senior Julie Wernig and juniors Abby Fritz and Nikki Garth.
The all-conference team was rounded out by Kendra Nash, a senior from Palisade, and Kelly Howle, a junior from Moffat County.
Other honorable mention selections for 2002 included: junior Anya Allen and senior Lia Uta of Steamboat Springs; sophomores Jessica Ervin and Melissa Thate of Palisade; junior Jeni Bamford of Moffat County; and sophomore Keegan Garnsey and freshman Mary “Z” Warren of Battle Mountain.
“Heidi (Wild) really was the anchor of our defense,” coach White said of the sophomore defender who drew the favor of coaches throughout the league.
“It’s really tough to get defenders recognized, but I’m glad the coaches recognized Heidi,” White said.
Wild and her Demon teammates won the Western Slope League title and advanced through the 4A Regionals with a win over Longmont Skyline.
Their season ended with an agonizing 2-1 loss at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood last week.
“Heidi’s greatest strength is her composure on the ball,” White added. “She always has the same calm presence … she takes the pressure and uses it to her advantage.”
White added that Wild also showed consistency all season long. She played every minute of every match, except for a three-minute stretch at Palisade when she suffered an injury.
She quickly, however, returned to the field for the Demons.
“She was always on the move,” White said of his perpetual-motion backline defender.
He added that she also was an exceptional practice player who pushed her teammates to play at a higher level.
“She was always thinking a couple steps ahead,” White said of Wild’s ability to read the game.
“You couldn’t ask for a more complete player,” he added.
Just a sophomore, Wild started last year as a freshman.
“It’s unreal that she’s only a sophomore. I hope she continues to improve the way she has,” the Glenwood Springs coach added.
He said the all-league and honorable mention selections were a tribute to the Demons and the season they enjoyed.
As for his selection as the coach of the year, White said it is a reflection of the team and the team’s success.
“It is quite an honor and I appreciate it,” White said. “But the girls are the ones who have given me this honor … by their success.”
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