Homegrown talent makes plays at Western State | PostIndependent.com

Homegrown talent makes plays at Western State

Special to the Post Independent/Marianne Wilson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Three years ago, Matt Wilson and Garrett Jammaron wreaked havoc on quarterbacks in the Western Slope. At the same time, Lloyd Tucker was splitting uprights on field goals and extra points, helping Roaring Fork’s football team to a state quarterfinal appearance.Even though the trio has left the valley, it represented it well this season suiting up for Western State’s football squad in Gunnison.Wilson, who had never met Jammaron or Tucker before meeting them at Western, said the three became close. They even kid with Western head coach Pat Stewart about adding more players from the area.”It is really neat,” Wilson said of having the three from the area. “We joke with the coaches that they need to recruit from the Western Slope more.”Leading the trio was 2003 Glenwood graduate Matt Wilson, a linebacker who started nine of 11 games this season. Wilson helped anchor the defense, finishing third on the team with 49 tackles. He also recorded one assisted sack, one unassisted tackle for a loss and four assisted tackles for losses and one quarterback hurry.

“He’s done a great job. He’s got great effort on every play, and he’s a great leader,” Stewart said. “He’s got tremendous character, and he’s always positive. He was heavily involved in any success we had this year.”After redshirting his freshman year in 2004, Wilson played on special teams and served as a backup linebacker in 2005 until he earned a starting spot this season. Wilson, who is majoring in business, stepped up as a leader in his new role.”As an inside linebacker, (my job is) quarterbacking the defense, then as a starter trying to be productive,” he said.Off the field, Wilson was named to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference All-Academic team this year with a 3.59 GPA.On offense, Tucker, a 2003 Roaring Fork graduate, saw his first playing time as a kicker. After redshirting last year, Tucker made 16-of-16 extra points and hit three field goals. His point total of 25 was second on the team.”He’s got a tremendous leg,” Stewart said of Tucker. “He did a really good job for us this year, especially being in those pressure situations that kickers get put into.”Tucker isn’t just a kicker. He’s also a talented skier and competes in national skiercross and extreme freeskiing competitions. It’s an unusual combination, but it’s one Stewart loves.

“He’s got a great attitude,” Stewart said of Tucker. “I think he puts that aggressive mentality from skiing into his kicking.”Back on the other side of the ball, Wilson was joined by Jammaron, another 2003 Roaring Fork grad and another linebacker, who played in 10 of Western’s 11 games this season. Jammaron posted 13 tackles, three of which were for a loss, and even recovered a fumble on Sept. 23 against Western New Mexico.”He did such a great job for us,” Stewart said. “He played really hard this season and came up with some great plays.”Jammaron was plagued by bulging discs in his back for most of the season. As his injury worsened, he was unable to play the last game of the season and doctors think the damage in his back will keep progressing if he continues to play.

Unable to go on playing the sport he loves, Jammaron will be transferring to the University of Colorado in hopes to start a new life. With the area trio cut down to two, not only will Tucker and Wilson miss Jammaron, but so will his coach. “It’s hard any time an athlete’s career is cut short because of injury,” Stewart said. “He played through the whole season in so much pain and he never complained. He’s a very tough young man. I was pretty impressed that he was able to go as long as he did.”Tucker and Wilson will return for their senior seasons with Western next season.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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