Time to reminisce:My ’07 faves
Casper’s Corner Jeff Caspersen Glenwood Springs, CO ColoradoI’ve covered a ton of amazing stories and met so many incredible people in my almost 11 months here at the Post Independent, but a few stood out above the rest.I’d like to share with you some of my favorite stories and story subjects from 2007:Bobby LaymanIf you’re not inspired after spending a few minutes with Bobby Layman, you’re inhuman. Layman, a resident of Silt, was never one to sit idle and let life pass him by before suffering a brain injury during a ski accident at Snowmass a few years back, and he’s bucked post-injury ailments to stay just as active as he was before the accident.He’s a remarkably upbeat young man, considering the cards life’s dealt him.Seeing Layman’s incredible energy and positive view of the world is both inspiring and amazing.
Where are they now?Catching up with old athletes became a summertime project for Joelle and me here at the Post Independent, as we set out to produce a series of “Where are they now?”-style articles.Rifle High graduate and former minor-league baseball player Marco Cunningham stood out amongst the folks I chased down and caught up with. Talking baseball with Marco proved an absolute treat as he discussed how the game treated him, why he hung up the cleats a few years back and what he’s been up to since. What’s weird is that I almost certainly saw him play back in 2003 while I was covering the Texas League for a different paper. I just didn’t know who he was at the time or that I’d be talking to him four years later from western Colorado.Stubler taking over as CFL head coachI’ve always had an odd fascination with the Canadian Football League. I even picked up a Calgary Stampeders hat once on a trip north of the border. I actually bought it in tribute to former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia, who won a Grey Cup with the ol’ Stamps back in the late 1990s. I’m a strange boy. What can I say?Alright, let’s get back on track here.
When I learned Glenwood Springs native Rich Stubler was working his way up the coaching Faves: 12ladder in the CFL and on the cusp of landing a head coaching job, I happily pursued the story. To Americans, the league may operate in the pitch-black shadows of the NFL, but it’s a big deal up north. That’s why Stubler, son of late Glenwood Springs coaching legend Nick Stubler, reaching the pinnacle of his coaching career with the Toronto Argonauts is a big deal.I relished talking football with Stubler, who’s logged more than a quarter-century of coaching experience between the college and CFL ranks. The differences between the American and Canadian game are fascinating, and I’m impressed by Stubler’s journey from this tiny western Colorado hamlet to Canada’s big time. Oh, and he’s a mighty humble guy who makes sure his players put the team ahead of themselves.Grand Valley, Roaring Fork basketball
Grand Valley’s boys basketball team pushed run-and-gun basketball to a new level in the past year, winning the Class 2A state title. Roaring Fork finished in Class 3A’s top five yet again.While both teams were fun to watch play, they were a joy to interview as well.I’ll never forget the cast of characters that graced those teams.It’s rare when an athlete – at any level, let alone a high school kid – remembers your name or asks a journalist how they’re doing. It’s certainly never expected on our part, but it’s nice when it does happen. Luke Braby, Grand Valley’s star center, did those things and is perhaps the most affable – and hilarious – athlete with whom I’ve crossed paths.At Roaring Fork, coach Roger Walters must give his players lessons on manners once basketball practice is done. “Sirs” and “ma’ams” are commonplace when dealing with the Rams. Again, those are things that don’t happen all that often in the world of sports journalism.Contact Jeff Caspersen: email@example.com
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