Udall, Weissl teaming up at Fort Lewis | PostIndependent.com

Udall, Weissl teaming up at Fort Lewis

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent File Photo

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” One thing is certain as now former Roaring Fork High School boys basketball teammates Torrey Udall and Matthias Weissl prepare to embark on collegiate basketball careers at Fort Lewis College.

They won’t see all the double and triple teams opposing defenses threw at them this past season.

At least not anytime soon.

“We’re the new guys on the block,” Udall said of his soon-to-be collegiate home, where he’ll suit up alongside Weissl for the Skyhawk men’s basketball team.

Added Weissl: “(Fort Lewis) has kids from Denver, Albuquerque. We’re coming from a little 3A school in the mountains.”

After a season spent working around gimmick defenses aimed entirely at stifling the pair’s offensive efforts, Udall and Weissl welcome the chance to just blend in and simply play at the Durango school, which is coming off its third Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title in seven years.

“It was pretty frustrating,” said Weissl, a native of Salzburg, Austria, who’s spent the last school year as an exchange student at Roaring Fork.

“Matthias had never played like that,” Udall, a Carbondale native and four-year Ram standout, added. “I’d never really been aimed to be shut down like that. It was just crazy.”

The two fought through all that to put up some pretty big senior-season numbers.

Udall, the Rams’ 6-foot-8 center, averaged 17 points and 10 boards a game, while Weissl, a 6-2 guard, put up 22 points, four assists and three steals an outing. The latter led the state of Colorado in 3-pointers made, draining 87 over the course of the season.

You better believe Fort Lewis College is happy to have the Roaring Fork tandem, and they’re happy to be headed to Durango.

“It’s a fun system, a fun team,” Udall said. “Both of us said we could fit in there. We hung out with some of their players for most of a weekend and there was no question we wanted to go there.”

The Fort Lewis coaching staff began courting Udall and Weissl back in December, knowing the duo was leaning toward attending the same school. Four months later and the letters of intent were signed and full-ride scholarships in place for both Udall and Weissl.

And for the jewel of the RMAC as far as men’s basketball is concerned.

Fueled by a run-and-gun offensive attack, Division II Fort Lewis enjoyed its best season in school history in 2007-08, going 24-6 and finding its way into the national rankings. The Skyhawks’ season ended with a first-round loss to the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the NCAA Regionals.

“Fort Lewis is the perfect place,” Weissl said. “It’s the best school in the RMAC. They offered us such a great offer. We don’t have to pay for school. We’re just lucky they recruited us.”

Weissl and Udall helped Roaring Fork to a fifth consecutive trip to the Class 3A state tournament in 2007-08, a season in which the Rams went 19-7.

In his four years with the program, Udall helped Roaring Fork to a 90-16 overall record and three 3A Western Slope League titles.

Both were contacted by several schools during the recruiting process, and other RMAC schools commanded the next-most consideration.

In the end, Fort Lewis won out on environment and its winning tradition.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Roger Walters, Udall and Weissl’s high school coach at Roaring Fork. “I know they are too. (Fort Lewis coach) Bob Hofman does such a great job. They’re nationally ranked each year.”

For Udall and Weissl, they’re just thrilled to be realizing their childhood dream of playing basketball in college.

“I always wanted to play college basketball,” Udall said. “Looking back, we put a lot of work in. Not just in the summer, but in our lives. It’s great to see it pay. This is a dream.”

“I can remember when I was in school and the teacher asked us, ‘What do you want to do in your life?'” said Weissl, who grew up playing club ball in Austria. “I wrote NCAA. It was crazy because I was 8 years old. Now I’m going to be playing in the NCAA next year.”

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