Fruita’s Miller heads All-SWC first team

Scott Miller gave Fruita Monument a little bit of everything offensively this past season.

The 6-foot-5 senior moved from wide receiver last season to tight end and provided the Wildcats a solid blocking cog in the running game, as well as a pass-catching threat. Out of the backfield he caught 22 balls this season.

Miller was rewarded for accomplishments by being selected as offensive player of the year in the Southwestern Conference postseason awards released Monday.

“Scott was a dynamic player that could turn the tide on offense,” Fruita Monument coach Bill Moore said. “He was a big enough threat that people always had to make sure to have someone covering him.”

Miller also was the first team tight end as well as the first team punter.

“He is a great punter, if he is going to play Division I,  it will probably be as a punter,” Moore said. “He has a lot of height and distance, which is what you want as a punter.”

The Wildcats received eight players on the two teams led by Miller and running back Mike Campbell on the first team offense. Campbell had a strong year as the Wildcats tailback, rushing for more than 700 yards, including a 238-yard performance against Montrose.

Defensively, Fruita had three players named to the first team led by defensive linemen A.J. Hand and Twan Martin.

Linebacker Huntyr McClaskey was named first team with Garrett Carrica earning honorable mention.

“Anytime you get all league, you have made enough of impact that people noticed,” Moore said. “It is a tough decision and sometimes there are deserving kids left off, but for the kids that are on the team, they deserve to be there.”

The final honor went to Moore himself, who was given the coach of the year.

“It is an honor get that,” Moore said. “To be honored by your peers is something special.”

Montrose dominated the Southwestern Conference and it showed in the awards.

The Indians had 10 players named to the offensive and defensive first teams and two players named honorable mention.

Leading the way was first team quarterback Nathan Robertson. The sophomore took over during the second game of the season and ended up having a solid year, throwing for more than 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns.

Running back Jordan Passehl joins Robertson on the first team after rushing for 1,431 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Offensive linemen David Turner and Kyle Miller both were named to the first team along with kicker Shane Hedrick.

The Indians allowed 10 points per game this season. Defensive lineman John Aranas, linebacker Brian Rumbaugh (who also was defensive player of the year) and defensive backs Mac Alexander and Mitch West were selected to the first team. Defensive tackle Brandon Franklin and linebacker Taylor Neill were selected honorable mention.

Neill also was selected the first team kick returner.

Central had nine players either first team or honorable mention. The Warriors made the playoffs with their pass-first offense, resulting in Clay Kame and Blaine Jackson being named as first team receivers. Offensive linemen Mike Dixon and Mical Kramer joined the two wideouts.

Defensively, the Warriors had a player at every position as defensive lineman Zach Rosales, linebacker Trent Harris and defensive back Vandon Sanchez all were first teamers. Charlie Payton (DL) and Darrek Stoffel (LB) were honorable mention.

Grand Junction didn’t have the strongest year, but still had notable individual performances, beginning with running back Jayke Brock. The junior rushed for over 1,000 yards.

“We really relied on Jayke,” Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said. “The second half of the season he really started to prosper for us running the ball.”

Brock was joined on the first team by senior Matt Wilkinson (OL) who made the all-conference year in his only season of significant varsity playing time.

“Matt was probably our biggest surprise on the team,” Owens said. “He has a great attitute and was really easy to coach.”

Freshman quarterback Sean Rubalcaba earned honorable mention and was the only freshman on the list.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers had three players honored as Ethan Minnick (DL) and Tyler Palmer (DB) were first team and Jace Casey (LB) was honorable mention.

Filling out the team was Durango who had Dillon Lammon (LB) as the lone first team player and quarterback
Jordan Gillen and kick returner Gus Barnes both were honorable mention.


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