Western Slope trio among state’s FB scholar-athletes

Rifle’s Ryan Moeller was one of three Western Slope players selected to the National Football Foundation’s Colorado Scholar-Athlete team.

Hotchkiss’ Conner Beard, Rifle’s Ryan Moeller and Grand Junction’s Kyler Rose are three of 11 Colorado high school football players the National Football Foundation selected Thursday as its Colorado Scholar-Athletes.

The honor recognizes the athletes’ academics, leadership at school and citizenship. They will be honored during a Feb. 18 banquet at the Marriott Denver West hotel.

Moeller, a running back and safety, received the honor only days after being selected to MaxPreps’ All-American football team. Moeller, who had eight interceptions and rushed for 3,002 yards, was a second-team defensive selection.

He had expected to make an unofficial visit to the University of Colorado today, but Rifle head coach Damon Wells said that will not happen.

Moeller has received scholarship offers from Colorado Mesa University and CSU-Pueblo and, among the numerous colleges interested, Colorado State has visited Moeller about every week, Wells said.

“We couldn’t appreciate more what CSU has done,” Wells said. “They really feel like Ryan is one of the best players in Colorado.”

And now, in addition to his athletic accomplishments, Moeller is being recognized for the character Wells had been touting throughout the season.

“He doesn’t say a lot of things without being willing to do it himself,” Wells said. “He has a good personality, and other kids want to be around him. We’ve never had to beg him to do the unglamorous stuff.”

Rose, meanwhile, recently committed to play football at Colorado School of Mines.

“As far as a leader, he does stuff by example,” Grand Junction Athletic Director Ned Pollert said. “He’s just the kind of kid who does what he’s supposed to do. Taking part in school activities, in basketball games, volleyball games, he’s in the front row.”

Beard last fall helped lead Hotchkiss to the Class 1A state semifinals. A tight end and defensive end, Beard had 18 receptions for 423 yards and eight touchdowns, and he averaged seven tackles per game.


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