Frausto named to all-league team
EAGLE-VAIL – Rudy Frausto’s first name is a perfect fit for someone who was the heart and soul of the Battle Mountain football team this year.Battle Mountain fans chanted “Rudy” at Huskies home games this fall at Phelan Field. After the season, coaches around the 3A Western Slope League chanted Frausto’s name in the all-league selection meeting.Frausto, a two-way star at wide receiver and defensive back, was the lone Husky named to this year’s all-league team – a huge accomplishment for the senior.With its 0-8 mark in league, Battle Mountain wasn’t guaranteed any all-league selections, and as coach Pat Engle said, “Those (coaches) don’t have to vote for anyone if they don’t want to.”Frausto’s selection was nearly unanimous, however. Engle didn’t disclose all the details of the coaches meeting as far as who voted for whom, but he did say that when he nominated Frausto, seven out of eight league coaches put in their vote.Phelan would have cast his own vote, too, if he were allowed to vote for his own players.”I guess the best way to describe him is that a lot of times throughout the week sometimes he’d just drive you crazy because you’d want more from him,” Engle said. “But every Friday night, he would show up. When we made a switch and moved him to safety (from cornerback) he made a huge difference in the defense, and the coaches in the league recognized that. He just did a great job for us. Whenever we needed a reception for a first down, it always seemed to go to him. Whenever we needed that tackle to be made, he always seemed to make it. He was a pretty selfless player and just did a tremendous job all season long.”Honorable mentionThe Huskies also had two honorable mention league picks.Senior offensive guard Sean Thul and junior offensive tackle/linebacker John Wahrer were both recognized by league coaches for their stellar play. Engle said Thul’s selection came as the result of the senior holding his own up front against bigger players week in and week out.”Of all the kids on the football team that improved the most over the course of this season, it was him,” Engle said. “He was not the biggest kid on the field and not the strongest, but he’s one of those kids who just loves to play the game. It was a pleasure coaching him. He kind of was a sneaky kid in that he was, like I said, not the biggest or the strongest but he got the job done. He played well in all of our league games. Whenever we needed a yard, it seemed like we ran behind him.”Wahrer is a player that Phelan said he plans to build around for the 2005 campaign.Engle said the junior, a big, strong, athletic presence on both sides of the ball, most likely sealed his honorable mention selection with a huge game in the regular-season finale against 2003 state champion Palisade.”He just made some great plays against them both offensively and defensively,” Engle said. “He got caught into some bad spots defensively and found a way to make a tackle for no gain a few times. We’re looking for him to come back and be an anchor on both sides of the ball.”Between the linesAdmittedly, Engle said that Frausto didn’t have jaw-dropping stats – something that helps when it comes to the political process that is the all-league selection meeting.Coaches study a lot of tape and see a lot of things up close on the sideline that fans in the crowd don’t see. With Frausto, Engle said, opposing coaches saw the same things that he saw in his senior star – determination, heart and pride.”Statistically, he probably on offense wouldn’t have the stats that you would just go, ‘Oh my gosh,” Engle said. “That was because we had several receivers who caught quite a few passes. But, I mean, he was, in many ways, the heart and soul of our football team, just with the way he played. That was probably not really visible to most people watching the game, but if you just paid attention to what he did, he was pretty impressive.”Sports Writer Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Colorado
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.