He’s more than just a Devil
GYPSUM – A captain can be an arbitrary position, but not for the Devils. Wes Minett is proof.Minett is one of the four captains on the Eagle Valley soccer team. His teammates and coach would agree that he’s the right person to lead any team.”He was my first choice, clearly,” said coach Chad Sloniker. “Wes it not our most talented player out there, but because of the person he is, it was an easy choice.”That being said, Minett is one of the scoring leaders on the team. On Thursday, he netted a goal in the Homecoming game against Battle Mountain. Still, Minett likes being chosen under Sloniker’s guidelines.”I really respect that coach picked us not for our ability, but for how we are as a person,” Minett said. “I like that idea because I get along with team members and bring them together.”This is Minett’s fourth year on the varsity squad. Three years ago, another Minett led the Devils – Wes’s older brother, Everet.”He usually pushed me around a bit, which is natural because he’s my older brother,” Minett said.For all the times Evert pushed Wes around, he left an indelible mark with Wes.”It was nice to have an older brother because he shows you the ropes,” Minett said.Now Wes is trying to do the same. His younger brother, Sean, comes in the revolving door of Minetts on Eagle Valley soccer. Wes says he pushes Sean around a bit, but Sean emphasizes how much he enjoys having his brother as a teammate and captain.”It’s probably the best thing I can ask for,” Sean said.
No comparisonAs the Manning family can attest, following in an older sibling’s footsteps can be daunting. But, the Minetts don’t worry too much about comparing.”Ev played defense and I play offense, and my brother plays goalie, so we are at different sides of the spectrum,” Wes said.And when it comes to personality, people don’t compare the Minetts, they just expect a kids cut from the same cloth, and a smile.”People come up to me every day and say ‘You’re Wes’ brother, he’s in my biology class and he’s awesome,'” Sean said.Wes may follow in his brother’s footsteps and go to CU next year. Ev is doing his best to make sure there will be two Minetts at one school once again.”He’s always calling me, and telling me ‘You gotta come down here,'” Wes said.WheelsWes’ wheels serve him well on the soccer field, but even better in track.
Already, he has set four school records, in the 400-meter individual, the 400, the 800, and the 1600 relay. As a freshman, he enjoyed taking the 1600 crown most of all.”Everet was on our school record setting 4-by-4 team, so I got to run with him,” Wes said. “I was faster than him, but he wasn’t upset. He was always stoked for me.”This year Minett will run the 100 and 200, as well as compete in the long jump. He won’t pass the baton to Sean, though.”Sean plays baseball, and we make fun of him because he can’t run to save his life,” Wes said.Not everyone can be as fast as a record-holding runner. “The other team may not notice him at first, but when he runs down the field, they notice them real fast,” Sloniker said.Devil in the classroomIt’s not just Sloniker or other students that take notice of Wes. This past summer, Wes was nominated by his teachers to go on a leadership conference with a few other Eagle Valley students.”I guess I might stick out as someone who is outgoing and a leader,” Minett said.Sloniker was a bit less modest in describing Wes.
“He is so friendly,” Sloniker said. “I talk about our Hispanic population and there is no gap with Wes. For some other kids, there is an uncomfortable factor, but not at all for Wes.”Wes also likes breaking the age gap with the help of his brothers.”I get along with every grade,” Wes said. “My younger brother hangs out with seniors even though he’s a freshman, and when my older brother was a senior he hung out with freshmen.”So where does the Minett character come from?”Our dad and my mom have always been upbeat in what they do, and have taught us what they know,” Wes said. Next year, the team will no doubt miss Wes, as will the Minett household.”It’ll be a big loss to soccer team, and weird at home,” Sean said.Sloniker knows the future holds good things, as Sean will be a senior soon enough, and Wes will do, well, wherever he wants to do.”With the way he has been brought up, Wes is going to be successful no matter what,” Sloniker said.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado