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Stevens, Roberts get Senior Awards

Daily file photo/Preston UtleyNot surprisingly, Jonny Stevens won Battle Mountain's boys Outstanding Senior Athlete Award for 2007-08 Wednesday night in Beaver Creek. All-state or an outright state champion in cross country, hockey and track, Stevens leaves Battle Mountain as one of the school's most-accomplished athletes.
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” There was no surprise and a very big surprise Wednesday night.

To the shock of absolutely no one, Battle Mountain’s Jonny Stevens picked up the boys Outstanding Senior Award for 2007-08 at the Vilar Center, while Jamie Lee Roberts was a surprise pick on the girls’ side, based on the voting of the school’s coaches.

Battle Mountain cross country and track and field coach Rob Parish announced both winners.

Roberts was definitely surprised, given the depth of competition on the girls’ side.

“I didn’t know. There are so many good female athletes out there,” she said. “I was hoping it was me, but I wasn’t sure. Luckily, (Parish) listed all the sports before he announced who won, and I was thinking, ‘Oh, that’s me.'”

And Stevens was his customarily quiet yet thoughtful self.

“I kind of knew that I had a pretty good shot at it,” Stevens said. “I think this has been one of the best classes athletically. There are a ton of guys who could have got it. I’m glad I got it for all of us.”

Five-sporter

Conventional wisdom was that Emily LyBarger would pick up the award. LyBarger is best known for her soccer skills as the school’s center midfielder. All-league all four years and the Slope’s Player of the Year twice, she is attending the University of Louisiana-Monroe to study and continue her soccer career.

When not on the pitch, LyBarger was also all-state for Eagle Valley softball and an all-leaguer in basketball.

But this wasn’t a conventional year or a conventional senior class, and that’s likely why Roberts got the nod from the school’s coaches.

Roberts has been a perpetual-motion machine at Battle Mountain. While getting a student-athlete to come out for three sports ” one for each season ” has been an issue, Roberts has no peers.

In the fall, she’s run cross country, a positively slow season. In the winter, she shuffles between alpine and Nordic practice. Come spring, she juggles soccer and track.

“That’s a question for Jamie Lee. I don’t know how she did it,” Battle Mountain athletic director and Nordic coach Rich Houghton said. “A majority of the practices she missed were days when she was sick or had an alpine race to go to. I was awestruck.”

Well, Jamie Lee?

“It’s definitely a lot of work with the coaches and the schedule,” Roberts said. “They were helping me out so much. I could not have done this if the coaches weren’t flexible, for sure.”

And not just the incredible feat of competing in five varsity sports won her the award. She’s accomplished in all five activities. As a part of the cross country team, she went to state twice as the Huskies finished seventh and 10th the last two seasons, respectively.

In the winter, alpine was her strength. She skied to all-state honors in both the giant slalom and slalom. At the state meet, she took seventh in the GS and sixth in the slalom.

This winter, she also added Nordic to her repertoire, and in doing so, won the Skimeister Award for being the best all-around high school skier in the state.

In the spring, she played center back on the Slope champion girls soccer team and also qualified for state with the school’s 3,200 team.

“Jamie has such a positive can-do attitude in everything she does and it shows in her athletic performance,” Parish said. “What she is able to do is made more difficult by living in the mountains because of the distance (between athletic competitions). She had to show initiative and time management to pull it off. That’s nothing short of spectacular.”

Roberts will continue her education at the University of Wyoming, where she’ll definitely be skiing and has been recently asked to try out for track.

“I’m someone with experience shoveling a field,” she joked, given her time with spring sports here in Colorado. “Maybe that’s why they let me come out for track.”

Automatic pick

Stevens’ pick was an absolute no-brainer. He has been the dominant athlete in Eagle-Vail since he arrived as a heralded club hockey player who also decided to do some running as a freshman in the fall of 2005.

His list of athletic accomplishments includes:

– Two team state titles in cross country

– Three team regional titles in cross country

– Three times on the all-state team in cross country

– Four times on the all-league team in cross country

– A 2007 individual regional championship in cross country

– The 2008 Player of the Year in hockey from the Denver Post

– Three times on the all-state rolls in hockey, including the first team in 2008

– All-league honors from both the old Metro League and the current Peak League in hockey

– A state title in with the 3,200-meter relay team in track earlier this month

– Seven state track medals

– Six regional meet championships, including three in a row in the open 3,200

– The school’s records in the 5-kilometers (cross country), the open 3,200 run at altitude and the 3,200 relay (with Tony Crisofulli, Connor Tedstrom and John O’Neill).

– Finalist in The Denver Post’s overall 2007-08 Athlete of the Year and finalist for the Steinmark Award, the Rocky Mountain News’ equivalent of the honor.

Stevens is simply the best athlete to go through Battle Mountain in the last 10 years or so and is in his place as one of the best in school history along with the likes of Jeff Campbell and Jeff Rohlwing.

“It probably wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if he were the most-decorated athlete in the school’s history,” Parish said. “In an award like this where we’re trying to identify the best senior athlete, Jonny is Mr. Battle Mountain.”

“He’s a real role model for the three-sport athlete,” Houghton said. “You always hear the myth that the three-sport athlete is dying. Jonny Stevens is proof that the three-sport athlete lives.”

Stevens found the Senior Award a nice conclusion to high school. He will attend CU and run cross country, indoor track and outdoor track with the Buffs, while likely trying to put a squid ” a running joke among the Huskies ” in the car of soon-to-be-former teammate O’Neill who will be at Fort Collins at CSU.

“It was a lot of work and a lot of the success can be attributed to Parish,” Stevens said. “Without a coach, I can’t do workouts. The cross country team, the hockey team and the track team, I was lucky enough to be a part of those teams. It’s one of those things we’ll remember for a long time.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.

Senior Athlete winners

The following is a list of recent Outstanding Senior Athlete winners at Battle Mountain:

Year Boys Girls

2008 Jonny Stevens Jamie Lee Roberts

2007 Travis Landauer Kelsey Sanders

2006 Connor Drumm Erika Ghent

2005 Grant Stevenson Alexis Guinn

2004 Keith Denton Madison McCaulley

2003 Rob Finlay Kati Russell

2002 Chris Jackson Krista Kedrowski

2001 James Stevenson Christina Aiello

2000 Pat Martinez Stephanie Feldhaus

1999 Mark Perna Jackie Pirog

1998 Joel Sandoval Molly Marquez

Fun facts

– Six of the last seven boys winners have run the school’s 3,200-meter relay team. Keith Denton is the exception.

– Speaking of Denton, he was the only hockey player who’s won this award before Stevens.

– Soccer is a theme on the girls’ side. Seven of the last 11 winners hit the pitch during the spring.

– The Stevenson brothers are the only set of siblings on the list with James in 2001 and Grant in 2005.

– Just remember, it’s honor to be nominated. Notable non-winners of the Senior Award include Austin Chow, Josh Henry and Catherine Himmes, which makes for good company.


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