By: Shawn O’Brate

CASPER – This past weekend was the annual Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star weekend where coaches and players alike were honored before the traditional All-Star volleyball and basketball matches.

The games pitted the best of the best in Wyoming high schools all the way from the coaches to the players to the reserve players, and multiple players from Fremont County made their way to the games.

Firstly, Lander Valley coaches Scott Goetz, the JV soccer coach, and Ben Gose, the track and field head coach, were honored on Friday night at a dinner that honored both coaches and players from the past season. 

Afterwards, on Saturday, the competition was on display with North and South teams battling to see who’s the best in the state. 

On the stage first was the All-Star volleyball match, which featured Lander Valley’s Demi Stauffenberg on the North team. Stauffenberg was coached by her longtime Lander Valley High School coaches, Marissa Powell and Kassy Jarvis, so the transition from regular season play to All-Star play was a little easier for the Milward Simpson Award finalist.

The games were “tight all the way” to the very end, according to Stauffenberg, but the South would eventually come out on top.

Stauffenberg would lead her team with 13 kills–four more than anyone else on the court–but, sadly, in a losing effort. She would lead the North to two winning sets out of the first three, but the South would come through in the end and win the final two sets to finish the All-Star event victorious three sets to two. 

Coach Powell, who’s coached Stauffenberg for her entire LVHS volleyball career, was on the sidelines for her final high school game and couldn’t have found more praise for the soon to be Laramie County Community College student-athlete.

“Demi did phenomenal,” Powell said, “she really played to her potential and was able to adapt and read. She had some big blockers on her and always found the opening…she’s been really fun to coach the past four years, but I’m excited for her to play at the next level.”

The South team posed for photos after beating Lander Valley’s Demi Stauffenberg in a “tight” match that went all the way to the wire

Overall, the head coach of the North team’s volleyball All-Stars was proud of all her players, seven of which are going on to play volleyball collegiately, but she was also excited about the energy in the stadium.

“The environment was great,” Powell said, “Just filled with positive contagious energy.”

Then, in the girls’ basketball game, the South team would feature Wyoming Indian’s Dezreen C’Hair while the North team would see Stauffenberg’s teammate Ryan Bell on the court representing Lander Valley.

In the end, C’Hair’s team would emerge the winners by a score of 53–45, fending off a strong North team comeback that brought the game within arm’s reach for Bell’s team. 

Wyoming Indian’s Dezreen C’Hair (far left) and the South team battled against a rallying North team, ultimately coming up with the 8-point victory

To finish off the day the boys’ basketball All-Stars took the court, five of them being from Fremont County and one from Fremont’s neighbors, Thermopolis. The South team featured Wyoming Indian’s star player from last season, Vidale C’Bearing, who would play four quarters but would be unable to find the bottom of the net. 

For the North, Riverton’s Lucas Engle would finish the game with 13 points and Lander’s Tisso Guina would score four while also playing phenomenal defense. They would pair well with Wind River’s Chaumbrey Romero, who hit five three pointers, and Dubois’ Cody Wright who put up 12 points by the end of the game. 

The North’s team, halfway filled with Fremont and Hot Springs County student athletes, won dominantly by a score of 96–69 thanks to the massive skill level that resided on their team but also thanks to the coaching staff, made up of Dubois’ coaches Kyle Miller and Mike Marcus.

Multiple student-athletes from Fremont County, and two of the three basketball coaches, devoured the North team in the boys basketball game to finish the All-Star weekend

With four of the best guards in the state on the North team it was hard to not root for the group containing so many local names and faces, but after they started to show their stuff early it was easy to see they were in the driver’s seat both offensively and defensively.

So, in the end the girls of the South swept the girls of the North, but the boys of the North would have the last laugh as they overwhelmed the South team and never let their foot off the gas.

Congratulations to all the players (and coaches) that represented your schools so well this past weekend! Good luck at the next level!