CASPER – Over the weekend the Wyoming Coaches Association (WCA) held their annual All-Star games in Casper, pitting the best boys and girls basketball players from the state against each other as well as the best volleyball players.
Plenty of Fremont County athletes were present and playing in the WCA All-Star games, but none had more of a presence than Lander’s Brenon Stauffenberg in his final game representing the Lander Valley Tigers. Stauffenberg, who finished ranked in the top ten in both scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) in Class 3A basketball, put on a show in his final outing for his high school.
Not only did Stauffenberg help the North All-Stars win the game 80-71, but he led all scorers with 19 points. This all comes just a couple weeks removed from Stauffenberg’s games against Montana in the Montana-Wyoming All-Star game where he wasn’t given as many opportunities to score.
Stauffenberg’s 19 points was a great exclamation point on the weekend for the Stauffenberg family, which featured Brenon’s father Serol being inducted into the WCA Hall of Fame. Serol Stauffenberg, who has been Lander Valley High School’s Athletic Director for years, was inducted after a supremely successful career as a girls’ basketball coach at Lander as well as Thermopolis.
Along with being a phenomenal basketball coach, winning back-to-back state championships in Thermopolis, he also had a stint at Central Wyoming College where he introduced volleyball and women’s basketball programs that have both become rather successful since his departure.
Earlier this year, when Coach Stauffenberg found out he was being inducted he said he was somewhat caught off guard by his name being mentioned with some of the best in Wyoming state history.
“Being a Wyoming guy … you start looking back at some of the names that I remember as role models or who I thought were Hall of Fame people,” Stauffenberg said when he found out. “Bill Strannigan, Coach Mike Harris of Riverton, among so many others, and then you realize ‘Oh I’m in that group of people’ … It’s kind of surreal from a coaching perspective.”
Once the moment arrived and Coach Stauffenberg’s name was called on the stage in Casper, he stated “It’s pretty cool to read the list of Wyoming coaches in the Hall of Fame and realize I’m part of that group now.”
Before his son’s 19-point performance later that weekend, the WCA All-Star Volleyball match took place, placing Shoshoni’s Hailey Donelson on the court for one final high school matchup. Before she travels to Gillette College, where she’ll play college volleyball, she helped the WCA North All-Stars get close to a victory.
Sadly, for the North team, close was as good as they could get, falling in five sets to the South All-Stars (25-23, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20 and 15-12).
Afterwards, the girls’ basketball game headed to the court. Unfortunately, no Fremont County girls were participating in the game but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a solid matchup happening between the North and South All-Stars. In the end, the North would win 77-69 after they jumped out to a big lead in the first half.
Newcastle’s Jaylen Ostenson led the North team with 15 points, but the South’s Brooke Wright out of Douglas High School led all scorers with 20 points. There were a handful of All-Star girls with double-digit points, including Cody’s Kennedi Niemann (13), Lyman’s Sage Bradshaw (13), Thunder Basin’s Laney McCarty (12) and Star Valley’s Cameron Erickson (14).
While Stauffenberg dominated the boys’ game, he was also helped by local players Wylie Shearer out of Wind River and Ryan Wells out of Dubois.
All-in-all the local athletes of Fremont County showed out and proved why they deserved to be part of the All-Star festivities over the weekend. Now they will not only have memories to take them into college or their adult life, but they will be able to say that after their four years in Fremont County’s high schools they could call themselves All-Stars.
BY: Shawn O’Brate