May 27, 2014 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterWould you put your life on hold for a couple of months each year, taking leave from your work, and the pay that goes with it, to pursue your passion and the passion you see on display each day from a friend?
That's what Rusty Komrs has done for the past four seasons with the Riverton High School boys soccer team.
A directional driller by trade, Komrs annually returns to Wyoming from his job in the oil fields of North Dakota and Colorado to practice and travel with the team that he loves, who play for the school he loves.
"It's just passion. I see (head coach) Erly (Cornejo) brings a lot of passion to coaching the high school team, and I want to help support that," Komrs said.
Komrs was standout multi-sport athlete for the Wolverines from 1997-2000. For those of us who remember his style of play, the word "relentless" comes to mind despite his small stature.
It's not his size one recalls, it's his fearless heart that is top of mind. He had passion then, and he still has passion today.
We can only hope that our young athletes can learn from that.
Komrs played in the middle of a very successful era of Riverton soccer. The Wolverines played in the state title game during his freshman season (Riverton lost 2-1 to Buffalo) and he played in the state semifinals as a junior and senior, losing both games by one goal to eventual state champions Cheyenne Central and Laramie.
He knows what it is like to be a player so close to the pinnacle of Wyoming soccer, and he wants to help the Wolverines get the state championship that so far has been elusive.
Komrs meets with Cornejo at the start of each year and asks what the head coach wants to accomplish. He wants to help where he can.
And Komrs isn't alone. Brady Samuelson, Jimmy Johnson, Josh Wright and others all have given their time to the Wolverine soccer team as volunteer coaches this year.
"We try and work together and build a strong bond with team members to play for each other and play for the school," Komrs said.
Komrs says he has a wonderful boss who understands what he is trying to do.
"He's been more than generous with time off," Komrs said. "I like my job, but not as much as coaching. I enjoy the heck out of it."
There will be a transition next season for the Wolverine soccer program with Cornejo's departure to collegiate soccer, but Komrs plans to be back on the Riverton sidelines, a living example of what passion for teammates, coaches and school really means.
Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!
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