Mar 31, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterBy all accounts, Riverton Wolverine Seth Quayle was one Wyoming's top basketball big men this season.
The 6-foot-5 senior led the state in rebounding and blocked shots and was fifth in Class 4-A West conference scoring at 11.5 points per game. He was a dominating defensive presence in the paint.
Standing tall among a group of talented teammates, Quayle has been named the Fremont County boys basketball Player of the Year by the sports staffs of The Ranger, Lander Journal and Wind River News.
This year's Riverton Wolverines had one of the great seasons in school history with a 24-5 overall record and a runner-up finish at the Class 4-A state basketball tournament.
"The Gillette (state semifinal) win was a high point, but honestly, just spending time with my teammates was great. We all knew in the back of our minds that this would be the last time we would play together. It's kind of the end of a long run, because we have been playing basketball since first or second grade," Quayle said.
Just weeks after the season has ended, Quayle is now running for the RHS track team but has found it uncomfortable not getting ready for basketball next year.
"It's different for sure. You definitely know something has changed. It's hard to accept it. I keep thinking that I should be in the gym getting ready for next season. All the sudden it hits you again that I don't get a next season," Quayle said.
But this season was a great one, and Quayle believes his shooting improved the most thanks to his off-season work that included playing on a club team in South Dakota and competing against future Division I players who have committed to New Mexico and Creighton.
"We spent hours and hours in the gym this summer. Being able to pull up for a mid-range jump shot is one of the best parts of my game. When you are playing against that kind of talent, you are going to get better. When you learn to score against someone you know is going to a D-I school, you have a lot more confidence," Quayle said.
Next year, UW
As outstanding as Quayle's performance was on the basketball court during his career, equally impressive is his academic success while a student at Riverton High School.
An honor student, Quayle has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average at RHS and, because of his grades and ACT scores, has been named as a recipient of the University of Wyoming Trustees Scholars Award, which covers tuition, fees, room and board for his undergraduate studies.
"I'm looking at mechanical engineering based on green energy fields like wind farms," Quayle said.
Despite having several opportunities to play college basketball, Quayle decided just before the Class 4-A West regional tournament in late February that this would be his last season of competitive play.
"It's a tough decision to make because I want to go on to the next level, and I know that I could, but at the same time turning down free college is a pretty difficult decision to make. It is the right decision for me," Quayle said.
Still more hoops
But his basketball days are not completely over. This summer, Quayle will play in three all-star events including the Wyoming/Montana series, the Wyoming/South Dakota series and the Wyoming North vs. South Coaches Classic.
And, like his dad, RHS head coach Dick Quayle, Seth Quayle already is coaching Riverton middle-school-aged basketball players as they are practicing to compete this spring and summer in various basketball events.
"We're starting to get the next group going. Even though my time is done, they still have a lot of time ahead of them. There is some talent coming. They are definitely a solid group," Quayle said.
But now it's time to, "get ready and become an adult. It's finally over," Quayle said.
Even though Quayle and his senior teammates are done playing, there is no doubt that this will always be a season to remember.
"I think we came out and surprised everyone, including ourselves. We played well as a team. If one person wasn't playing well one night, someone else always stepped up," Quayle said.
Quayle is the son of Dick and Jodi Quayle.
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