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All-star soccer game is a good idea, and not unprecedented

Jul 18, 2013 - Chuck Rodgers, Riverton

Editor:

I was the Riverton High School boys soccer coach from 1986 to 1999, and I completely agree with Craig Blumenshine's comments that it would be a good idea to have a Wyoming all-star soccer game of the same type that are conducted for football, volleyball and basketball.

After going through my own records, I found the following information:

High school soccer began in Wyoming in 1986. In 1989, although there was no all-star game, and all-state tournament team was selected. Two Riverton boys, Steve Rodgers and Otto Persson, a foreign exchange student from Norway, were selected. 1989 was the only year a state-tournament team was chosen.

Starting in 1993 and extending at least through 1999, there were all-star soccer games. The games were held several weeks after the state tournament which, in those days, always occurred at the very end of May. This time conflicted with graduation, so the state tournament generally was held two weeks after seniors have been released from school, which made preparation for the state tournament a little challenging.

The Riverton boys represented themselves, the school, community and their families well. The following were awarded good sportsmanship awards at the all-star game, the highest honor awarded: Josh Tolman in 1994, Jeremy Appleby in 1995, Joe Vasco in 1997, and Brooks Paskett in 1998.

I am sorry to say that I don't have information at my fingertips regarding the girls who were honored but am sure the Ranger archives would have that information as well as indicating all students participating in each soccer all-star game.

I do have information concerning all Riverton boys who were selected all-state and all conference, which I think started in 1993, and thousands of individual and team statistics from 1986 to 1999. If anyone -- especially former players or their parents -- is interested in those data, please contact me. Finally, permit me to pay you a compliment. In our small city we are unbelievably fortunate to have a newspaper the quality of The Ranger. Thank you for your fine work.

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