by nathan oster
Senior Jesse Chestnut and sophomores Calder Forcella and Fabian Davila represented the Greybull Buffs on the Class 2A West all-conference team which was released on Friday.
Greybull finished sixth in the conference, but ended the season on a high note, winning two of its final three games. The second-half surge was fueled in large part by the trio, as Chestnut and Forcella returned from injuries to join Davila in the starting lineup.
Coach Justin Bernhardt said he was proud of his team’s three selections. Of all the all-conference selections in 2A, just four were sophomores. Two played for the Buffs.
Bernhardt said Forcella made it for his play at quarterback. He missed the first two games with a thumb injury, but was a force in his final six.
Forcella finished with 614 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, he generated another 803 yards as well as seven touchdowns.
Forcella also contributed on defense, moving around to help wherever needed in the linebacker and secondary corps.
Davila didn’t miss a game, and while he gave the offense and special teams big-play ability with his speed, it was his work on defense that most caught the attention of other coaches in the conference.
“They saw him as a lockdown cornerback … and teams didn’t throw it to his side very much,” said Bernhardt, adding that Davila finished the year with six interceptions, most on the team.
“It’s an all-around honor, too,” Bernhardt said. “He picked up some good receiving yards, had five touchdowns and was big for us on special teams.”
Chestnut also missed several games in the middle of the season due to a deep thigh bruise. But when he was on the field, he was a force, often times leading the team in defensive points from his linebacker position.
“It was nice to see Jesse get recognition,” said Bernhardt. “(The all-conference team) honor isn’t given on potential, but on what you did. So a lot of times, injured kids get left out.
“The fact that Jesse got it, in spite of missing that many games, shows how well he stood out to other coaches.”
Bernhardt said several other Buffs were mentioned during the all-conference deliberations, but came up a little short of being named to the team. The good news, he said, is that most of them return next year.
Lyman, which won the conference title, led the way with nine selections and had the defensive player of the year in Dustin Rollins, the lineman of the year in Nic Reis and the coach of the year in Dale Anderson.
Lovell, the runners-up in the conference race, put eight players on the team, including offensive player of the year Dino Collins.
The full all-conference team is as follows:
Lyman: Bransen Bradshaw, Cisco Taylor, Dustin Rollins, Nic Reis, Bobby Wingeleth, Kyle Stokes, Marty Rollins, Dalton Schofield, Forrest Rockhill.
Lovell: Nathan Grant, Cody Savage, Dylan Hultgren, Ryan Clark, Dino Collins, Jacob Beck, Nathan Ballard, Tanner Rohrer.
Mountain View: Austin Houskeeper, Cade Covington, Trystin Walker, Caleb Flake, Levi Harmon, Brennan Walk, Jake Orca.
Kemmerer: Trevor Simpson, Matt Archibald, Garrett Julian, Kyle Corbridge, Sidney Chaulk, Justin Westwood.
Pinedale: Clay Cheatham, Ethan Egle, Ryan Reed, Devon Richie, Doug Morse.
Thermopolis: Christian Syverson, Lane Schmidt, Kaden Haun, Zack Larson.
Greybull: Calder Forcella, Jesse Chestnut, Fabian Davila.
Big Piney: Luke Barron, Jordan Sims.