GHS celebrates best of 2023-23

Nathan Oster

Greybull High School introduced a new event Monday night as it presented Champion Awards to 47 students and 15 adults during a banquet at Buff Gym.

First and foremost, the intent of the event was to recognize and celebrate successes in the classroom and in extracurricular activities during the 2022-23 school year.

But it also sought to inspire, as a recurring theme was that the past is just that -- and that future success, as individuals and as members of teams, would depend on how hard they work and how well they encourage their teammates to do the same.

Approximately 150 people attended.  The district treated award recipients and nominees to a dinner prepared by Chris Dalin, head of food services, while selling tickets to other guests.

Coaches and sponsors took turns at the mic, recognizing their top performers in volleyball, football, track, speech and debate, science research, Legion baseball, girls and boys basketball, wrestling, rodeo, FFA, choir, music, art, Academic Challenge, FBLA and History Day. 

The evening ended with the presentation of major awards.

Logan Burningham, head coach of the boys basketball team, was named the district's coach of the year. Other nominees included Rob Nuttall and Sean Patrick.

James Armel was named the assistant coach of the year, emerging from a field of nominees that also included Nate Boyer, Brant Ogg and Em Wilson.

Senior Aiden Reece and junior Chaise Benasky were named the male and female athletes of the year.  Other nominees included Carlos Rodriguez and Jake Schlattmann on the boys side and Ashley Gomez and Kelsie McColloch on the girls side.

Six staff members were up for teacher of the year this year:  Logan Burningham, Luke Duermier, Jeff Hunt, Carol Kestner, Ralph Wensky and Sarah Zeller, with Wright taking the honor.

Sponsor of the year went to Joel Kuper, who was chosen over Teresa Boyer and Mark Sanford.

The three nominees for activity champion of the year were Catcher Russell, Torrey Sanford and Tyler Searfoss, with Russell getting the  nod.

There were co-winners for Buff fan of the year:  Jack Lipp and Dennis Herman.  Other nominees included Sara Cheatham and James Armel.

The district employee of the year was Darla Thorne; other nominees were James Armel and Sara Cheatham.

Ken and Kathy Jensen and Sherri Wilkinson were the recipients of the Champion service award, recognizing their many contributions to the district and its students.

The final award was Buff of the Year.  Nominees were Cale Wright, Aiden Reece and Christian Nelson. The winner was ... Wright.

Supt. Mark Fritz, who brought the concept of a champions banquet with him from Glenrock, emphasized early in the evening that he wants to see even more students and guests next year.

The evening's guest speaker, James Downs, gave them a road map.  A native of Glenrock, he was a three-sport athlete in high school, played football at the University of Wyoming and is currently the assistant principal at Natrona County High School.

While congratulating them for their successes and telling them they could be anything they set out to be, Downs told attendees that the path to success down the road begins with a first step  

"Nobody cares about what you've done ... just work harder," he said several times.