Honors wrap up exciting grid season
Five members of the 2010 Powell High School football squad earned all-state recognition while a sixth received 3A West accolades following a ballot of the state's 3A coaches.
The Panthers compiled a 5-4 campaign that saw the squad finish second behind Cody in the final 3A West standings.
Throughout the season, the team displayed a dominant secondary unit that picked off opposing quarterbacks 16 times. Not surprisingly, several from that unit were among the Panthers honored.
• Josh Cragoe, a 6'2”, 160-pound junior, played an important role on both sides of the football for the Panthers this season. Cragoe was the No. 8 rusher in Class 3A this season and also ranked in the top 10 for receiving and punt returns. As important as Cragoe was to the Panthers' fifth-ranked offense this season, he was an equally important performer on the defensive side of the football. Cragoe finished No. 5 on the statewide defensive points chart, averaging nearly 16 per game while finishing with three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and five tackles for loss.
• Skyler Middleton, a 5'9”, 159-pound junior, isn't your prototypical offensive or defensive lineman, but made up for his lack of size with hustle and sound fundamentals and technique. After nine games, it was that ability that turned the heads of 3A coaches throughout Wyoming and earned him a spot on the all-state roster. Defensively, Middleton finished the season with four tackles for loss and a fumble recovery while averaging better than six defensive points per game.
• Olie Olson, a 6'0”, 166-pound junior, was a constant thorn in the sides of opposing quarterbacks. Put simply, it was difficult to throw the football in Olson's direction without the junior getting his hands on it. Olson finished the year with eight interceptions and also broke up an additional five passes while finishing third on the team for defensive points per game.
• Vince Sleep, a 6'1”, 190-pound sophomore, led all Wyoming Class 3A defenders during the 2010 season by averaging more than 20 defensive points per game. He was also the only player in 3A to top 20 points per contest defensively. Sleep completed his breakout season with 100 tackles, 33 of them solo. Of that number, 11 occurred behind the line of scrimmage as the youngster displayed a knack for finding the football from his linebacking position.
• Cooper Wise, a 5'7”, 140-pound junior, played the early portion of the season with an injured Achilles' tendon, but hardly showed its effects. Wise finished the year tied with Olson for the team lead in pass breakups with five. He also intercepted a pass while averaging just shy of eight defensive points per game. Wise was in on 36 tackles for the Panthers, 18 of which were solo stops.
All five of the Panthers' all-state selections were also recognized as all-conference players within the 3A West. Joining that group in earning all-conference accolades was Panther senior Tyler England. England finished the year as the No. 2 kick returner in Class 3A, averaging better than 27 yards per return. He scored five touchdowns on the year for Powell, placing him second on the team behind Cragoe. England suffered a late-season ankle injury and missed the team's playoff contest.
England is also the only graduating senior among the Panthers' post-season award winners.