LUSK – The senior parents provided the meal, while the Tiger football coaches presented the post-season awards at the team banquet in December.
Head coach Ryan Nelson and assistants Chris Skeen and Shawn Leimser passed out the awards, followed by a slide show put together by Kristen Stauffer.
Nelson announced that the team grade point average was 3.52 and gained the Tigers a nomination for scholastic honors from the activities association.
Captain bars were presented to Wyatt Stauffer, Damien Molzahn and Drake Lamp and 18 varsity letters were distributed. Seniors Damien Molzahn and James Stone were honored with white letters for four years of varsity while Stauffer and Dmitri Richards earned their third. Tanner Carpenter and Kade Clark finished with two.
All three juniors Jasper Caldera, Aric Eaton and Drake Lamp set themselves up for white letter honors next season with their third. Sophomores Riley Blackburn, Walker Kupke, Dylan Molzahn and Mason Wells now have a pair, while classmates Aiden Applegarth and Jadon Patterson earned their first letter.
Three freshmen got their first in Dayne Lamp, Cooper Stewart and Collin Taylor. Skeen and Leimser awarded JV certificates to Cameron Carpenter, Christopher Hicks, Justin Hite and Colton Coffman.
Junior manager Camdon Fitzwater earned her third letter while classmates DeAnna West, Pierce Kilmer and Chance Richardson got their first.
Nelson mentioned this was the most Ironmen he’s had in five years with Damien Molzahn becoming a four-timer. Stone and Stauffer earned their third while Caldera, Carpenter, Kupke and Dylan Molzahn collected their second. Wells, Drake Lamp, Dayne Lamp, Taylor and Stewart all picked up their first Ironman Awards.
The Tiger Challenge winners (a pre-season competition among all players for pass, punt, kick and 40 yard time) were the same as they were a season ago. Dylan Molzahn won the passing and kicking while Drake Lamp won the punt and 40 yard fastest speed.
Six Tigers were named to the 1A 11-man East All Conference team with Drake Lamp (third), Stone (third) and Molzahn (fourth) leading the way. Despite an injury that forced Caldera to miss the final four games, he was honored with his second, and Dylan Molzahn also earned his second. Dayne Lamp impressed enough to also be named, for his first.
NCHS was honored to get three players on the 1A 11 man All State team. Senior Molzahn and junior Lamp became the seventh and eighth Tigers in school history with three such awards. With a senior season on the horizon, Lamp has the possibility of not only becoming the first four-timer, but is also within a shot at catching Casey Fosher’s school rushing record. He was also honored on the Casper Star Tribune’s Super 25 second team. Dylan Molzahn joined Damien as the first brothers to earn this together since Matt and Derick VandeBossche did it in 2012 and ’13. Coach Nelson mentioned that of the 40 total selections, 30 came from the East Conference.