Milward Simpson Award Releases Finalists for 2020 Honor
The finalists have been announced for the prestigious Milward Simpson Award in 2020.
This honor is given to the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in the state. It is considered the most prestigious award a prep athlete can earn in their high school career.
This year’s honor will be announced via social media on June 15. Senator Alan Simpson and his brother Pete Simpson will be explaining the award and its history in a video.
Biographical information on the finalists is courtesy of the Simpson Award Committee.
Alyssa Bedard, Rock Springs High School
During her four-year career, Bedard was a multiple letter winner in indoor track and soccer. In indoor track, she was selected all-state (3 times) where she was a seven-time state champion in the 55m hurdles, 55m dash, 200m dash, and the 4 x 200 relay. She holds seven school records, and she placed in the top ten for three years at the prestigious Simplot Games in the 200m dash, 4 x 200m relay, and the 1600 sprint medley relay. In soccer, Bedard was a three-time all-conference and all-state player. She was also a three-time nominee for the Wyoming Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year. During her soccer career, she was the Wyoming High School leading scorer multiple times, she holds the Rock Springs High School record for career goals (86) and career assists (36). She also led her school to their best team season records for three years in a row. Unfortunately, she lost her senior soccer season to COVID-19. Alyssa received the United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award, Wyoming High School Activities Association Good Sportsmanship Award, and she was named the Rock Springs High School Female Athlete of the Year. She plans to attend the University of Wyoming on a soccer scholarship where she will enter the Kinesiology and Health Promotions program.
Makylee Buell, Cheyenne East High School
During her career, Buell was a multiple varsity letter winner in volleyball and basketball. In volleyball, she was selected to the all-conference and all-state teams her senior season where she helped lead her team to the regional championship and third-place finish at the state tournament. In basketball, she was a four-year all-conference and all-state selection. Buell was also named to the USA Today All-Wyoming Team four times, was named the 4A Player of the Year, MaxPreps Wyoming Player of the Year, and she was selected to play in the Wyoming Coaches’ Association All-Star basketball game. During her basketball career, she became the fourth leading scorer in Wyoming women’s’ basketball history, and she ranks first in three-pointers made during her high school seasons. She will be attending Western Nebraska Community College on a basketball scholarship where she plans to enter their Pre-Chiropractic program.
Corin Carruth, Kelly Walsh High School
During her high school career, Carruth was awarded multiple varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and track. In volleyball, she was all-conference (4 times) and all-state (two times). Her junior season she was named the 4A Player of the Year, and she was selected to attend the Under-Armour Phenom Event in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she was ranked 10th nationally. During her senior year, Carruth was named as an Under-Armour Highschool All-American and her team was ranked 7th nationally in Region 8. Throughout her high school career, she helped lead her team to three state championships. In basketball, Carruth was all-conference (2 times), and she was named to the all-state team her senior season. Unfortunately, her senior season was cut short by COVID-19. During her track career, she received multiple all-conference honors and she was a state placer multiple times. Again, her senior season was lost due to COVID-19. Corin was named the Kelly Walsh Athlete of the Year. She will be attending the University of Wyoming on a volleyball scholarship.
Olivia McPherson, Laramie High School
During her career, McPherson was a four-time all-conference and all-state swimmer. In her freshman season, she was the state champion in the 50 free where she set a new Laramie High School record. She was also the anchor of their record-setting 400 free relay. During her sophomore season, she was state champion in the 50 free where she also re-set the school record and earned All-American honors. She was an All-American that year in the 100 free, as well as state champion in both the 200 and 400 free relays which broke school and state records. Her junior year Olivia was state champion in both the 50 and 100 free while achieving All-American status and new school records in both events. She also set a new team record in the 100-breast stroke and was named All-American in that event. To round out her junior season she helped lead both her 200 and 400 free relays to state titles. During her senior season, she was again the 50 free state champion and an All-American with the 200 free relay. Olivia was the state champion in the 100-breast stroke where she set a new state and school record as well as gaining All-American status. She was also the state champion in the 200-medley relay and 200 free relays. She set records in the 100 butterfly and the 200 IM. Overall during her high school career, she won (12) state championships, set (4) state records, won (3) state team titles, (7) All-American honors, and she now holds (8) Laramie High School swimming records. Olivia will be attending the University of South Carolina on a Swimming & Diving scholarship.
Naya Shime, Riverton & Kelly Walsh High School
During her high school career, Shime was a multiple varsity letter winner in volleyball, basketball, and track. In volleyball, she was a three-time all-conference and all-state selection where she recorded (1899 kills) and (1435 digs). She was nominated twice for the Wyoming Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year and was selected to play in the Wyoming Coaches’ Association All-Star match. Naya played her sophomore and junior years of basketball at Riverton High School and finished off her senior season as a member of the Kelly Walsh High School team. During her freshman year of track, she was the state champion and “Best of the Best” in the long jump (18.03.5), and runner-up in both the high jump and 100m hurdles. Her sophomore season Naya was the state champion and “Best of the Best” winner in the 100m hurdles (15.57); she was also the state champion, “Best of the Best”, and a new 3A class record holder in the long jump (18.08.75). She also was the runner-up in the high jump and the 100m dash that season. Naya’s junior track season brought her into class 4A at Riverton High School where she won a state title and a “Best of the Best” award in the 100m hurdles. She was also the state runner-up in the long jump. During her track career, she was a nominee for the Wyoming Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year two-times. Unfortunately, her senior season was lost to COVID-19. Naya plans to attend the University of Wyoming on a volleyball scholarship next fall.
Briggin Bluemel, Mountain View High School
During his high school career, Bluemel earned multiple varsity letters in football, basketball, and track. In football, he was named first-team all-conference and all-state three times, and he was named the 2A West Offensive Player of the Year. During his football career, he amassed 2,318 rushing yards, 1,351 receiving yards, 119 solo tackles, and a total of 227 tackles. Bluemel was named the “Young Gun of the Year”, the “Hammer of the Year”, and he won the “O.K.G” award. He was also named to the Super 25 second-team, and he was selected to play in the North/South Shrine Bowl. In basketball, he received multiple first-team all-conference awards, was selected as team captain, and he was awarded two sportsmanship awards. During his track career, he was a three-time all-conference and all-state selection, and he was a member of the school’s championship team. He is also the Pinedale track meet 300m hurdle record holder. Bluemel won state titles in the 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and he was a member of the state champion 4x100 relay team. Unfortunately, he lost his senior season to COVID-19. To cap off his four-year career he was named as only one of fifteen athletes in the state of Wyoming (all classes) to be selected as a three-time first-team all-state football champion, four-time state champion in track, and the 2A West Offensive Player of the Year. Bluemel plans to attend the University of Wyoming on a track & field scholarship where he will major in Business Administration.
Garrett Coon, Sheridan High School
During his high school career, Coon was a multiple varsity letter winner in both football and soccer. In football, he was a three-year all-conference and all-state selection. He was also selected to the Super 25 team his sophomore, junior, and senior years. In Coon’s senior season he ran for 1,589 yards and scored 29 rushing touchdowns. He also excelled on defense where he scored twice and had 81 tackles, 3 interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Coon was selected as the Wyoming Gatorade Football Player of the Year, and he was chosen to play in the North/South Shrine Bowl game. In soccer, he was selected to the 4A all-conference and all-state teams. Unfortunately, he lost his senior season to COVID-19. Coon will be attending Montana State on a football scholarship where he will be pursuing a degree in Exercise Science.
Quinn McCafferty, Big Horn High School
During his career, McCafferty was a multiple varsity letter winner and award winner in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was a three-year team captain and quarterback of the Rams who won the state runner-up and two state football championships. During his career, the Rams amassed a team record of 31-2. He received three all-conference and all-state awards as well as being named to the Super 25 third-team, and two Super 25 second-teams. In basketball, he was a three-year team captain and a three-year all-conference and all-state player. He helped lead his team to a regional title and 3rd place state finishes his senior year. He was also named the 2A Northeast Player of the Year. McCafferty also excels in baseball where he plays both pitcher and short-stop for the Sheridan Troopers. His junior season he was named first-team all-state as a short-stop, and he led his team in runs-batted-in, hit by pitches, wins, and innings pitched. His senior season started over Memorial Day weekend, and his team is hoping to contend for the state title. McCafferty will be attending Western Nebraska Community College on a baseball scholarship.
Luke Mortimer, Worland High School
During his career, Mortimer was a multiple varsity letter winner in football, basketball, track, and soccer. He capped off his senior year being named the male recipient of the prestigious Mower Award. In football, he was the team captain his senior year where he was also selected all-conference and all-state. He was also named the 3A East Special Teams Player of the Year where he was ranked #1 in Class 3A for punt and kick returns with three total returns for touchdowns. Luke was also a top ten 3A offensive player with receiving yards per game, all-purpose yards per game, and scoring per game. He was selected to play in the North/South Shrine bowl. In basketball, he was a four-year starter who helped his teams to a state runner-up and a pair of state consolation championships. He was named all-conference (3 times) and all-state (2 times). During his senior season, Mortimer was a member of the 3A West Regional Championship team that compiled a record of 24-1. He was also selected to play in both the Wyoming/Montana and the Wyoming Coaches’ Association All-Star games. Unfortunately, the rest of his senior season was lost to COVID-19. In track, Mortimer led his team in points scored during his freshman season in the 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, high jump, and 4x100 relay. He was unable to compete at the regional or state meets due to an injury. During his sophomore season, he continued to lead his team in scoring in the same four events, and he placed 4th at regionals and 7th at state in the 110m and 300m hurdles. His junior year Luke became a varsity starter on Worland’s soccer team which won the state championship. He was named to the all-conference honorable mention team. Unfortunately, he lost his senior season to COVID-19. Mortimer is looking at various college opportunities to pursue his passion for basketball. He plans to major in Wildlife Management.
Dax Yeradi, Wright High School
During his high school career, Yeradi has earned multiple varsity letters and awards in football, wrestling, basketball, track, and baseball. In football, he was a three-time first-team all-conference and all-state player and a three-year team captain where he helped lead the Panthers to the playoffs twice. He was named to the Super 25 first-team twice, USA Today All-Wyoming Defensive team, North/South Shrine Bowl, and he holds the record (all classes) for most defensive points in a season. Yeradi was also named the Wyoming National Football Foundation Top Senior Scholar-Athlete. In wrestling, he was all-conference and all-state twice. He was selected as team captain three times where his junior season he helped his team to a conference championship, 3rd place regional, and 6th place state finishes. During his career at the state tournament, he placed 5th, runner-up, and he was the (160 lb.) state champion. In track Dax was team captain twice, and he was all-conference and all-state his junior year. That year he won the Class 2A pole vault (14.1). He also placed in the pole vault his freshman and sophomore years with finishes of 8th and 3rd. Unfortunately, he lost his senior track season to COVID-19. This fall Yeradi will attend Chadron State College on a football scholarship. He will pursue a degree in Business with the intent of obtaining a post-graduate Law Degree.