Four M-CHS athletes selected to all-conference teams

All-conference athletes Bridger Brenner, Briston Walker, Naomi Pinnecoose and Tayla Topaha enjoyed outstanding seasons for their respective teams. Enlargephoto

Ian MacLaren/Cortez Journal

All-conference athletes Bridger Brenner, Briston Walker, Naomi Pinnecoose and Tayla Topaha enjoyed outstanding seasons for their respective teams.

Following highly successful seasons in the fall, four Montezuma-Cortez High School athletes have been named to the all-conference team in their respective sports. The four athletes join six M-CHS football players who were also named to the all-conference team.

PINNECOOSE RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING YEAR

Leading M-CHS’s all-conference athletes was junior volleyball star Naomi Pinnecoose, who, following an outstanding season, was named first team all-conference.

Over the course of the 2013 season, Pinnecoose was consistently impressive, leading her team with 288 kills, 231 digs and eight blocks. Pinnecoose also tied for the team lead in aces with 41.

“I was kind of surprised because I’m a junior and usually the all-conference team is all seniors,” said Pinnecoose.

Discussing the hard work that preceded her all-conference season, Pinnecoose explained that volleyball practice has become a year-round undertaking.

“I do club volleyball over in Durango from December until May,” said Pinnecoose. “We have open gyms and team camps over the summer. Volleyball is pretty much a year-round sport for me.”

WALKER’S DEFENSE EARNS SPOT ON SECOND-TEAM

Consistently providing the M-CHS soccer team with quality minutes, senior defender Briston Walker was named to the all-conference second team.

In addition to consistently stymying opponents’ scoring attacks, Walker recorded two assists in what was undoubtedly his finest season in a Panthers’ uniform.

“I played smart rather than being aggressive,” said Walker of his season. “This year, we did a lot better passing the ball around.”

Asked what he will remember most about his M-CHS soccer career, Walker explained that he will always cherish the time he spent with teammates.

“I’ll remember the good times that I had,” said Walker. “I might not have had the best winning seasons, but I learned a lot and learned to be self disciplined.”

BRENNER’S WORK IN GOAL EARNS SECOND-TEAM CONSIDERATION

Consistently wowing crowds with his incredible save, junior goalie Bridger Brenner’s work defending the M-CHS soccer team’s goal earned him a spot a second-team spot on the all-conference team.

On the year, Brenner allowed 82 goals, made 164 saves and recorded one shutout.

“I want to improve on my decision making as far as when to step out towards the ball or when to stay home and make the save,” said Brenner, looking ahead to next season.

TOPAHA HITS AND PITCHES WAY TO SECOND-TEAM

Rounding out the Panthers’ all-conference athletes during the fall season was sophomore Tayla Topaha, a standout player who consistently carried the Panthers were quality pitching and clutch hitting.

In addition to batting .417 on the season, Topaha led her team with two homeruns while tying for the team lead with ten runs batted in.

Topaha also pitched in multiple games for the Panthers, recording a 10.19 earned run average.

“It was fun,” said Topaha of the 2013 season. “We had a lot of new kids, new coaches and new things.”