Bluejays' Koppenhafer example on and off field

Mancos senior plays three sports while excelling in classroom

Ty Koppenhafer played football and was in the Mancos Homecoming Court this year. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Ty Koppenhafer played football and was in the Mancos Homecoming Court this year.

Blessed with a powerful build, intelligence and an outstanding work ethic, Mancos High School senior Ty Koppenhafer is the epitome of an athlete.

Just as impressive as Koppenhafer's athletic acumen however, is his solid handshake, million-dollar smile and one hundred percent genuine nature.

While the Koppenhafer's list of accomplishments is certainly long, below are some of the achievements that have set the senior apart.

All-state football star

An absolute beast on the gridiron, Koppenhafer was nothing short of spectacular during his four years on the Bluejays' football team.

Serving as a linebacker, lineman, punter and fullback, Koppenhafer was consistently one of his team's top players.

Capping off his high school career with a bang, the senior earned all-conference honors as well as an opportunity to play in the Colorado All-State Football game.

Discussing his experience playing football at Mancos High School, Koppenhafer indicated that the value of the last four years could not be understated.

"It's something that you can't trade for anything," said Koppenhafer. "Football is something that if you've never been there, you can't explain it. (My coaches) taught me a lot about who I was."

Varsity basketball player

Suiting up for the Bluejays basketball team, Koppenhafer was never spectacular, but always solid.

After playing his freshman year, Koppenhafer took two years off before returning to the court for his senior season.

While two years away from basketball prevented Koppenhafer from evolving into a big-time scorer, the senior provided no shortage of leadership and toughness.

"I had nothing but fun," said Koppenhafer of his basketball career. "It was cool to watch everyone and how they work together."

Track athlete

Also a four-year track athlete at Mancos High School, Koppenhafer has made solid contributions for the Bluejays as both a runner and a thrower.

Listing the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the shot put as his best events, Koppenhafer admitted that track has provided a valuable experience.

"(Track) is different because it is an individual team sport," Koppenhafer said. "It has a different aspect to it, but it's fun being out there with everybody."

Outstanding student

A solid student throughout his high school career, Koppenhafer has made a point of excelling academically.

A member of the National Honor Society, Koppenhafer pointed out that he would not be where he is today absent the work of several fine teachers.

"Ms. Fox (science) has been a big inspiration to me and I'm looking at going into education because of her," said Koppenhafer. "The way she teaches and cares about everyone has been a real inspiration."

An example to all

The son of Vance and Maria Koppenhafer, Ty Koppenhafer has left an impressive mark on the Mancos community that he calls home.

Asked what advice he might give to young people hoping to follow in his footsteps as an athlete, student and leader, Koppenhafer offered the following words.

"I'd just say don't take it for granted," said the Mancos senior. "That's what really hit me this year. I don't have any regrets because I went hard every chance I got. You never know when it's going to be your last moment."

Certainly wise words from one of Mancos High School's finest individuals, who will no doubt continue to blaze an impressive path in the coming years.