Laramie’s Madison Legerski a Finalist for Prestigious Simpson Award
Ten Wyoming senior athletes have been selected as finalists for the 2013 Milward Simpson Athlete of the Year Award. Madison Legerski of Laramie is among the female candidates who could receive this rather distinctive honor. The two winners of the award will be announced Saturday, June 22, in Casper.
The four other girls' finalists are Lexi Erickson of Star Valley High School; Hailey Ligocki of Sheridan High School; Shanda Post of Lander Valley High School; and Kassidy Scott of Douglas High School.
The five finalists for the boys award are Dino Collins of Lovell High School; Ty Etchemendy of Douglas High School; Dani Fischer of Campbell County High School; Ben Mancuso of Burlington High School; and Cody Savage of Lovell High School.
The Milward Simpson Athlete of the Year Award is considered by many to be the most prestigious honor bestowed upon a Wyoming high school athlete. This will be the 38th year for the award, which is named in honor of the late Milward Simpson, a former Wyoming governor and United States Senator from Cody.
Simpson served as the team captain for the University of Wyoming football, basketball, and baseball teams and earned varsity letters in each sport from 1917-1921. He turned down a professional baseball contract to attend Harvard Law School. Simpson served as the Governor of Wyoming from 1954-58, and later as a United States Senator, 1962-67.
Last year's athletes of the year were Tanner Simpson of Lander Valley High School and Mikayla Brower of Torrington High School. Other former winners include NFL players Brady Poppinga and Brett Keisel, former Major Leaguer Mike Lansing, and Olympians John Godina, Jesseca Cross and Lance Deal. A complete list of former winners and finalists for this award is available online at http://www.whsaa.org/MilwardSimpson/milwardsimpson.htm.
Biographies of the finalists:
Milward Simpson Award 2013
Madison Legerski, Laramie High School
Legerski earned 10 varsity letters, eight all-conference and seven all-state awards in volleyball, basketball, and track and field. As a junior, she helped lead Laramie to its first state basketball championship and was also an integral part of the Plainsmen’s state runner-up volleyball team that same year. On the track, Legerski was a member of three 1,600 relay state champion teams, and won the Class 4A high jump title as a junior. She will attend Casper College on a volleyball scholarship and plans to major in chemical engineering. Madison is the daughter of Joe and Jamie Legerski.
Lexi Erickson, Star Valley High School
Erickson earned seven all-conference and five all-state awards in volleyball, basketball and track and field. She earned all-conference honors three times each during her basketball and volleyball careers, and was a vital part of the Braves’ state basketball championship team this past year, along with runner-up finishes in volleyball and track and field. Erickson will attend Western Wyoming Community College on a volleyball scholarship and plans to major in ultrasound technology and radiology. Lexi is the daughter of Rob and Julie Erickson.
Hailey Ligocki, Sheridan High School
Ligocki earned five all-conference and five all-state awards in tennis, basketball and soccer. She was a four-year starter at point guard and earned Class 4A East all-conference honors all four years, in addition to two all-state nods. She was the Class 4A Player of the Year as a senior. On the tennis court, Ligocki was a three-time all-state player and won three state titles between No. 2 singles and No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. She will attend the University of Wyoming on a basketball scholarship. Hailey is the daughter of Larry and Kim Ligocki.
Shanda Post, Lander Valley High School
Post earned 10 varsity letters, seven all-conference and five all-state awards in volleyball, basketball and track and field. She was a three-year starter on the volleyball court and four-year starter in basketball. Post excelled on the hardwood, where she earned three all-state selections, was a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year finalist and finished her career with school records for total rebounds, assists and steals, in addition to finishing as the school’s third-leading scorer. She will participate in all three all-star basketball series and will attend Casper College on a basketball scholarship and will study physical therapy and business. Shanda is the daughter of LeAnn Dunlap and Raymond Post.
Kassidy Scott, Douglas High School
Scott earned eight varsity letters, seven all-conference and six all-state awards in volleyball and basketball. She was a four-year letter winner in both sports and also earned all-state honors three times in each sport. Scott holds school volleyball records for most kills and most ace serves and was a Gatorade Player of the Year finalist her senior year. On the hardwood, she was a four-time Class 3A East all-conference selection and helped lead the Bearcats to the Class 3A title game as senior. She will play in all three all-star basketball series this summer and will attend Casper College on a basketball scholarship and plans to major in elementary education. Kassidy is the daughter of Troy and Katie Scott.
Dino Collins, Lovell High School
Collins earned three all-conference and six all-state awards in football, wrestling and track and field. On the gridiron, he helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back state title game appearances and was named the Star-Tribune’s Super 25 Offensive Player of the Year, in addition to the Class 2A Player of the Year, as a senior. He will also participate in the Shrine Bowl this summer. On the mat, Collins closed his career with two state titles and was a combined 72-0 his junior and senior seasons. He also won two state track titles (long jump, triple jump) as a senior. Collins will serve an LDS mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina and then will attend either Wyoming or Brigham Young University. Dino is the son of Kristie and Brady Jacobsen.
Ty Etchemendy, Douglas High School
Etchemendy earned 12 varsity letters, eight all-conference and eight all-state awards in football, basketball and track and field. On the football field, he was all-state twice, named the Class 3A Outstanding Back as a senior and will also participate in the Shrine Bowl. Etchemendy participated for the Laramie indoor track and field team his junior and senior seasons, and claimed back-to-back state titles in the triple jump. In outdoor track, he won a total of eight state titles and was the 3A Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. He is also an all-state choir singer. Etchemendy will attend Hillsdale (Mich.) College on a track and field scholarship. Ty is the son of George and Jeannie Etchemendy.
Dani Fischer, Campbell County High School
Fischer earned six all-conference and six all-state awards in football and wrestling. On the mat, he became just the 14th wrestler in state history to win four individual state titles over the course of his career when he repeated as the Class 4A state champion at 145 pounds. During his wrestling career, Fischer compiled an overall record of 154-17. On the gridiron, Fischer was a two-time all-state and all-conference selection at wide receiver for the Camels and will participate in this summer’s Shrine Bowl. He will attend the Air Force Academy. Dani is the son of Jody Fischer and Dawn Strohchein.
Ben Mancuso, Burlington High School
Mancuso earned 12 varsity letters, three all-conference and six all-state awards in football, basketball, wrestling and track and field. On the football field, he was the Class 1A/11-man Offensive Player of the Year as a senior and was named all-conference twice. Mancuso played basketball for two years, but track quickly became his standout sport. He won a total 10 state titles between indoor and outdoor, and holds Class 1A state records in the 100 meters and the high jump; Mancuso broke the 1A high jump mark three times during his career. He also won the high jump title at the Simplot Games as a senior. Mancuso will serve an LDS mission and then attend Brigham Young University to participate in track and field. Ben is the son of Ruth and Randy Ott.
Cody Savage, Lovell High School
Savage earned seven all-conference and eight all-state awards in football, basketball and track and field. On the gridiron, Savage played tight end, defensive line, kicker and punter and helped the Bulldogs to back-to-back state title appearances, earning all-conference honors three times and all-state honors twice. He was named to the Star-Tribune’s Super 25 team as a senior and will participate in the Shrine Bowl. On the hardwood, Savage was named all-conference four times, all-state twice and led Lovell to the Class 2A state title his senior year. He was named the Star-Tribune’s Small School Player of the Year his senior year, as well as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year. Savage was also a four-time all-state athlete, winning the Class 2A triple jump state title three times. He will serve a two-year LDS mission in Atlanta, Ga., and will play football at Brigham Young University and study business. Cody is the son of Rhonda and Bret Savage.