Revealing the 2023 Milward Simpson Award Finalists
Standouts from eight high schools in Wyoming across ten sports are the 2023 finalists for the Milward Simpson Award announced on Wednesday.
This honor is given to the most outstanding female and male 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, the 48th, will be presented at a luncheon on June 17, 2023, in Cody, at the Cody Auditorium Club Room. Each finalist is honored with a plaque. The two winners also receive an additional plaque to be displayed at their high school.
The student-athletes nominated for the 2023 award participated in basketball, cross country, football, indoor track, nordic skiing, soccer, swimming, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling.
This year’s Simpson Award Finalists are:
Ally Boysen, Cody High School
Boysen was an all-state performer in basketball, soccer, and swimming at Cody HS. She helped the Fillies win the 4A state championship in girls’ basketball in 2023 after runner-up finishes in 2021 and 2022. Boysen led Cody to back-to-back state titles in soccer in 2022 and 2023. They were runner-up in 2021. She was the Class 3A girls' soccer Player of the Year in 2023. Boysen also finished runner-up in two events and helped the Fillies to a second-place finish in swimming in 2020.
Sage Bradshaw, Lyman High School
Bradshaw was an all-state performer in basketball, outdoor track, and volleyball at Lyman HS. She helped the Eagles win a state championship on the volleyball court in 2021. The Eagles were runner-up in 2022. Bradshaw also played on two runner-up basketball teams in 2021 and 2022 at LHS. She won an individual track and field state championship in the 3A long jump in 2022.
Sydney Morrell, Cheyenne Central High School
Morrell was an all-state runner in cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track at Cheyenne Central HS. She won ten state championships across the three disciplines in her prep career. Morrell won the Gatorade Wyoming Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award for 2022-23. She was on seven teams that captured state championships at Central.
Kennedi Niemann, Cody High School
Niemann was an all-state selection in basketball, soccer, and volleyball at Cody HS. Niemann helped the Fillies to the 4A girls’ basketball state title in 2023 after a pair of second-place finishes in 2021 and 2022. She was also on two championship soccer teams in 2022 and 2023, as well as, a runner-up squad in 2021. Niemann helped Cody take second place in Class 4A on the volleyball court in 2022.
Joelie Spelts, Thunder Basin High School
Spelts was an all-state pick in basketball and volleyball at Thunder Basin HS. She helped the Bolts to one runner-up (2019) and two third-place finishes (2020, 2021) at the 4A state volleyball tournament. Spelts was chosen to the AVCA All-Region Team for Region 8 and was selected the 4A co-Player of the Year in 2022. On the basketball court, she helped Thunder Basin finish as the 4A runner-up in 2023, as well, as third-place and consolation trophies in 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Colson Coon, Sheridan High School
Coon earned all-state in football, soccer, and wrestling at Sheridan HS. He helped the Broncs win 4A state championships in football in 2021 and 2022. Coon was a two-time Gatorade Wyoming Football Player of the Year award winner. He won the 182-pound title in Class 4A at the 2023 state wrestling championships and helped Sheridan capture the team crown, which was their second in school history and first in 33 years. Coon was part of three Broncs teams that qualified for the state soccer tournament in the last three years. Sheridan was runner-up in 2022 and took third place in 2023.
Gage Gose, Lander Valley High School
Gose was all-state in indoor track, nordic skiing, and outdoor track at Lander Valley HS. He won six individual state championships in track during his Tiger career. Gose swept the Class 3A hurdles races at the outdoor state track meet in 2022 and 2023. He set the all-time state record of 36.10 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles at the 2023 state track championships. Gose was also part of three Lander teams that placed second at the Nordic skiing state championships in 2020, 2021, and 2022. He came in sixth place in the 5km freestyle race at the 2022 state championships.
Colby Jenks, Big Piney High School
Jenks was an all-state performer in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track during his prep career. He won seven individual state championships in track at Big Piney and Wind River High Schools. He won the Class 2A 800 meters in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Jenks holds the 2A state records for outdoor track in the 800 meters and 300-meter hurdles. He helped Big Piney place third at the 2022 outdoor track state championships. Jenks was on Jackson’s Class 4A runner-up boys’ cross-country team in 2021.
Garet Schlabs, Cheyenne East High School
Schlabs was selected all-state in basketball and football during his time at Cheyenne East HS. He helped the Thunderbirds to a 4A football state championship in 2020 and a runner-up finish in 2022. Schlabs earned a Super 25 award in 2022. He helped Cheyenne East win the 2023 Class 4A boys’ basketball state title after a runner-up finish in 2022. Schlabs was named the Class 4A Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, as voted on by the coaches.
Luke Talich, Cody High School
Talich was an all-state pick in basketball, football, and outdoor track at Cody HS. Talich helped the Broncs win the Class 3A football state championship in 2020 and 2021. He was a two-time Super 25 selection in football and was chosen the 2022 Super 25 Defensive Player of the Year. Talich helped Cody to a third-place finish at the 2023 Class 4A boys’ basketball state tournament, which was the Broncs’ first appearance at the state tournament since 2018. Talich won three individual 4A state championships at the 2023 outdoor state track meet in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and long jump. He helped the Broncs place third as a team in 2023. Talich was a runner-up five other times in his prep outdoor track career.