Naya Shime of Riverton and Kelly Walsh high schools and Briggin Bluemel from Mountain View are the 2020 Milward Simpson Award winners.

This year’s award announcement had to be done via video recording with Senator Al Simpson and his brother Pete, from Cody, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shime is the sixth winner from Riverton High School and second from Kelly Walsh. She spent the first three-and-a-half years of her prep career with the Wolverines. Her family moved to Casper during her senior year, where she finished out with the Trojans.

Shime was a six-time All-State honoree in volleyball, basketball, and track and field. She was a two-time nominee for both the Gatorade Wyoming Volleyball Player of the Year award and the Gatorade Wyoming Girls Track Athlete of the Year honor. In volleyball, Naya was a three-time All-State honoree and finished her career with 1,899 kills and 1,435 career digs. In track and field, Shime was a four-time State Champion between the long jump and 100-meter hurdles. She is the Class 3A record holder in the long jump. Shime earned All-State three times and also finished runner-up five times in her track career. Her senior season was lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shime played varsity basketball her sophomore and junior seasons at Riverton and her senior year at Kelly Walsh. Shime will attend the University of Wyoming on a volleyball scholarship this fall. She was also selected to play in the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star volleyball match in July, which was recently canceled because of the pandemic.

Bluemel is the first-ever winner from Mountain View High School, boys or girls. He was named All-State six times in his prep career in football, basketball, and track. A three-time All-State selection on the gridiron, Bluemel helped the Buffalos to Class 2A State Championships in 2017 and 2019, and runner-up in 2018. He was the Class 2A West Offensive Player of the Year in 2019, was named Super 25 second team, and was chosen to play in the Wyoming Shrine Bowl, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bluemel is one of fifteen players in all classifications that was a 3-time All-State pick in football. He concluded his high school football career with 2,318 yards rushing, 1,351 yards receiving, and 227 total tackles, 119 of which were solo stops. Briggin was named the ‘Young Gun of the Year, the ‘Hammer of the Year,’ and won the ‘O.K.G.’ award at Mountain View High School. In basketball, Bluemel earned multiple first-team all-conference honors, was selected as a team captain and was awarded two sportsmanship awards. In his track career, he was All-State three times and a four-time State Champion in the 110-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles, and was a member of the title-winning 4x100 meter relay team. Bluemel helped the Buffalos to the 2019 Class 3A team championship, as well. His senior season of track and field was lost because of the coronavirus pandemic. Bluemel will be attending the University of Wyoming this fall on a track and field scholarship. He plans to major in Business Administration.

The four other finalists for the female award were Alyssa Bedard of Rock Springs, Ky Buell from Cheyenne East, Corin Carruth of Kelly Walsh, and Olivia McPherson from Laramie.

The other four finalists for the male award were Garrett Coon from Sheridan, Big Horn’s Quinn McCafferty, Luke Mortimer of Worland, and Dax Yeradi from Wright.

The honor is given to one high school senior female and male athlete each year. This year marks the 45th year of the award. It's considered the most prestigious honor a prep athlete can earn in their high school career.

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