Huskies put six on all-state grid team

Stephanie Tolman

To go with their 1A 6-man state championship, eight Burlington Huskies received all-conference awards with six of those athletes also receiving all-state honors. 

Senior Jordan Micheals earned all-conference for the second year in a row and all-state honors and was the conference co-offensive player of the year with Joe Pina from Meeteetse and player of the year at the state level. 

“All year, he provided great, quiet leadership,” said Coach Trent Aagard. “He was statistically the best offensive player in the state. He also contributed greatly on defense. He was a pleasure to coach and has a winning attitude. There wasn’t a lot of hype for him coming into the season but by the end of the year, everyone knew who he was and respected his game. His hard work and dedication really paid off this year.”

Senior Hunter Aagard received all-conference for the second year in a row and all-state honors. “He has really turned into a good player over the last couple of years,” said Aagard. “He was a leader on our offense and defense lines. His blocking was a big part of our offense. His hands have really improved and we were able to use him in big spots this year.”

Junior Joe Bassett earned all-conference and all-state honors, both for the second year in a row, and was conference co-defensive player of the year with Vaun Pierson of Kaycee. “I thought he was the best defender in the state,” said Aagard. “Joe was our vocal leader this year. He was a force for us whenever he was on the field. Offenses had to adjust in order to try and block him and defenses got tired of trying to tackle him and deal with his blocking. He’s another guy who has really put in the work to improve and it is showing.”

Junior Weston Gotfredson received all-conference and all-state. “We asked him to do a lot for us this season,” said Aagard. “He just went out and did it all without question. Weston has always been a reliable receiver; this year he did a great job blocking and defending for us. He just worked hard and really helped his team.” 

Junior Rykael Andrew received all-conference and all-state honors. “His blocking in our run game was very impressive,” said Aagard. “He improved in that as the year progressed. He was also able to complete a lot of good passes in our play action game. On defense, he was able to go in and contribute on the edge. He also has worked hard to improve.” 

Junior Jordan Casey received all-conference and all-state. “He really came on as a receiver for us as the year progressed,” said Aagard. “He is also a very talented runner, but his big catch ability is what really sets him apart. In the biggest games, he was able to make some big plays. A quiet, hard-working kid that really helped his team. 

Junior Jordan Broederlow earned all-conference. “He’s a guy who really improved as the year went along. He had some big interceptions for us and played good defense. He is also a talented runner and pass catcher. He is another quiet, hard-working team player.”

Junior Kyler Winters also made all-conference. “He did a great job defensively and kicking for us this season,” said Aagard. “He also has good hands and is a good blocker and runner. Kyler is a very athletic guy who plays really hard. He’s another hard-working guy who is going to do anything he can for his team.”

Of the postseason honors, Aagard said, ““When you have a team like we did this year, with a bunch of guys who work together to achieve big things, not everyone is going to get the recognition they deserve,” said Coach Aagard. “If you watch the way we were able to win, there were several unsung heroes who made big plays for us in all facets of the game. Not to mention the kids who worked hard in practice to help the team get better every day. 

“I’d like to mention Mickey Maroni, who was injured last year and wasn’t 100 percent this season, he had the biggest catch of the year and really did a nice job of blocking and receiving for us all year. Will Aagard’s blocking, tackling and snapping for us, set us up for success in all parts of the game. Brickton Wardell’s tenacity as a pass rusher and his kicking ability really helps us in games,” said Coach Aagard. 

When asked about their coach, the Huskies offered praise for Aagard.

Hunter Aagard said, “He is a caring coach, he always wants the best for his players and the team.” 

Michaels said, “It’s been great to have him as a coach for the past four years. He has helped me a lot through ups and downs.” 

Bassett said, “He’s been dedicated to the growth of his coaching and his knowledge as well as growing his players. He works hard for us as a team.” 

Gotfredson said, “Coach Aagard is always positive with us and he’s always willing to help us with a skill we might need to work on.”

Winters said, “He’s always positive, no matter how tough things get. Even when we were down during state, he still had a smile on his face because of how much he loves the game.”

Aagard’s peers around the state agreed, as he was voted conference coach of the year for the second straight year and also the state coach of the year.

 “I’m honored to have received these awards,” said Aagard. “There are a lot of other worthy coaches in our league. I think it’s a great shoutout to our organization. It seems the award goes to the best six-man football team in the state. We have the best players, best administrators, best parents, best fans, best support staff, best assistant coaches, best coaches’ wives that earned this. It may say ‘coach of the year’ but it’s really ‘team of the year’ so that is a great honor for all of us.”