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NC vs. Thunder Basin Girls Soccer

Thunder Basin's Kennedy Ayers dribbles the ball up the field during the Bolts' game against Natrona County on March 19 at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper.

A pair of graduating Thunder Basin standouts were recently honored by the United Soccer Coaches for their respective contributions to Wyoming soccer.

Isaac Howell was named United Soccer Coaches Wyoming Male Player of the Year while Kennedy Ayers was crowned United Soccer Coaches Wyoming Female Player of the Year.

Players for each award are nominated by either their own coach, an opposing coach or an official. Winners are then determined by officials in Wyoming, who not only take statistics and caliber into consideration but also content of character.

Howell finished with 12 goals and nine assists this season for the Thunder Basin boys, who finished as state runner-ups, their best finish in the two-year history of the program. He tallied three goals and three assists in the state tournament.

Ayers, who led the state in assists during all four of her high school years, finished with 32 this season. She also added 13 goals of her own.

“In short,” Thunder Basin head coach Lyle Foster said, “without her, we didn’t score.”

Foster specified that he didn’t nominate Ayers, meaning another coach or official saw her contributions worthy of the award.

“I’m grateful for the award and the opportunity to have played soccer my whole life,” she told the Star-Tribune in a text message. “My coaches have spent countless hours helping me grow and improve as a player. My teammates are special people who have impacted my life in many ways.”

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Follow sports reporter Brady Oltmans on Twitter @BradyOltmans

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High School Sports Reporter

Brady Oltmans reports on high school and local sports. He joined the Star-Tribune in July 2016 after covering prep sports and college soccer in Nebraska. He also contributes to University of Wyoming sports coverage. He and his dog live in Casper.

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