GILLETTE – Recent Torrington High School graduate Cole Parriott and THS head coach Gabe Bartlett represented the Blazer program, taking part in the Wyoming Coaches Association All-Star soccer game on June 18 in Gillette.
Parriott served as the team’s center back, and Bartlett was an assistant coach under Worland’s Ron Overcast, along with Cheyenne Central coach Tim Denisson.
All-star game started back in the 1990s before going away for several years, according to Bartlett. This year was only the second game since it was restarted. Between practices and the game, the event was spanned over three days.
“I appreciated the opportunity to get to play in that. I love soccer. Soccer is one of my favorite sports, and I’ve played it since I was a kid,” Parriott said. “I put a lot of time and effort into it. It was just a really cool kind of thing to play in the all-star game.”
Deagan Keith and Chase Miller were also invited to the game but chose not to take part because of other responsibilities.
“It’s similar to the Shrine Bowl. They are trying to match that. We aren’t associated with any hospital, but it was a really cool honor,” Bartlett said. “It was a lot of fun. Great kids. It’s really fun when you go, and every single player is skilled and have talent galore. You tell them to do a drill and you don’t have to repeat and explain the drill. They just go out and do it. They wanted to be there.”
Teams were picked by a draft, and it was the goal of Bartlett and Overcast to make it a predominately 3A versus 4A game. It ended up being almost that with the addition of the Central players and one from Sheridan.
“It was a lot of fun to play with the kids that I played against all these years,” Parriott said. Our main goal was to focus on team chemistry and how to play together since we all played on different teams. Since we didn’t have a long time, we focused on team chemistry and how we could build that in the most effective way. I think it helped a lot when we played our game on Saturday.”
Parriott and Bartlett were on the winning team by a 3-0 score.
“We had a great midfield. We had Cole Venable (Worland) up top. We had Powell’s Hawkin Sweeney up top. A kid from Sheridan and Avery Chick from Newcastle up there,” Bartlett said. “We just wore them down. We were so skilled; it could have been more than 3-0.”
Bartlett described Parriott as the team’s best center back.
“I think at the beginning of the game, he was a little hesitant or unsure if he could play with the 4A kids. When he came out on a sub, I told him he’s already played against the best kid in the state,” Bartlett said referring to Venable. “From then on, he handled his business.”
It was a treat for Bartlett to coach Parriott one more time.
“He leads by example,” Bartlett said. “You tell him to go do something, he does it no questions asked. He was happy to be there and show off his skills one more time.”
Parriott will attend Laramie County Community College next fall to studying health science. He is undecided whether or not he will play soccer next season for the Golden Eagles.
“I really like Torrington because you got to play with all the people you’ve grown up with and played with your whole life. It was cool to watch us all play together in high school and get as far as we did this past year,” Parriott said. “I appreciated my time here at Torrington High School, and I’m thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way.”