Jake Rayl named Southeast District Outstanding Senior Athlete

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 1:36 AM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Cheyenne East Senior Jake Rayl stood out on the football field, basketball court, and in the classroom during his four years of high school.

On the gridiron, Rayl racked up 967 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns, and two interceptions his senior year.

“He’s a great kid, possesses tremendous character,” said East Head Football Coach Chad Goff. “[He’s] just a kid, that in the game of football, I just thought every year just got better and better and truly had such an outstanding season.”

Rayl’s play helped guide East to its first football state championship since 2013 and he was named to the All-State First Team, Super 25 Second Team, and was selected to play in the Shrine Bowl.

On the basketball court, Rayl was also a key contributor.

The senior averaged 11.2 points per game and four assists per game for the Thunderbirds en route to being a First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-State player.

Rayl was also named Wyoming News Now’s Prep Athlete of the Week both in October (160 yards, 3 TDs versus Central) and February (22 PTS, 5 REB 2 AST versus Thunder Basin & 13 PTS, 3 REB, 10 AST versus Campbell County). To date, he is the lone player to take home the award twice as an individual in the 2020-2021 school year.

“Around the school the kids really respond to Jake because of his work ethic and what he’s done for our school,” said East Boys Basketball Head Coach Rusty Horsley. “And academically he’s so strong, so he’s well known by every different student at East with all of his character traits.”

Character is something both coaches mentioned when talking about Rayl, and the Southeast Wyoming Athletic Administrators noted it too.

On Tuesday, Rayl was named the Southeast District’s Outstanding Senior Athlete.

The award is given to a player based upon their athletic achievements, academic record, and citizenship traits.

“You gotta just put it all in to all aspects,” said Rayl. “Especially academically, because that’s actually what’s going to matter in life, is if you pride yourself in that type of stuff.”

Rayl has earned an unweighted 3.94 (weighted 4.1) high school GPA during his four years at East.

He said that he learned this attitude of giving it your all in the classroom at home.

“Even something as simple as if I didn’t do good on something, my mom might be like come on, I know that was an effort thing,” said Rayl. “She’s been really good for me that way and it’s helped me,” he said later.

Turning his attention to life after high school, Rayl said he hopes to play sports in college, but will go to the University of Wyoming if that does not work out.

But, as for East High School itself, his graduation leaves a gap hard to fill.

“We’d always take a team of five Jake Rayl’s for sure,” said Coach Horsley. “We’ll miss him tremendously and I know that later in life he’s going to do great things.”

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