Prep Athlete of the Year: Stu Lerwick
PINE BLUFFS, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Born and raised on a farm in Albin, Wyo., Lerwick learned the meaning of responsibility and hard work. Lerwick is now a rising senior at Pine Bluffs Jr./Sr. High School and he has translated the life lessons he learned on the farm to the classroom and sports.
Besides being an A student, Lerwick has blossomed into one of the best athletes in Laramie County and the State of Wyoming. He is a 2x All-State selection in both 1A-9 Man football and 2A basketball. He led 1A-9 Man in completion percentage (63.5%), passing yards (2,215), and passing touchdowns (23) as a junior. He also was the second best scorer (20.6 points per game) and rebounder (9.1 rebounds per game) in the 2A class, was a Wyoming News Now Prep Athlete of the Week after scoring a score record 50 points against Lingle-Fort Laramie in February, and led Pine Bluffs to the 2022 Wyoming 2A Boys Basketball State title.
For all of these reasons, he has been named a 2022 Wyoming News Now Prep Athlete of the Year. Lerwick joins Kelly Walsh’s Cameron Burkett and Cheyenne Central’s Kira Brownell as the third recipient of the award this year. Below is the transcript from Stu’s interview with Nick Kuzma.
NK: I’m here with Pine Bluffs’ own Stu Lerwick a 2022 Wyoming News Now Prep Athlete of the year. Thanks for coming Stu!
SL: Yeah thanks for having me!
NK: Of course let’s first go now to your two coaches Coach Kimzey and Coach Gray
Sound bites from Pine Bluffs Boys Basketball Head Coach Tyler Kimzey and Pine Bluffs Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Will Gray
TK: He likes to pull some of his teammates along and so whether that’s going to the gym or whether it’s his brother when they’re out working or his dad pulls him a long to work and so sometimes I’m sure he pulls his dad a long and, you know, he’s just kinda raised that way that there’s a job to get done and to go do it.
WG: Just willingness to listen and his willingness to do things outside of practice to study film and get a group text going with all the boys to go throw or, you know just things like that to get other kids involved.
TK: He doesn’t like to lose. So he’ll work extremely hard in practice. He’ll get after his teammates a little bit and you know start jawing at his teammates a little bit in practice, of course it goes back and forth but so that’s definitely something that kind of makes him tick
WG: And one thing that he’s good at for a teenager is being able to conversations with adults. Knowing the difference between when he’s with his boys and the type of verbiage they use as opposed to sitting down with an adult who might be a business owner in town or something. He’s good at making a transition and acting like an adult.”
NK: Alright, those guys certainly had plenty of nice things to say about you what have coaches like them meant for you during your high school career?
SL: Just the way like they push you they know what every athlete can do in the way they fit you into their systems and they want the best for you like you want the best for them.
NK: Now Pine Bluffs is big sports town, there’s no question about that, how did you get involved in sports? I’m sure there’s a story there.
SL: Basically when we started coming to basketball games and football games there was some pretty pretty cool guys going in at that time, like Hunter Thompson, Haize Fornstrom, I grew up watching them and they were kind of like, that was cool for me because that was that was the thing to do back then, was go watch Hunter and Haize.
NK: One thing people might not know about you is that you grew up working on a farm, from the time you were 13 and up you working on your dad’s farm, how do you feel like that shaped you?
SL: Oh its just like taught me basic responsibility, how to treat things, how to be nice to your coworkers thing think like that.
NK: What are you most proud of so far? You know you’re a junior, you still have your senior year left but what are you most proud of, because you have a lot of good things going for you, over 2,200 passing yards, number one in the the state in football, number one in the state in completion percentage, number one in the state in passing touchdowns, number two in points per game in basketball, number in rebounds per game in basketball, but what are proud of the most?
SL: I think I’m proud of the most like the way the kids come up and talk to me, they’re like, ‘oh Stu’ like I they want to just have a moment with you like the way Hunter and Haize were to me like just continuing the legacy in Pine Bluffs.
NK: You know something that really stood out to me, that one of your coaches said was that you know how to separate when you’re talking to adult versus when you’re talking to one of your friends what do you think has brought on that maturity at this point in your career and life?
SL: I think just like working on the farm that’s another thing that has helped me there is because like I know when I’m talking to my dad and I’m talking to the coworkers and I’m talking my brother like there’s three different levels of maturity there.
NK: What are some of your favorite memories so far, there’s obviously a pretty big one that happened in Casper in March.
SL: Yeah well the state championship was definitely a good memory but one of my favorite memories is going to football camp every year and we just walk around the whole hallway because we have our own little, we bring so many boys we have our own level, and we just get a like a beat going on the big speaker and all those Pine Bluffs boys are trying to do some freehand rapping and it’s just terrible but it’s the best experience ever because Coach Gray gets mad, he’s laying on the coach trying to sleep and we’re just blasting some free freehand rap.
NK: Are you telling me that Pine Bluffs kids can’t rap?
SL: No, not particularly. (laughing)
NK: Okay let’s talk about those teammates, what have they meant to you during your three years and how excited are you to be with them for another year?
SL: It’s gonna be pretty surreal to have just one more year with them like I wanna keep playing with them the way that they’ve made things fun for me and just some memories like that we’ve made has been so much fun.
NK: Now going into senior year, what are some of your goals, what do you hope accomplish first in high school and then we’ll talk after.
SL: My goal for high school I think it’s just continue to have the legacy in Pine Bluffs, have one more fun season with the boys and just cap it off.
NK: I’m sure you want to win state right? I mean don’t kid me now, you want to win state in football don’t you?
SL: Yeah, a state championship in football would be pretty cool but that’s like the end goal I think.
NK: Okay but now let’s talk after high school, because you do have a big decision to make afterwards. No pressure but there is potentially playing in college or working afterwards what would you like to do?
SL: I wanna go just get a degree in probably business somewhere that can cover a whole wide area of things and just go have fun in college, meet a bunch of new people. I don’t know what I want to do sports-wise but that’ll take care of itself eventually.
NK: So now as we look ahead, I just want to say thank you so much for coming in. This is yours, you are a prep athlete of the year.
SL: Thank you.
NK: Thanks so much, it’s been so cover you over the last couple years and I can’t wait to continue to see what you in your senior year.
SL: Yeah, thank you, thank you.
NK: Of course this is Stu Lerwick, a 2022 Wyoming News Now Prep Athlete of the Year.
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