Prep Athlete of the Year: Garet Schlabs, East

Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 11:55 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The list of accolades that T-Birds football and basketball star Garet Schlabs amassed during his senior year is staggering.

To start, he led the East basketball team to their first state championship in 17 years, and played his way into earning both 4A Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. During the football season he etched his name into the record books; Schlabs became the school’s all-time leader with 40 receiving touchdowns and 2,591 yards, while also earning a first team All-State selection on each side of the ball. His play in the secondary earned him the defensive nod, and he was unanimously voted as a first team wideout.

The honors kept rolling in over the summer as well. His performance in the Shrine Bowl netted him Offensive Player of the Game, plus he was named a finalist for the Milward Simpson Award-- recognizing the most outstanding athletes in the state.

Over the course of the 2022-23 school year, Schlabs earned Prep Athlete of the Week three times: Sept. 5, 2022, March 13, 2023, and June 12, 2023. He also signed to continue his football career at Chadron State.

Below is a transcript of Alex Eisman’s interview with Garet and presentation of the Prep Athlete of the Year plaque.

AE: I’m here with our boys 2023 Prep Athlete of the Year Garet Schlabs, Garet, how are you doing man?

GS: I’m doing good how are you?

AE: Pretty good. Thank you for coming, and to get started it’s been a year of a lot of winning, a lot of awards. Can you just kind of summarize what this senior year has been like for you?

GS: Yeah, it’s just pretty surreal. It was pretty awesome to rack up all of those awards, but it really just starts with the team and the school first. So it’s all about them first, and then the individual accolades will come as you go, you know? So pretty awesome just to be working at that since I was really little. You know elementary, playing with the same guys in football and basketball, and so being able to work all the way up to a great senior year that I had is pretty awesome and surreal.

AE: And going off that, you know it obviously takes a great support system, and great coaches, family, teammates. Can you talk about how they have had an impact on you this year, and also just the work that you yourself have put in?

GS: Yeah for sure. You know I love all those guys. Like I just said, I’ve been playing with them since we were really little. On travel teams, playing against them a little bit as well, and so I’ve just been really close with them. Growing up with some of them, so it’s just been really awesome to kind of see them grow with me as well. And so kind of see it all put together for a great senior year in all sports really.

AE: So now I want to get into the football season specifically. You became the East receiving king. If I told you that when you were coming in as a freshman what would you have said?

GS: I would’ve been-- you know that’s one of my goals coming forward-- I would’ve been confident and been like ‘you know, that’s where I want to be.’ But yeah, pretty crazy and surreal. And like you just said, I had a really good supporting cast around me to get me to that point as well. So that’s kind of what it’s all about right there.

AE: And shifting to the basketball season now, your junior year you fell short in the title game. This year you were finally able to get in there and win it. What was that feeling like for you?

GS: Yeah that was pretty sweet just to get a little revenge. It was a huge motivator going throughout. After our junior year we had pretty much the same team back, and so just to finish that out. You know we haven’t won it since-- it’s our third time in school history and so that was pretty awesome as well. Just to win it with that group of guys and great coaches as well was pretty awesome.

AE: An All-State and 4A Player of the Year, that’s got to be pretty cool too right?

GS: Yeah, that was pretty sweet. Just a little cherry on top for sure, yeah.

AE: And so when you think about your growth as an athlete and a person at East, what comes to mind for you?

GS: Really just all of the relationships I’ve built. Even with just teachers, you know. Teachers, coaches, teammates, students, you know that’s what it’s really all about right there. Building those relationships, lifelong, that I can look back on and really cherish right there. So that’s what it’s all been about for me is really just working hard, and all those accolades will come and it’s all about the team and just working hard first.

AE: Chadron State football coming up now, what are you looking forward to the most with starting your athletics career in college?

GS: Yeah, it’s the same mindset. Just keep working hard, and just experience new things. College is a different level. The game speed, just being on your own as well. It’s just a whole different ballgame, and so getting used to that stuff is really just what I’m looking forward to. But it’s just the same mindset as what I had in high school. It’s just working hard, and everything else will kind of pay off.

AE: The last thing I got for you is you’ve been tied to East for so long, what do you hope-- what kind of legacy do you hope to leave at East?

GS: Really I just hope it’s all about you know those little kids coming up. It’s like we’re working those team camps in the summer, just little guys like that looking up to me. You know, talking to kids after games. I just hope they can look up to me as a leader and someone who they want to be like when they’re finally in that East jersey. So that’s really the legacy I want to leave is just on the little kids in the future. Future T-Birds.

AE: Now without further ado we have the Athlete of the Year plaque. Here you go man.

GS: That’s awesome. I appreciate it. That’s awesome, thank you.

AE: Yeah, thank you for joining us as always. Congrats on an awesome season and looking forward to seeing what you do next year.

GS: Thank you, I appreciate it.