RAWLINS — High school is often a strange blur of activities, friends, and waiting for the future to finally come, but for at least one Saratoga senior, it was a story of triumph.
Sam Schneider accrued a varsity letter in every sport he played in, in every semester of his high school career.
In football, he received all two All-Conference selections, and a Shrine Bowl invite, though his football accolades were cut short by Saratoga moving down to 1A six-man, which does not give postseason awards. He also received three All-Conference selections during his tenure on Saratoga’s basketball team.
Though he found success in every sports endeavor, his time with the track team witnessed a three-year reign as high jump state champion. Schneider also broke the school record for high jump by leaping to an astounding height of six feet, eight inches. He was also selected for All-State and All-Conference during these years, as he continued to dominate the track.
With such an outstanding resume, Schneider was named the male recipient of the Jake Clark Memorial Athlete of the Year, given annually to a senior from Carbon County for their outstanding high school athletic careers.
“When I was filling out my stuff for (the Jake Clark Award), I didn’t really think I was gonna get it,” Schneider said of the award. “It’s just a good way to close out my high school sports career.”
Though Schneider accumulated three varsity letters during his freshman season with the Panthers, he felt this time was nothing more than adjusting to the stiffer competition of high school.
“I was just trying to get the ropes,” said Schneider.
Though Schneider was still only a freshman and still adapting to the new level of competition, he felt disappointed with his sporadic time with varsity as well as failing to qualify for state track.
“That was really disappointing year, and it made me realize I was gonna need to change my approach,” said Schneider. “(I) just needed to up my level of competition.”
His freshman year behind him, he began to focus on improvement and fitness outside of the regular season. With a year-long workout plan in place, Schneider began taking on larger role on his team.
While his high school years continued to see success, it was his senior year that he enjoyed the most, while still being a bittersweet reminder of why he loved sports.
His final season of football that presented him with a strange challenge, as moving down from 1A meant that his senior campaign had no shot either the postseason or postseason awards.
“That was definitely a hard thing to come to terms with,” said Schneider.
While he and his teammates played for nothing but the love of the game, that fact help make his final athletic season one of his favorites.
“It made you realize why you were playing the sport,” said Schneider. “(We) were playing for just the love of being out there, and not the other stuff.”
Though Saratoga football would see no postseason awards doled out, Schneider did receive an invite to play in the Shrine Bowl in recognition of his athletic prowess.
His final season of track in Saratoga purple witnessed two more feats, as he broke the school record for high jump, at a height of six feet, eight inches, as well as winning the state championship for the high jump for the third year in a row.
“It’s been a big progression from not really doing anything my freshman year to winning a lot and just performing at a much higher level my senior year,” said Schneider.
He credited his coaches, friends, and teammates pushing him toward becoming the athlete that has consistently competed at the highest level of every sport.
Schneider’s next step is the University of Wyoming, where he’ll study civil engineering. Schneider has planned to meet with UW’s track coaches about the possibility of continuing his athletic career at the next level, but no definitive plans have been made at this time.