SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s Kayla Woodward was named Mountain West Conference Preseason Player of the Year, the school announced today.
But the surprise came as the Cowgirls were picked to finish second in the preseason MWC poll, receiving four first-place votes. FSU was picked to top the conference as they took 17 first-place votes, while San Diego State, 3rd, and UNLV, 5th, had two apiece.
“Definitely surprised with our preseason selection,” said head coach Joe Legerski in a release from UW Athletics. “I’m excited about the year but understand that this is a team that will develop over time. We lost three starters that accumulated approximately half of our points and rebounds, so someone will have to step up to fill major roles to meet our team expectations.
Wyoming lost all-conference selections Chaundra Sewell and Ashley Sickles to graduation last year, and will work with a relatively inexperienced squad after losing 2012-13 starting point guard Alison Gorrell and junior forward Aubrey Boehme, who transferred after the season.
Legerski was less surprised by Woodward’s selection as she enters her junior year.
“Kayla has had an impact on this program over the past two seasons,” Legerski continued. “She is very deserving for both honors being named Preseason Player of the Year and to the Preseason All-Conference Team.”
A 2011 graduate of Sheridan High School, Woodward was named to the 2013 MW All-Tournament Team, and is the top returning scorer in the league. She averaged 14.1 points per game last season. Colorado State senior Sam Martin, FSU senior Taylor Thompson, SDSU junior Erimma Amarikwa, and San Jose State junior Ta’Rea Cunnigan join her on the preseason 2013-14 All-MWC squad.
Wyoming opens its exhibition season against Chadron State Friday, Nov. 1 in the Arena Auditorium in Laramie. They’ll play Montana State-Northern in Sheridan at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome.
2013-14 MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
Rk. Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. Fresno State (17) 238
2. Wyoming (4) 212
3. San Diego State (2) 196
4. New Mexico 185
5. UNLV (2) 170
6. Utah State 136
7. Colorado State 130
8. Boise State 96
9. San José State 76
10. Nevada 62
11. Air Force 28
Note: Coaches do not vote on their own teams