Out in Left Field


August 18, 2017

Photo by Ed Navarro Niwot High grad Maddie Barkow is a freshman soccer player for UNC.


Alex Oelsner (Niwot) is a freshman slotback at Northwestern this fall. Oelsner, who played tight end and linebacker primarily in high school, was second team All-State as a senior.

Trey Fleming (Silver Creek) is a senior wide receiver for Black Hills State this fall. Fleming caught 18 passes last year for 289 yards and one touchdown. He has also served as a kicker for Black Hills State, making six of 11 attempts last year, including one from 43 yards out.

Former long-time Niwot High coach Paul “Tiny” Koehler is once again coaching running backs at Fort Lewis College. Koehler also coached defensive line at UNC in between coaching stints at Niwot, and also coached at Estes Park after retiring from NHS.

Nate Merriman (Niwot) returns as a senior wide receiver at Augustana College. Merriman caught 23 passes last year for 304 yards while playing in all 11 games, including three as a starter.

Mitch Webster (Silver Creek) is a sophomore linebacker for Augustana this season. Webster saw action in two games as a redshirt freshman last year, recording four tackles, including a sack.

Aaron Nicoll (Niwot) is a sophomore defensive back for Cornell College in Iowa. As a freshman, Nicoll punted twice, averaging 36.5 yards per kick. He also handled kickoff duties three times, averaging 52.3 yards per kick.

Mo Bandi (Niwot) and Bryan Meek (Niwot) are on the University of Colorado roster this fall. Bandi, a sophomore walk-on, is listed as an offensive lineman, while Meek, a senior walk-on, is listed as a linebacker. Both are in their second seasons with the Buffs, and each dressed for one game last year, but have yet to see game action.


Maddie Barkow (Niwot) is a freshman on the University of Northern Colorado soccer team this fall. Barkow, who is listed as a midfielder/forward, played most of the game during an exhibition match against the University of Denver. UNC is picked to finish fifth in the conference.

Maria Fayeulle (Niwot) is a senior forward at Northwestern this fall. Fayeulle had one corner kick in the final exhibition match against Notre Dame last week but did not score. She played in 19 games last season, including one start, and was tied for second on the squad with three assists.

Ben Braman (Niwot) is back for his final season with St. Mary’s (CA) as a redshirt senior after missing a year due to injury as a sophomore. Braman’s brother Alex completed his eligibility at St. Mary’s last year. Ben Braman is a defender who started nine games last season, earning second-team All-West Coast Conference honors.

Mark Ramirez-Tapia (Niwot) is a sophomore forward for Johnson-Wales University this fall. Ramirez-Tapia played in 19 games last fall, starting four. He had one goal and four assists last season.


Valarie Allman (Silver Creek) competed in the IAFF World Track & Field Championships in the discus, but did not advance to the finals. Allman notched a throw of 176-8 on her first attempt, but fouled on each subsequent throw. Allman will be a fifth-year senior at Stanford this fall. She took a redshirt year last season, and entered meets unattached, but will compete for the Cardinal this season. According to the school’s website, Allman had the 12th-longest throw in U.S. history last spring, at 212-3, but it did not count as a Stanford record because she was redshirting. She will finish the 2017 season by traveling to Taipei for the World University Games Aug. 23-28.


Sarah Falk (Niwot) is a freshman at Sacramento State this fall. Falk is listed as a middle blocker on the team’s website.

Mackenzie Fidelak, a senior at Niwot, has verbally committed to accept a volleyball scholarship to Stanford University. Fidelak has also been outstanding in track for the Cougars.


David Bote, son of former NHS coach Bob Bote, is hitting .266 for the Tennessee Smokies, the AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The Southern League is known as a pitcher’s league, as Bote’s average is the highest on the team and 23rd highest in the league. He was earlier named to the Southern League All-Star team, but the game was rained out. Bote has played second base and batted third in the lineup for most of the season, but has recently played right field as well. Bote’s 54 runs scored are the 11th highest in the league, as are his 50 RBI’s, and he is tied for ninth in the league in doubles with 23.


Jaila Johnson, a senior at Niwot, has committed to play at Western Nebraska Community College next year. Johnson has primarily played infield for the Cougars.


Jenna McCaffrey (Niwot) is running cross country this fall for the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks. McCaffrey is a freshman.

Courtney Smoljan (Niwot) is part of the cross country squad at Colorado School of Mines this fall. Smoljan is a freshman majoring in chemical engineering.

Claire Gillett (Niwot) is running cross country for Gonzaga University this fall. Gillett is one of nine freshmen on the squad.

Photo courtesy of Northwestern Athletic Department Niwot High grad Maria Fayeulle (11) in action for Northwestern against Notre Dame.


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