10 CU athletes to keep an eye on in 2008
This past year, Colorado sports fans witnessed incredible talent from several athletes.
Some were just beginning to make their names known, and others added to their already long list of accomplishments. Coaches and fans will look to these athletes next year to lead their teams into successful seasons. Their hard work and natural talent make them stand out above the rest.
The list below is of 10 such players you need to know for the upcoming sports seasons:
10. Dominique Pytlewski: The rising junior from Vancouver has made a name for herself on the women’s golf team over the past two years. Coming into the program after competing for the 2006 Canadian Junior National Team, Pytlewski earned a top 10 and top 20 finish her freshman year. This year, head golf coach Anne Kelly said Pytlewski has become the top player on the golf team. Overall, Pytlewski has earned three top five finishes and five top 10 finishes.
9. Nate Solder: Switching from tight end to offensive tackle may be anything but easy, but Solder is expected to compete at a high level at his new position. After playing in every game last season, the sophomore adds athleticism and depth to a young offensive line. Only time will tell if Solder’s new position will make him one of the standout players on the football team.
8. Lauren Schaefer: Schaefer enters the 2008 season as a senior middle blocker for the volleyball team. After scoring a combined 272 points for the Buffs last season, she was awarded an All Big 12 Honorable Mention. After finishing the 2007 season with a disappointing 6-22 record, the Buffs will look to Schaefer to help get them back on track in 2008.
7. Sara Vaughn: This talented senior has been setting records and ranking high on the scoreboards in track. In 2007, she took third for NCAA Midwest Region in the 1,500 meter race and third again in the 1,500 meter for the Big 12.
6. Amber Sutherland: In the past, this redshirt senior has brought a competitive attitude to the volleyball court, and is expected to do so in the upcoming season. Sutherland is ranked No. 15 on CU’s all-time career kills chart and 98 kills away from reaching 1,000-kill milestone.
5. Brittany Spears: Finishing off her freshman season with high marks, Spears will be a force on the basketball court next season. In her freshman year alone, she managed to compile 472 points for the Buffs. After scoring the second highest points total behind senior Jackie McFarland, Spears looks to be the scoring leader for next season.
4. Cory Higgins: Though the basketball team did not have a standout 2007 season, Higgins was anything but under the radar. Higgins finished his freshman season as the third highest scorer on the team with 266 points. With Richard Roby and Marcus Hall both graduating, fans can expect to see Higgins take on more of a leadership role for the Buffs next season.
3. Casey Crawford: Last season, Crawford transferred from Wake Forest to be a part of the Buffs basketball program. Under NCAA transfer rules, Crawford was not eligible to compete during the 2007-2008 season. The 6-foot-9-inch forward has the ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, making him the ideal player for head coach Jeff Bzdelik’s new system. Crawford will be one to watch out for when he takes to the court in 2008.
2. Nikki Marshall: This sophomore has added some major credentials to her soccer resume. After finishing her freshman season at CU with awards such as the 2006-2007 Colorado Freshman of the Year and the 2006-2007 Colorado Athlete of the Year, Marshall has continued to be a dominating force on the soccer field. During the 2007 season, Marshall scored nine of the Buffs’ 26 goals. She is also currently competing on the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, a team that recently won the Four Nations Tournament in La Serena, Chile. With her national team experience, Marshall can be expected to bring some big plays to CU soccer in the upcoming season.
1. Darrell Scott: Without ever having played a down for the Buffs, Scott makes takes the top spot on this list as the No. 1 CU athlete to know for the 2008 sports season. As the nation’s top running back recruit, Rivals.com ranked him sixth on their list of the Top 100 college football prospects. Rushing for 1,697 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior in high school, Scott has already become a fan favorite at CU.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Rachael Fischer at