#RAW - Rebel Athlete of the Week

Click to read about each athlete.

It is with pleasure that I nominate Keller MacLachlan for Rebel Athlete of the Week. Keller is finishing his fourth year as a varsity lacrosse player and is currently serving his second season as a captain for the Boys’ Lacrosse team, where he helps to anchor our solid defense. He is an exceptional leader and role model for the entire team, especially for the younger boys. Not only is he an talented athlete he is also very dedicated to giving back to the community. As a sophomore he created and was the founding member of an extracurricular club appropriately named South Men of Character (S.M.O.C). Every year since, Keller has annually organized the S.M.O.C. members to volunteer at fundraising carnivals at many of our local feeder elementary schools along with sponsoring a booth at our annual Trick or Treat Street. Keller also arranges for this very same group of young men to volunteer every Thursday at Ellis Elementary, packing bags of food for every student enrolled at that school. Not only is Keller an impressive athlete and volunteer he also excels academically. He maintains a weighted 4.575 GPA, is currently ranked 6th in the class of 2017. Keller was recently rewarded for all his hard work by being named a recipient of the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship (awarded to only 40 students in CO every year). He will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder next fall. I struggle to think of an individual with more integrity, personality, work ethic or who is as respected and well-liked by his teammates, peers, teachers, coaches and administrators alike as Mr. Keller MacLachlan. Congratulations and thank you Keller!  Jason Brookes – Head Boys Lacrosse Coach

Willow Purvis! Willow has had a busy spring as she represents South on both the varsity Girls Tennis and Girls Soccer teams. In Girls Tennis… Last week, Willow earned 2nd place in the 1st singles flight of the Rebel Invite. But, it wasn’t just her tennis performance that was admirable. At the tournament, Willow was the talk of event. All of the coaches were admiring Willow for her sportsmanship and class on the court in addition to her beautiful game. In every match, Willow remained calm and confident as she executed on her strong serve and ground-stroke battles. Willow’s strong play and leadership have helped lead our team to an undefeated league record so far! In Girls Soccer…Willow has been a versatile starter playing different positions in the field for our highly ranked and currently DPL league leading Rebels. Earlier in the season when our starting keeper went down with an injury, Willow stepped in and did an amazing job in goal! She is a fantastic team player and valued member of the program and our success. Willow also boasts a 3.8 GPA and is an Honor-Athlete.

Congrats to Willow for her awesome representation for Denver South! Coaches – Laura Leonard Girls Tennis and Kenny Wood Girls Soccer

Sabrina is a Junior on the Girls Tennis team and also plays volleyball.  She has helped lead the team to a great start to the season.  Sabrina is our Rebel Athlete of the Week for her tenacity, calm demeanor, fierce mental game and for being a student of the game. During the Eaglecrest tournament, Sabrina applied what she learned from every point to beat strong players and play some of her strongest tennis. She is also holding serve in the classroom as she boasts a 4.2 GPA overall.  Laura Leonard – Head Girls Tennis Coach

Danielle Ekstrand, Pippi Thompson, Julia Doak, and Emma Obrien are Rebel Athletes of the Week. Each athlete is an integral part of our Swim and Dive program. This season, they swam together on the 200 Medley relay. From the beginning of the season, they were determined to qualify for State. Their hard work definitely paid off- at the Championship League Meet their relay got 3rd overall and qualified for State by .01!


They are not just talented athletes, but are also leaders in our program. One of their goals this season was to create more team unity by organizing social events outside of the pool. Each of the girls contributed to making that goal a reality. Thanks to their hard work, our team is closer than it has ever been. In practice, the girls motivate their teammates by encouraging them to get through tough work outs. At meets, they are always cheering and supporting each other. Each athlete is not only committed to improving individually, but they are also committed to expanding and improving the program. I am truly fortunate to be their coach. – Jordan Allen, Head Girl’s Swim Coach

Yanmin “Frank” Zhao is a junior 182 pounder on the wrestling team. After placing 6th at Regionals last year, he has really stepped up his effort this season. He came into this season much more focused and determined to improve upon his finish from last year and reach his goal of qualifying for states. In doing so, he has slowly become one of the harder workers in the practice room and has experienced a lot of newfound success on the mat. This past weekend, he won his first career tournament at JFK, and did so in dramatic fashion. Down 3-0 with less than 10 seconds left, he hit a 5 point headlock that stunned the crowd and won him the championship. This display of perseverance is a great example of how Frank has embodied our team motto of “Relentless” throughout the season. We look forward to Frank’s continued growth as a wrestler and a leader, and his continued success as he continues to work “Relentlessly” towards his goal of going to states. Blade Speicher – Head Wrestling Coach

Halei Carrino is starting her third season as a Unified Basketball Player at South. She has played Unified Soccer, Football and will try Floor Hockey this spring! Halei has also been highlighted on the DPS website for her participation in Unified Cheer. With the help of her favorite partner Freddy, she has learned how to lead warm ups in class. Her favorite warm up drill is high knees! Halei has also progressed from making baskets with volleyballs to making 10 baskets with a basketball! Unified has helped Halei make great friends at South High School!

Freddy Gayosso is in his third semester of Unified Sports at Denver South High School. He applied to be in Unified after seeing it on the Rebel Report.
He is one of the kindest students I have had ever had the honor to teach. He suggested Secret Santa this year and helped organize his peers to get gifts for the students. Freddy has participated in all Unified events and was able to help Halei play basketball at Pepsi Center last spring. Freddy has also played 2 seasons of Varsity Soccer at South High School. He uses his soccer knowledge to help students in class progress in their soccer skills!
“Being in Unified has changed my life.” ~Freddy

Katie Ryan – Unified Lead Coach / Teacher

This week’s Rebel Athlete of the Week is Connor Nelson a senior on the boys basketball team! Connor is a 4 year member of the boys basketball program and has grown each year, developing in to one of the top players in DPS and the State. He currently leads the team in a number of statistical categories including points, rebounds and assists per game. He has also developed into a leader in our program, taking more responsibilities each year. Our younger players look up to Connor and he sets a positive example for them both on and off the court. Connor has also excelled in the classroom earning a 4.4 GPA last semester and has a 3.9 GPA overall. Coach Fletcher – Head Boys Basketball Coach

Our final Rebel Athlete of the Week for 2016 is Lindsay Hammar a sophomore on the Girls Swim and Dive team! This is Lindsey’s second year diving at Denver South. She is a dedicated athlete- last year she placed 7th at 4A state, and she is emerging as a leader on the team. This season she was nominated “dive captain” by her peers- we have 5 divers on the team, which is more than we have ever had in the past.

On Saturday, Lindsey participated in Coaches Invitational. The top 4A and 5A schools in the state participated in this meet. Lindsey got 12th overall out of more than 50 divers. She also qualified for state! Lindsey is only a sophomore, but has set clear goals for herself and for the swim and dive program. She wants to continue recruiting divers and expanding the dive program, and continue working on her leadership skills as a member of SALT. She would also like to place in the top ten at 5A state this season. Jordan Allen – Girls Swim and Dive Coach