BAYFIELD – Carl Heide was the steady rock the Bayfield High School boys sports teams needed during the 2017-18 school year. Any time the Wolverines faced potential adversity, he was there to carry the necessary load.
Heide, a senior at BHS, finished as the football team’s leading rusher in 2017 en route to the Class 2A state championship. A year earlier, Heide was fifth on the team in rushing. He also starred in his role off the bench of the Class 3A state champion basketball team, and he carried the baton as the dominant force of the boys Class 3A state track and field state championship team to help the Wolverines to the rare three-sport sweep of state titles.
For all of his accomplishments, Heide earned The Durango Herald’s Boys Breakthrough Athlete of the Year award.
“It was an absolutely amazing year,” said Heide, son of Candy and Gary Heide. “It’s a blessing to come out here and compete with your brothers and best friends. We have a school full of amazing athletes.”
Heide was most dominant in track and field, as he won the Class 3A state titles in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles events. He set the Class 3A state meet record during preliminaries with a time of 38.36 seconds, and he won the title in 38.69 seconds. Before the state meet, he set the Class 3A state hurdles record in the 300 with a time of 38.07 seconds. His winning time in the 110 hurdles was 14.65 seconds. Heide also helped the 4x100 relay team to a third-place finish and the 4x400 team to a ninth-place result, which helped the team secure the championship.
As a junior, Heide placed second in Class 3A in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 110 hurdles.
“I knew my junior year that I could have won it, but I didn’t have my best races,” he said. “It was more motivation coming into this year, and everyone was returning in hurdles so the competition was going to be even tougher.”
As a junior, Heide rushed for 224 yards and two touchdowns on a football team that reached the state semifinals. His senior year, with the previous season’s leading rusher, David Hawkins, sidelined for a good chunk of the season with an injury and the second-leading rusher from 2016, Keyon Prior, also battling turf toe, Heide carried the load. He rushed for a team-high 920 yards on 106 carries. He scored 10 rushing touchdowns and had four 100-yard games. He added 23 receptions, second most on the team, for 476 yards and another four touchdowns. Defensively, he was a shutdown cornerback on the state’s toughest defense. He had 36 tackled and five interceptions.
“What Carl meant to me as a coach was just being that person I could rely on play after play, practice after practice,” said his father Gary Heide, the head coach of Bayfield’s football and track and field teams. “I believe his speed through four years continually improved, and that’s from the start of football to the playoffs and through each week of track.”
Heide wasn’t a statistical force in basketball. He averaged 3.3 points and two rebounds per game. But, in every big game, head coach Jeff Lehnus would rave about Heide’s ability to give the team meaningful contributions, particularly in the third quarter.
“You cannot have a level of success like we did if you don’t have guys on the bench willing to play a role,” Lehnus said. “Everyone wants major minutes, and Carl is a competitor as much as anyone else. But he accepted his role, contributed positiveness, humbleness and surprised people with athleticism on the court with some of the rebounds he would get. He’s such a supportive young man, and you need guys like that. We were fortunate to have him.”
Heide said his greatest memories will be getting the chance to play for his father and alongside all of his teammates, including his twin brother, Dawson, who battled injuries the first three years of his high school career but was able to contribute in big ways his senior season.
“It was great to have Dawson with me by my side,” he said. “We always pushed each other, and he proved to everyone this year that he’s an athlete. And to have my dad with us in track and football, it was just awesome. Twenty years from now when I’m looking back at high school, to have my dad as a coach along with all these great teammates, it’s a season to remember the rest of my life.”
Heide will run track and field at Colorado Mesa University and is looking forward to mastering a new event, the 400 hurdles. A new challenge, and an opportunity to breakthrough on the next stage.
Editor’s note: The Durango Herald selected high school sports players of the year based on a unanimous decision between sports editor John Livingston and sports writer Karl Schneider. Increased consideration was given to multi-sport athletes who showed leadership in their firstname.lastname@example.org