It pays to be good at football. Just ask Cody senior Nic Talich and Meeteetse senior Hadley Abarr who, after turning in two of the finest performances in their respective classes this season, have been named finalists for the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete award for the Wyoming chapter.
Talich and Abarr put together remarkable seasons, each playing major roles on teams that went to the state championship game last year. Talich’s Broncs won the 3A state title, while Abarr’s Longhorns fell to Farson-Eden in the 1A 6-man state final.
Both seniors were dominant on the defensive side of the ball, mixing it up on every defensive possession and coming up with big-time plays for their teams.
Talich was one of the top linebackers in 3A, leading the class by a wide margin in tackles with 128, and he intercepted four passes, sacked the quarterback twice and recovered a fumble.
“That’s an honor, just to be looked at for not only football but school, too,” Talich said. “It’s something that I’ve worked hard for and my coaches and teachers have helped me. I couldn’t have done it alone.”
Abarr was one of the best ends in 1A 6-man this season, racking up 151 tackles (21 for a loss, tied for the lead in 6-man), seven sacks (led 6-man), four fumble recoveries (tied for the lead in 6-man), as well as blocking two kicks. He was also credited with two safeties.
He follows in the footsteps of his brother Dalton, who was a finalist for the award in 2016. Abarr was told they were the only sibling duo to be finalists for the award.
“I feel really honored and made it worth giving it my all to football and school work for so long,” Abarr said.
The foundation says the awards are based 40% on football ability, 40% on academic achievement and 20% on extracurricular activities and citizenship. All nominees must be seniors and have a GPA of 3.0 or better. Finalists are awarded a $1,200 scholarship.
Talich and Abarr were two of 11 finalists in the state out of 96 nominees. They had to beat out some of their own teammates, including Keaton Stone of Cody and Tozai May and Dale McBride of Meeteetse, to get the honor.