Guernsey Gazette | GSHS senior picked to play in 2022 6-Man All-Star Shootout

GUERNSEY – When this “gentle giant” walks into a room, he inspires respect and admiration from his fans and peers who usually enter into the chant, calling him by his affectionate nickname, “ROLO”.

When Guernsey-Sunrise senior Rawland Isabell received the phone call from this year’s All-Star Football shootout head coach, Snake River’s Jack Cobb, informing him of his selection to the squad of Wyoming stars, he was excited.

“When I got the call I thought that was awesome,” Isabell said with a grin from ear to ear. “It’s just one more opportunity where I can show up for one more game of football, I guess. I’m going to make the most of it.”

Isabell dreams of continuing to play college football, although he hasn’t made a choice about that future yet. His immediate plans are to continue in the weight room and maybe the next call he gets will be from his college football coach.

He was born in Wheatland, but the day after his birth he came to Guernsey where he lived all his life.

“I’ve lived here all my life,” he says. “I feel like I really served my purpose here as a student and athlete playing every sport possible. This all-star match is just the latest shebang to come out.

Extracurricular activities have been on Isabell’s plate since he was young. He has been a student council member, honorary student, SkillsUSA, and numerous community activities such as the restoration of the VFW building in Guernsey. His work ethic is impeccable and he has the ability to see a need and meet it. Whether it’s dismantling and stacking chairs for an assembly in the gymnasium or escorting the youngsters after school.

For his size in Guernsey, he turns heads. And hearts. He is known as a big, soft-spoken kid with a big heart who is always ready to lend a hand and help someone in need.

One of his volunteer jobs came about when a parent came to him out of the blue and asked if he would be willing to walk his children home from school every day and keep them safe. She told him it was because she looked up to him and liked his character and integrity. He was honored to do so, and while HE won’t tell the story, his grandmother, Dawndrea Daly, who is the GSHS Food Services Coordinator, will do more than her part in telling the stories of this little one. -son of whom she is very proud.

Daly, food services coordinator at Guernsey-Sunrise High School, was honored by Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon and received the RISE award on June 9 at a special luncheon and presentation. Isabell is raised by Daly and her husband Darrell Daly.

“Oh man, my mentor growing up was my grandfather,” Isabell said with a smile. “He taught me how to be a good young man, and now that I’m getting older and moving forward in life, starting this new chapter, I have to remember that he told me to just go up and grow and do the best I can.”

A three-sport athlete, Isabell said all other sports keep him fit for football. He just finished his career on the basketball court as the Vikings lost a game and three points for the second straight year. Isabell had been a starter for three years on the court and led the team in rebounds and often hit double-doubles for his shooting and board work.

Regarding the All-Star Game, Isabell said, “I know there are a lot of good kids on the Wyoming side and if we focus, I don’t see any reason why we would lose. We’re all from Wyoming and I think that’s enough of a bond for us to get back on our feet before we go out there and beat Nebraska.

Although he never officially met any of his future teammates, he said with a smile, “I played with a lot of them.”

“I would like to play in attack, but as long as I have time on the pitch, it doesn’t really matter in attack or defense,” Isabell said. “I can do both.”

Isabell, who is a wide-bodied natural tight end with an aggressive blocking history and soft hands that grab anything near him, hopes to line up at that position. It’s no secret that he looks up to his NFL hero Rob Gronkowski and reminds many people of “Gronk” on the court.

“Rawland Isabell… ‘Rolo’ has been a great leader for us this year,” said Guernsey-Sunrise head football coach Curtis Cook. “He led us in receiving yards with 382 and touchdowns with 7. On the ground, he had 52 rushing yards and a touchdown. Defensively Rolo made 40 tackles and was a leader for our defense, we will miss him next season.

After honoring All-Conference athletes last fall, Cook presented what he called the most prestigious of all the awards presented at the fall banquet. Of course it went to Isabell.

“It wasn’t for the talent or to be the best stat leader,” Cook said. “It’s for character. It’s called the Brandon Burlsworth Award.

According to the Indianapolis Colts website, colts.com, “Brandon Burlsworth went from freshman year to an All-American at Arkansas before being the Colts’ third-round pick in 1999. Eleven days after he was the 63rd pick in the draft, Burlsworth perished in a tragic car accident.The extra who became an All-American, a person who answered “Yes sir” or “No sir” to every question, decided to bypass a ringing ceremony honoring the school’s SEC Western Division title, he wanted to go home, have dinner with his mother, Barbara, and attend a Wednesday night church service.

Burlsworth was killed 15 miles from his home on a road he had driven for years when his car drifted into the oncoming lane. Two collisions followed, and the life of a wonderful human with vast talents was over.

The prize for that night was announced by Cook and Isabell was the recipient as Cook choked up saying Isabell will be missed. Isabell played four years for the kitchen early in his career, mostly on the O line and D line. kickoffs, performed the kicking duties while playing tight end and wide receiver that he not only found his niche, but excelled in that position.

According to Scott Reed, last year’s assistant football coach at Farson-Eden, “I don’t know exactly how the All-Star Game started. Barry Swisher from Lusk is our contact and sets it up every year. It was set to rotate each year the Nebraska State Champion hosted the game and the following year the Wyoming State Champion hosted. The first game was played in 2012 in Arthur, Nebraska. He toured as I mentioned for 7 years.

“Then Chadron State wanted to host it. They were trying to get him to a bigger location and centrally locate him because a lot of Nebraska kids were coming from eastern Nebraska and the Wyoming team was moving to eastern Nebraska. I coached in the game the first year at Chadron. Great place and they did a great job hosting it. Then two years ago, due to COVID-19, Chadron State couldn’t host it, so they moved the game to Harrison Nebraska. I don’t know yet how COVID-19 will affect the game this year because things can change so quickly. Hopefully things continue to improve and we can have a normal All-Star experience for these kids.

Head Coach Jack Cobb, Class 1A-6 Man State Champion, Little Snake River, will head up coaching duties for Wyoming. The coaching staff selected 18 players from nine of the state’s six-player programs. The game will be played on June 3 at Chadron State College in Nebraska.

Wyoming list:

Brac Walker – Burlington

Max Claar-Dubois

Michael Anderson – Camp

Caysen Barkhurst – Camp

Koye Gilbert – Camp

Cree Jones – Farson Eden

Trevor Jones – Farson Eden

Rawland Isabell – Guernsey-Sunrise

Bryce Ackerman-Hulett

Tyler Kromarek – Hulett

Wyatt Adams – Little Snake River

Jerick Martinez – Little Snake River

Zander Risner – Little Snake River

Dace Bennett–Meeteetse

Jonathon Blessing – Meeteetse

Kalvin Erickson – Meeteetse

Mickle Ogden–Meeteetse

Jacob Hutchings – Midwest

Along with Cobb on the Wyoming staff are Sam Weeldreyer of Little Snake River, Zack Scott of HEM and Zeb Hagen of Meeteetse.

Previous games played:

2012 Arthur, NE.

WYO-54 NE-52

2013 Dubois, Wy.

WYO-40 NE-26

2014 Bladen, NE.

WYO-68 NE-26

2015 Guernsey, WY.

NE-34 WYO-8

2016 Albion, NE.

NE-59 WYO-32

2017 Kaycee, WY.

NE-58 WYO-38

2018 Albion, NE.

WYO-16 NE-14

2019 Chadron State University

WYO-52 NE-50

2020 Harrison, NE.

NE-52 WYO-25

2021 Chadron State University

NE-48 WYO 14

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