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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Vista Ridge senior wins The Denver Post Gold Helmet Award

Brayden Dorman graduated from Vista Ridge High School in December and headed off to play quarterback for the University of Arizona football team. On his way, he picked up the prestigious Denver Post Gold Helmet Award to add to his list of achievements.Dormanís high school football performance stats are notable: 116 passing touchdowns and 10,285 total passing yards. As a senior, he was rated best in the state and won the Gazetteís Football Peak Performer of the Year.Winning the award is not just about being a good football player, Dorman said. Itís also about academic achievement and community involvement.Dorman excels at both.He earned a 4.0 grade point average throughout his high school career and participated in community service activities. Dorman said some of his community service activities were organized by his football coach, Mike Vrana. He said they picked up trash at school and visited some of the elementary schools and middle schools to spend time with the younger students.ìMaybe it’s clichÈ to say heís a really good football player but heís a better person. Itís true,î Vrana said. ìYou wonít find anyone who will say anything bad about him. Heís great in the classroom, at the school and on the field. Heís the reason I stayed in coaching for 30-plus years; you donít get kids like that.îDorman said it is an honor to receive The Denver Post Gold Helmet Award. ìItís a statewide honor with a rich history of past winners,î he said. ìItís more sentimental because of all the big-name players that have come out of Colorado.îHe joins the ranks of some notable players awarded the trophy since its inception in 1951: San Francisco 49erís running back, Christian McCaffrey, who was born and raised in Colorado, won the award in 2013.Football attracted Dorman at an early age. His mother, Colleen Dorman, said he and his father would toss the football back and forth while waiting for the school bus when he was 5 years old. ìThen he would ask for longer times. The sessions got to the point where they would watch videos on how to throw the ball, and then they would practice,î she said. ìHe did this throughout his elementary school years.î Dorman said these times with his dad spiked his interest in football. ìI wanted to be part of it more and more,î he said.At age 6, Dorman joined a Pop Warner Little Scholars football league and played competitively up until high school.Dormanís passion for the game grew and the more he trained, the more he wanted to train. He worked with a quarterback coach, Tim Jenkins, every Sunday from the age of about 9 through high school.When it came to selecting a college, Dorman fielded numerous offers from across the country, and selected the University of Arizona mainly for the coaching staff and the players. Coach Jedd Fisch had worked in the NFL for more than 13 years.Beyond college and earning his degree in business, Dorman said he would like to play for the NFL. Dorman said the people most impactful in his success have been his parents, Coach Vrana and his VRHS teammates. He said the support of his parents through the years has been significant, as well as ìhaving a guy like Coach V support me and push me through practices and games.îIn mid-January, Dorman played in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii. The NFL sponsors the game and brings in top high school players around the country to train together for a week, culminating in the bowl game.Dormanís parents and sister live in the Black Forest area.

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