by Scott Boyle
The San Juan Bronco football team continued their magical undefeated football season with a hard fought 14-0 blanking of league rival Richfield on Friday night in Richfield.
Recording their first shutout of the year, the 2A leading Bronco defense was relentless in pursuit of the Wildcats.
Kohler Black led the defensive charge with 10 tackles, including four for loss. Nate Einerson (9 tackles), Jace Holliday and Oliver Parker (8 each), Jimmy Tate (7), and Stetler Shumway and Lewis Sharpe (6 each), ferociously denied the Wildcats any trips to the magical Endzone Land.
In fact, the defense scored one themselves when Einerson returned a Richfield fumble for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Black was also the workhorse on offense, lugging the pigskin 19 times for 128 yards. Jace Holliday pitched in with 46 yards on only five carries. The Broncos scored their only offensive touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Kyle Johnson to Terron Jack.
Speaking of both the Richfield and the Cedar games, Bronco Coach Monty Lee said, “Both were really good teams and it was great playing such quality programs. I will miss our contests with Richfield (Richfield moves to 3A next year). They bring an atmosphere that really helps prepare our kids for the mental game necessary to win.
“I don’t think people really understand the mental game and the importance it plays on winning. All it takes is one negative influence on young high school athletes to destroy an entire season and sometimes a program.
“When playing the types of teams we do, that not only makes you better physically but mentally helps in the long run. I really wish Richfield well in 3A.”
With the win, San Juan now has a 13-4 series edge over Richfield, avenging last year’s game, which the Wildcats won 27-21 for their first win over the Broncos since 1980.
Bucks are 1-4
The Monticello Bucks made the long trip to Enterprise to play the Wolves for the eighth time. After a 29-14 hard fought Enterprise win, the Wolves are 5-3 vs. Monticello, including two quarterfinals wins the past two seasons.
The Buckaroos, playing short handed with the loss of several players to injury and quitting, still played valiantly, and had their chances against the Wolves. Gabe Beh returned a Wolf kickoff for a 99 yard TD to account for the first Buckaroo score in the second quarter.
Senior QB Daniel Torres expressed his appreciation for the fearless effort of the young Bucks, saying, “They were playing their hearts out out there. It’s tough losing those kids who quit and are hurt, but the rest of us played as hard as we could.”
Carrot pickers and spuds
Monticello’s Macee Nielson competed in the elite Bob Firman Cross Country Invitational in Boise, ID last week. Competing in the elite division, Nielson finished 33rd in the cool rainy race, on a course that was muddy and slick. Nielson was a little disappointed in her time and place, but recognizes the importance of competing against elite runners. Still, 33rd out of 98 runners from around the region is nothing to shake a stick at.
Speaking of elite competition, the San Juan Lady Volleyballers continued their winning ways from the San Juan tournament last week, after losing to an assortment of 4A and 5A schools over the first couple of weeks.
The Broncos blanked the Gunnison Bulldogs in straight sets last week. Coach Cassy Moon says the pressure of repeating for the Broncos “is the same ol’ same ol’ as far as pressure is concerned. Of course, no team wants to be the one to lose. However, the team that fears it the most will have it actually happen.
“Our team stacks up well against other teams in 2A. As a whole, we are seeing stats that we haven’t experienced in the past couple of years. Our kills are spread evenly on most matches. So the team is very well-rounded. They are stepping up to take new roles.
“Heather (Meyer, Bronco senior who is out for the season) is doing okay. Obviously, this is very hard on her. She is a 3 year starter on varsity, 2 time MVP, as a freshman she was second team All-state. She is hurting because her contribution on the floor is not as obvious. We have moved her into the role of a coach.”