For a two week period, the focus in the region is football, as that sport nears its end. The four smallest classifications played their semifinals last weekend, while the three largest classes are into that round this week.

Beginning with six-man, the top four seeds reached the semis, with no upsets throughout the bracket. That meant Cheyenne Wells, the top overall seed would host #4 Idalia, while #2 Stratton was home against Granada.

Cheyenne Wells reached its fourth-ever title game with a 64-24 victory over the Wolves, with Cade Mitchek tallying 323 all-purpose yards and five total touchdowns, and Evan Worley adding just under 100 rushing yards and two scores. The Tiger defense forced three Idalia turnovers.

Stratton trailed Granada 6-0 after the first drive of the contest, but the Eagles scored the next 24 to grab control. The Bobcats got back with four at 24-20, but trailed 48-20 at the half. Stratton got the mercy clock rolling by the end of the third quarter and claimed a 78-26 win. Charlie Clapper ran for 175 yards and four touchdowns, and the Eagles scored twice on defense. The Eagles, as part of the co-op with Liberty, played in the previous four championship games, winning in 2018 and finishing second the other three years.

Cheyenne Wells, looking for its first-ever football crown, won the regular season match-up 52-37. That was the closest game of the season for the Tigers, and the lone loss for Stratton.

The eight-man title game will also see the top two seeds slug it out in the championship contest after #1 Haxtun downed #5 Holly 46-26, and #2 Mancos held off #11 Sanford 26-16. Isaac Andersen powered Haxtun with 109 yards and three rushing touchdowns, and Michael Gerk added 84 yards and a score. Owen Knode tossed a pair of TDs in the contest, as well. The Fightin’ Bulldog defense recorded six takeaways and three sacks in the win.

They will be looking for their eighth title and first since 2004. This is the first championship game appearance for Haxtun since 2005. The Fightin’ Bulldogs will be facing a Mancos squad that is in it’s first title game. The program only had four postseason wins before picking up three to get to Pueblo.

Three-time defending 1A champion, Limon, will be back, looking to make it four in a row, after the Badgers defeated conference rival Wray in the semifinals. After grabbing a 41-0 win over the Eagles in the regular season, Limon won Saturday’s game 42-8. Jeremiah Leeper and Gabe Schubarth each ran for 125 yards, with a combined three touchdowns between them, and Trey Hines threw two for two more touchdowns in the win.

The Badgers will be facing the #2 seed, Centauri, in the finals on Saturday. The Falcons, who blasted Buena Vista 42-6, are the last team to defeat Limon in the postseason. Since falling to the Falcons in the 2017 semifinals, Limon has won 14 straight playoff games.

Eastern Colorado will also be represented in the 2A title game on Saturday, as #7 Brush ousted #6 Severance 35-18 in the semifinals. The Beetdiggers took command with three touchdowns in the second quarter and put the game to bed with two more in the fourth. They have won nine straight since an early season loss to the same Silver Knight squad. The Beetdiggers had endured five consecutive losing seasons, and are now seeking their first title since 2014. They will face defending champion, Eaton, who took a 39-24 win over University last weekend.

The only other team to defeat Brush this season, Fort Morgan, is into the 3A semifinals after holding off Frederick 21-14 in the quarters. The Mustangs trailed 7-0, but scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to grab a two score lead. Fort Morgan turned the ball over on downs deep in Frederick territory late in the contest, leading 21-14, and needed an interception in the closing seconds to secure the victory.

Fort Morgan, who was at home the first two rounds, will visit high-scoring Lutheran. The Lions scored 42 first quarter points on their way to beating Palisade 49-7 last week. On the season, Lutheran has a classification best 626 points scored, and has also allowed the fewest points (88) in all of 3A.

The six-man and eight-man games will be played on Friday afternoon/evening at the Thunderbowl on the campus of CSU-Pueblo. Classes 1A and 2A will play their games on the same field on Saturday.

While the volleyball season officially came to a close with the state tournament two weeks ago, some of the top seniors got together over this past weekend for the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State games at Fossil Ridge High School. The Class 1A rosters included players from Cheraw, Genoa-Hugo/Karval, Merino, Stratton, Idalia, Wiley, Fleming, Briggsdale, Haxtun, and Prairie, as well as other schools from across the state.

Class 2A saw local representatives from Fowler, Limon, Sedgwick County, Holyoke, and Wiggins, while players from Lamar and Sterling competed in the 3A game. CCGS began holding all-state games in 1978 to honor outstanding female athletes from all across the state of Colorado. Many college coaches attend the games, trying to uncover hidden gems.

Winter sports got their seasons underway last week, with the first official practices being held last Monday. Scrimmages were allowed to begin last Saturday, and competition can begin next Tuesday.