Our weekly report on the San Juan region focuses on a football finalist, the all-state volleyball teams and week one of the basketball season. It’s part of the Colorado Preps Weekly series.
Mancos had no answer for the Haxtun Bulldogs in the state championship game on Friday evening in Pueblo, as the Bluejays first trip to the title game in school history ended in a 40-0 loss to close out the season.
The 13-0 Haxtun Bulldogs used a big third quarter where they scored four touchdowns to get distance between themselves and Mancos, and the running clock was started by the third quarter. To credit the Mancos defense, they allowed less than 300 yards of total offense to the Bulldogs, but four interceptions by Haxtun would leave them short fields on many drives.
Mancos finishes the season at 10-1, and will be bringing back a good group next season, although the loss of senior Chase Moore will be difficult to overcome after he led the team with nearly a 2000 yard season. Junior quarterback Ayden Mathews will be a returner though, as will Kail Wayman, who returns after he was number two on the team in rushing yards his sophomore year and led the team in receiving as well.
Volleyball All State Teams
The Bayfield Wolverines run at the state tournament earned some attention for Annie Fusco, with the senior being named First Team All-State for the 2021 fall volleyball season. Fusco was well deserving, earning 475 kills this season with an average of five per set.
Emily Nelson joined her teammate as an honorable mention on the team and senior Avery Wright of the Montezuma Cortez Panthers would round out the ladies from the 3A level to make the team.
Durango had one lady make the all state honorable mentions this year at the 4A level, with setter and opposite side Mason Rowland making the team as a junior.
Down to 2A, Ignacio’s Alexis Pontine earned a Second Team All-State spot as a senior after tallying 357 kills this year for the Bobcats. Pontine also had 103 aces which was second on the Bobcats on their way to a state tournament run.
Senior Erin Brown of Dolores was named to the All-State Honorable Mention list along with Telluride junior Emma Righetti.
In 1A, no one made the first or second team, but Kylie Gatlin of Dove Creek led the way on the list of Honorable Mentions, the sophomore being joined by junior teammate Lexi Gray, Norwood senior Jaidyn Platt, and Nucla junior Lisa Sutherland.
Durango starts the season off early this week against the Pagosa Springs Pirates on the basketball court, with a trip to Centauri for tournament play this weekend where they will open up against the Cedaredge Bruins.
Pagosa Springs will leave their game with Durango to head back home where they will host the Buena Vista Demons and the Lamar Savages in tournament action as well.
In between Durango and Pagosa, the Bayfield Wolverines also have a busy week ahead of them to open the season. They are heading to Greeley where they will play in the NorCo Tournament, challenging Eaton to start on Thursday before taking on Platte Valley on Friday and Valley on Saturday
The final 3A Intermountain League team is Montezuma Cortez, and they will be in the home gym a few times to open the year, starting on Thursday when they host Grand County High School from Moab. Then after surrendering their gym to Gunnison and Moab on Friday, they will return to the court to take on the Cowboys on Saturday.
Mancos is on the road this week in New Mexico, where they open tournament play on Thursday with The Academy for Technology and The Classics. The tournament is taking place at Rehoboth Christian and will have two more games after the opening contest with The Academy.
Ignacio will be in tournament action on Thursday as well, when they make the trip to Centauri to take part in the Falcons season opening tournament. Dove Creek also is making the trip to the San Luis Valley, but a little further to the north where they will be a participant at the Sangre de Cristo season opening tournament. Also in Sangre, the Dolores Bears are looking to get their season going as well.
Ridgway is avoiding the tournament route early on this season, with a tough game against Montrose to open the year before heading up to Hotchkiss for a game with the North Fork Miners.
Ouray is heading to the other side of the hills for the Falcon Shootout at Front Range Baptist to get their season started on Thursday. They will take on Heritage Christian in the first of three games in the opening week.
The Telluride Miners are starting their season on the road in Grand Junction, where they take on Caprock Charter Academy in their home tournament on Friday before challenging Plateau Valley on Saturday.
Nucla is out of action this weekend, with the boys not starting play until next week when they take on the Montrose JV teams.
The Durango girls are following much of the same schedule as the boys, as are most teams at this time in the season. They open with Pagosa Springs before heading to Centauri for the opening of their tournament on Thursday against Cedaredge. They will then play two more games on Friday and Saturday.
Pagosa Springs will also be hosting their next two games for the girls after their road trip to Durango just like the boys, but they are bringing in a pair of Denver schools, with DSST Green Valley Ranch coming to Pagosa on Friday before trading with DSST Byers on Saturday as they look for a little bit of out-of-region action.
The Montezuma Cortez girls are also differing slightly from what the boys schedule looks like. They open the season with a few trips across the border to New Mexico, first to play Aztec and then heading to the Shiprock Invitiational, also known as the Jerry Richards Memorial with opponents still to be decided.
For Bayfield, their girls imitate the boys schedule to a tee, with games against Eaton, Platte Valley, and Valley on the docket to open up the season.
Ignacio starts their campaign this week with a trip to Centuari along with the boys, and the girls will get a good test to open their season with the Sargent Farmers. Then, it is two more games against opponents to be decided.
Dove Creek makes the trip to Sangre de Cristo along with their boys with a game against Antonito opening their time at the Thunderbird Classic on Thursday. Dolores also will be at the home of the Thunderbirds and will be taking on the host team at 6:00 pm on Thursday night.
Mancos is heading to Meeker this weekend for the Cowboy Shootout where they will open up against Coal Ridge at 6:00 pm on Thursday night. Two more games will be on the schedule for the Bluejays ladies on Friday and Saturday. The Nucla girls are also on the road to Meeker and their opening game of the Cowboy Shootout pits them against Hayden at 4:30.
Ouray is combining with Ridgway this season on the basketball courts and will be opening their season with a home game against Montrose before a Friday road trip to Hotchkiss to take on North Fork, as they mirror the schedule of their boys to get the season going.
The Telluride girls are also mirroring their boys schedule, with a trip up to the Caprock Tournament to take on the host team in Caprock Academy before challenging Plateau Valley to close it out at 11:00 AM on Saturday.