Four prep football teams in the KVNF listening area have qualified for the state playoffs, and the Hotchkiss girls cross country team claimed the state title at the 2A cross country meet in Colorado Springs. KVNF's Tamie Meck reports on these stories and more in this week's sports report.
The fact that freshman Sophia Schelle was on a state champion cross country team didn't quite sink in until she was riding in a parade through Hotchkiss to honor the team on Tuesday.
When I finally like looked around I was like, wow! We're the only people in this parade. It was fun, because it's like the sport that's like usually not recognized was getting that much attention. It was special.
Schelle, along with freshman Mae Anderson, sophomore Tiffany Clock and juniors Jenni Celis and Natalie Anderson, garnered 16 points to claim the 2A title at the Norris Penrose Events Center. Anderson placed third with a time of 20 minutes, 18.6 seconds. Celis placed fourth with a time of 21 minutes. Schelle and Mae Anderson placed 10th and 11th and Clock finished 25th out of 77 runners.
This is the first state cross country title for Hotchkiss. It was also unexpected because it's unusual for a team with no seniors to win a state cross country title. Natalie Anderson, who placed in the top four the last two seasons, gave a lot of the credit to head coach Kelly Cowan.
He told us after we won state that he knew we could do it after our first Delta meet. He knew we had the capability to do it. Every practice he was encouraging us to be mentally tough and push ourselves and just believe in ourselves so that we can go that much farther and not have the mental barrier.
Anderson, who has state titles in track events, says they’d love to get the title again next year. But she knows that other teams, like second-place Lyons, will be out for the win next season.
And we've always got to keep an eye on Paonia, and anyone, because anyone could come out of the darkness.
Telluride senior Rachel Hampton won the 2A girls division with at time of 19 minutes, 48 seconds.
The Hotchkiss boys team of Andrew Tiedemann, Kurt Katzdorn, Tyrell Clock, Bryce Homme and Cody Bartlett had 53 points to place fourth.
Telluride's Jack Plantz and Dylan Newell led their team to a second-place finish with 27 points.
The Paonia girls team had 57 points to place fourth. Despite stopping to help a runner who had collapsed on the course, junior Taylor Polson finished ninth overall with a time of 21 minutes, 51.9 seconds. Freshman Chelsea Meilner was 16th and senior Chelsy Reed placed 41st to score for the Lady Eagles. Paonia's sole male qualifier, junior Jason Sturgis, placed 28th in a field of 94 runners.
In class 4A competition, Delta senior Cleo Whiting placed 10th with a time of 19 minutes, 48 seconds, and twin sister Clarissa came in 8 seconds later to place 11th. Junior Dustin Ownbey placed 55th for the Delta boys, and senior Jonathan Kinderknecht placed 61st out of 224 runners.
State 1A football playoffs begin this week. The Cedaredge Bruins ended 1A Western Slope conference play undefeated after a crushing 46-6 win last Friday over Paonia that ended the Eagles' chance for a wildcard berth. Cedaredge is seeded third and will host a first-round playoff game against four-and-one Centauri this Saturday at 1.
Hotchkiss also advances to the state playoffs. They are seeded 10th and will face No. 7 Wiggins this Saturday at Wiggins. Last season, Wiggins ended the Bulldogs run for the state title with a win in the semifinals. Head coach Zac Lemon says that they are better prepared this season, due to their tough schedule, and the fact that they have 15 seniors.
While they only have 17 on their roster, Wiggins is a big team--their line ranges from 230 to 280 pounds. Lemon says he’ll rely heavily on senior tailback Jacobe Galley, a four-year starter and tailback for the Bulldogs who leads the state in rushing with more than 1,700 yards.
But we realize that we're also going to have to complete some passes. Those same 250-280-pound linemen are their defensive line too so it's going to be hard to get some creases in the running game. It's good. It's a fun opportunity to get a chance to get back at them.
This team has what it takes to win, says Galley, who is also a middle linebacker. They've gone deep in the playoffs the last three seasons, and aren't taking any team for granted.
If everybody does their job, yeah, everything should play out good. We all have to do our job. If we don't do our job, things don't work.
Both Norwood and Dove Creek advanced to the Class A eight-man state playoffs. Eighth-seed Dove Creek will host No. 9 West Grand in first-round playoffs this Saturday at 1. Fifth-seeded Norwood will host No. 12 Fowler at 1.