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Sports for August 7, 2008

The Boys and Girls of Summer

WALSENBURG- You know summer is almost over when the final pitch is thrown during the adult league softball tournament. It was a wild summer of competitive baseball action as two champion teams emerged and individual players were honored.  It began with the slow-pitch all-star game on July 31 and concluded with the tournament August 1-3.  In the women’s division, Rain for Rent from Trinidad dominated the tournament by defeating G & C Trucking of Aguilar 12-3 in the finals.  Isabel Familia took third and Ross Rascals took fourth.  Coincidentally these were the final league standings at the end of the season.

    For the men, the Southern Colorado Slammers of La Veta defeated Daniels Towing 23-7.  This was sweet revenge for the Slammers because Daniels Towing defeated the La Veta team twice during the regular season.  According to Greg Daniels, “We weren’t on top of our game.”  Names familiar to Redskins fans dotted the Slammers’  registers. Shane and Travis Brownlee and  Tim and Dillon Thomsen, to name a few, were members of the 2008 Redskin baseball state playoff team.  Daniels finished the regular season on top with a single loss while the Slammers finished in second place.  C & G Cigarettes finished the regular season and also the tournament in third place while La Familia finished in fourth.

    The women’s team sportsmanship award went to Ross Rascals while for the men, the award went to Gabe’s Emergency Road Service. The women’s  golden glove went to Kim Chavez and the most valuable player went to Tessa Bertrand.  The men’s golden glove was Reggie Bevsek and the MVP went to D.J. Bevsek.

    The all-star game held on Thursday pitted the league’s best men and women against each other in a classic match.     The winning members for the woman’s team included Bernadette Vigil, Pam Lasley, Kim Chavez, Desi Aguirre, Lory Ross, Tina Dorrance, Melissa Vallejos, Tommie Price, Kristen David, Alyssa Dominguez, and Faith Espinoza.  The men’s all stars included  Charlie Whitehead, Art Cruz Jr., Reggie Bevsek, Mike Vigil Sr., Jon Aguirre, Luke Hibpshman, Pat Espinoza, Cory Daniels, Keith Quintana,  Pat Martinez and Shaw Lessar.   The winner of the home run derby was Levi Kraft.

    City recreation director, Dave Manzanares also  thanks the following teams who also participated:  The Spanish Peaks Regional Health Care Center, Huerfano Café, Just 4 Fun, La Lumbre (System Bilt), the Wreckage, and M&R Trucking.   These team sponsors helped make it possible for the city to offer competitive recreational softball for the men and women of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.  

Former Panther Finds Success

WALSENBURG-  From time to time, the Journal will highlight  those former local men and women who have made their mark outside our county. 

    Walsenburg graduate  Adam Vigil’s road to success began as a bantam league football player.  became the starting quarterback for the John Mall Panthers in as a freshman Vigil 1979.  He led the Panthers to the state semi-finals that year, the first of four successful football seasons.  This earned him a scholarship to play for The University of Southern Colorado under the direction of head coach Gary Richardson and former Denver Bronco Dan DeRose.

    In 1988 Vigil became a vital part of the new semi-pro football team, the Pueblo Crusaders, which went on to win the Minor Football League System (MFLS) national championship in 1989.  The MLFS later became the NFL-European Football League.  After three years the league went defunct, but Vigil then tried out for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.  Three prior knee surgeries killed his dream of an NFL career.    

    Vigil returned to Walsenburg in 1993-1994 as assistant football coach.  Soon after, he returned to school to obtain his Certified Personal Trainer degree.  He returned to high school football in 2001, this time joining the Rye Thunderbolts as offensive coordinator.  In the spring of 2002, while coaching at Rye, he also coached a new professional woman’s football team, the Upstart Woman’s Football League (UWFL).  He directed the Pueblo Pythons to the first ever league championship and was named the UWFL coach of the year.  The league lasted only one year.

    Vigil is still finding success coaching at Rye.  He also works at the Huerfano County Correctional facility as the recreation supervisor.   He has turned the position around as that program is considered to be one of the finest recreation programs in the entire CCA systems.   Vigil would like someday to return to his home town as a coach.  In the meantime, he says, “I’m happy wherever I am coaching and I look forward to continue to assist the Thunderbolts to build a championship team this season.