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Sports for October 30, 2008

Road to State

LA VETA/CENTER- The Lady Redskin’s march to state began last Thursday when the Ladies defeated the Tigers of Del Norte 3-0.  The Skins won the match 25-13, 25-14 and 25-16.  Senior Shea Brgoch dominated the net with 13 kills while Shelby Morgan, Christina Koutnik and Sami Willhoite combined for an additional 12 kills.  The first game saw Koutnik serve 10 straight points to open a 24-12 lead, and a Morgan kill gave the first game to La Veta.  The second and third games were much the same in ball control while libero Jo Beth Willhoite kept the ball in play with her digs and set-ups for the team’s hitters.   The Redskins played a solid game and sent the Tigers back to Del Norte with their heads hung low.    

    The next day, La Veta traveled to Center to determine who would move on to regional play.  The Skins began against Sargent.  Earlier this season the Skins had split two games with the Farmers.  The Skins lost the opening game in four, 22-25, 22-25, 26-24 and 30-32.  A controversial call was made after Emily Moll served an ace which would have given the Cats a 30-28 victory.  The line judge called it out.  This was a tough loss which meant the Skins needed to win their next two games with Sanford and league leader, Sangre De Cristo. 

    The Sanford Indians and Skins had split games earlier this season, so this game was pivotal for La Veta.  The Skins took it to Sanford with everything they had and walked away in three sets to win the game, 26-24,26-24 and 25- 18.  The Skins played excellent defense, blocking at the net and forcing the Indians to commit errors.

    The last game of the evening pitted SDC and La Veta.  The Thunderbirds had beaten the Skins twice this season.  La Veta needed to beat the Birds in three games to advance to Regionals.  The Skins played hard in the first match defeating SDC 25-22.  The tenacity of the Skins became evident as Brgoch, Morgan and Koutnik took control of the game.  The second game went to SDC 25-15.   Nevertheless, Jo Beth Willhoite led the offense, and the Skins dominated the rest of the evening, 25-19 and 25-22 to claim second place in the tournament. According to Coach Bree Lessar, “The girls played Sangre flawlessly.  This match was of state championship caliber.”

    Under league rules however, the Skins were not guaranteed a trip because of a complex tie breaking system, so a one-game match was set immediately after the SDC game.  The Skins squared off against the Sargent Farmers once again.  In this final game, the Farmers were hoping to capitalize on the Skin’s fatigue.  It was not to be.  The Skins beat the Farmers 26-24 advancing to Regional play.

A Job Well Done

WESTCLIFFE/WALSENBURG- The John Mall Panther’s volleyball season came to a disappointing close on October 22 when the team failed to advance in district play.  Their appearance in district play was earned the night before when they defeated the Custer County Cougars in three games.  The Panthers then faced the number-two-ranked Hoehne Farmers and the eighth-ranked Fowler Grizzlies.  John Mall lost to the Farmers and Grizzlies in three games each which eliminated them from advancing to Regional action.  The highlight of the day was when the Panthers claimed a victory over Cripple Creek-Victor three games to two. 

    The Panthers struggled most of the season, losing games they should have won.  They played their opponents head to head in every game and never gave up.  Their ambition will drive this young team to championship caliber over the next few years.  It was a tough season, but the players and their coaches should stand proud.

    The Journal would like to congratulate the team for a job well done.  To the seniors,  Desi Aguirre, Kristen David, Shari Duran, Jessica Navaro, Erika Ramirez, Cassandra Vigil and Amanda Vargas, you will be missed.  Your leadership skills and desire to teach your younger teammates was an inspiration.  Rounding out the roster were juniors Hallie Homerding, Angel Jennings, Katie Monahan, Elyssa Navaro and Shannon Pineda. Sophomores included Tyffany Trujillo and Nikita Vigil.  The freshman were Angie Briteweiser, Lindsey Bustos, Kristina Cordova, Brianna Crump, Adaina Martinez, Natalie Neece, Monique Ortivez, Sarah Pineda and Alexandra Tenorio.

    Special thanks to head coach Michael Vigil and his assistants Veronica Pedraza and Samantha Harriman.


Bulldog Express Skins La Veta

DOVE CREEK– The La Veta Redskins lost a disappointing interdivisional playoff game against the Dove Creek Bulldogs.  The Dogs were more like pit bulls as they racked over 450 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns en route to an easy 65-34 victory.  The loss ended the Redskin’s season.  Dove Creek entered the game with a 8-0 record ranked number seven in the state, while the Skins finished the season 4-5.

    The Dogs scored on their first drive of the game with a Colton Huskey 1-yard run.  Huskey scored again on a 74-yard run.  La Veta’s first score in the game came off a 32-yard pass, Ron Ortivez to Travis Brownlee.  Dove Creek answered with one of their own.  The next series saw Ortivez connect with Brownlee for 62 yards and a score.  By the end of the first quarter, the Skins trailed 23-14.

    This high-powered offensive show by both teams continued into the second quarter.  La Veta got on the board in the second when Stephen Kimbrel ran it in from two yards for a score.  Kimbrel had his best game of the season, rushing for 112 yards and receiving 45 and three touchdowns.  When the smoke settled, Huskey had amassed over 250 yards  rushing and six touchdowns in the first half giving the Bulldogs a 45-22 lead.

    When asked before going into the game  how they would contain Dove Creek’s big dog, Huskey, Coach Price said, “We need to make tackles.  That simple …. We played four of the top ten teams this season   If we play them like we did against Sanford, we could win.”

    Unfortunately for La Veta, Huskey gave the defense fits.  By the time the final gun sounded, five more touchdowns were scored by both teams, including an 80-yard Kimbrel run.  Because of Dove Creek’s early lead, their margin of victory was never in jeopardy.

Panthers Season Ends

CROWLEY COUNTY-  The John Mall Panther’s season ended at the hands of the Chargers 47-0 last Friday leaving the Panthers winless for the season.  This was also the fifth shutout for the Cats as the offense failed to gain any momentum.  The team’s lack of experience plagued them all season long.  On the positive side, they never gave up, even when the score was out of reach.  Their continued effort to march the ball downfield came up short, but was a testimony to their drive to succeed.  The Journal would like to recognize the following players for their dedication and hard work. 

Juniors:  Clayton Archuleta, Brandon Hill, Alex Weber, Tony Garcia, Austin Jackson, Alex Sample, Michael Zudar, and Zach Vigil.

Sophomores:  Brian Aguirre, Dominic Pino, Donnie Martinez, Jeremiah Hill, Charlie Whitehead, Carl Vigil, Steven Ruiz, Tanner Weaverling, Stuart Pino, Taz Valdez and Thomas Antwerpen.

Freshman:  Jacob Wiggins, Michael Maldonado, Zach Harriman, Berrie Archuleta, Evan Crockett, Shawn Ortibez, John Burch and Eric D’Ambrosia.

Regional Schedule Announced

PUEBLO-  The Colorado High School Athletic Association released the pairings for the girls’ 2A Regional Volleyball Tournament.  The format is a four-team, pool-play tournament with the top two teams advancing to the state playoffs.  The La Veta Redskins will play this Saturday at Pueblo County High School with tournament action beginning at 9 am.  The Skins will face off against the Burlington Cougars.  The Cougars (21-1) have been ranked among the top five teams throughout the season.  Other teams which qualified in this region include Las Animas and  Sangre De Cristo. The Journal will continue to be the only local paper to post live updates this weekend on their website The booster club encourages everyone to make the trip to Pueblo to cheer on the Redskins.

Tracksters Recognized

Walsenburg- John Mall Track stars, Melissa Mestas and Shane Dieckman were recognized at last Tuesday’s school board meeting for their participation at the 2A state cross country meet held last Friday in Fort Collins.  While the pair did not place in the top twenty runners, both improved on their times and brought in their fastest times of the season.  The entire cross country team is already excited for spring track to begin.  Well done.