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Sports for September 25, 2008

Panther Homecoming Not So Festive

WALSENBURG-  It was the Panthers of John Mall versus the Panthers of Peyton High and from the first drive of the game, it was readily apparent who was the king of the jungle.  The team from Peyton dominated John Mall in an ambush 48-7.  The John Mall offense had trouble moving the ball against the Peyton defense.  Peyton’s offense was equally impressive as they scored on seven of their eight  possessions, mounting impressive yardage along the way.  Quarterback Brett Green  passed with precision to his receivers, and the speed of our Panther secondary proved to be no match for the visiting Panthers.

    Our Panthers were not out of the game as they entered the beginning of the third quarter, but two quick scores by the opposition put Peyton ahead 42-0.  According to CHSAA rules, the clock cannot be stopped once a team mounts a forty plus lead, so at 7:25 in the third, the clock continued to run, ticking away John Mall’s chances for any comeback.  The highlight for the Panther offense came late in the fourth as quarterback Charlie Whitehead scored on a 35-yard sweep to the right side of the Peyton defense.

    Overall, John Mall is improving with every game.  This young team consists of mostly sophomores and juniors.  As assistant coach Mike Whitehead put it, “it’s like we’re fielding a junior varsity team.”  John Mall falls to 0-4 for the season and will now begin league play.  Their real test will occur over the next two weeks as they travel to Rocky Ford to face the Meloneers on Friday then back home to face Rye.  Last Friday, Rocky dismantled Center 41-8.  Earlier in the season, Center beat JM 34-24 in a close game.  Peyton is now  2-2 on the season.

Home Not So Welcoming

LA VETA- What at first appeared to be a festive homecoming for the Redskins turned out to be a nightmare on Francisco Street as the team from Sangre de Cristo came over the pass and went home with a victory 35-28.  Stephen Kimbrel opened Redskin scoring with an 80-yard romp down the sideline to find pay dirt and a 6-0 Skin lead.  A second successful drive was capped off on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ron Ortivez to Dakota Mason. As soon as one could say homecoming queen, La Veta was ahead 14-0, putting on an impressive offensive show.  Their act continued as Ortivez again connected with Mason for 31 yards and another score.  This gave the Redskins an impressive first quarter lead, 20-0.  The Thunderbirds would not be denied though.  The ensuing kickoff and 7-yard rush gave new life to the T-Birds as the first quarter came to a close, leaving the Skins with a 20-7 lead.

    A powerful La Veta drive and subsequent turnover deep in Sangre territory seemed to turn the tide for the Birds.  On the first play from scrimmage, SDC ran 90 yards for a score.  The Redskins appeared to be their own worst enemy as turnovers and costly mistakes kept them out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.  By then it was too late.  Sangre continued to score on runs of 80, 70 and 6 yards and ultimately managed to take the game away from the Skins.  La Veta put up over 540 yards of offense, but in the end mistakes cost them the game and a homecoming celebration.  Coach Price will no doubt work on these errors as the Redskins continue league play and their quest for a return to the state playoffs, something which has eluded them for the past four years.

Lady Panthers Homecoming Victory

WALSENBURG-  The John Mall Lady Panther’s varsity volleyball team had little trouble controlling the Meloneers of Rocky Ford in exciting action last Thursday night at the John Mall gym.  It  was the Panthers’  homecoming game.  Their victory capped off a four-game losing streak and gave the Cats momentum as they enter league competition.  The Panthers won the first game in a closely fought battle 26-24.  In the second set, the Panthers dominated the Lady Meloneers on the net with seven kills to put away Rocky 25-16.  In the third match, the Panthers once again played well, off the excellent net work of seniors Kristin David and Katie Monahan and the hard serving of Shari Duran and  Cassandra Vigil. 

    In the earlier game, the junior varsity beat the Meloneers 25-12 and 25-19.  The Lady Panthers will travel to Crowley County next Thursday before they return home to face Swink Sept. 27.

Volleyball Action

HOEHNE/LA VETA- The Redskin volleyball team traveled to Hoehne last Wednesday to face the Farmers and lost in a disappointing 3 matches 15-25; 17-25 and 19-25.  Shea Brgoch had trouble with the kill as the Farmer defense was effective in setting up against the Skins leading hitter.

    The next night was the  Redskins’ homecoming as Antonito came to town, only to to be defeated by the Lady Redskins in four games, 27-25, 25-20, 17-25 and 25-21.  This was a sweet victory for the Skins who sought revenge after losing to the Trojans earlier in the season.  This time Brgoch owned the nets.  She had 25 out of 28 kills.  Also in victory, Jo Beth Willhoite is performing exceptionally in the libero position and is getting better with every match.  She passed at an impressive 94% for the week and dug some hits ‘off the floor’, according to Coach Bree Lessar.  Emily Moll is doing a fantastic job of running the Skins 5-1 offense.  Coach Lessar feels confident, as this team improves in every game, they will be ready for the playoffs.

State Bound

COLORADO CITY- A little birdie told the Journal three area golfers qualified for the class 3A state golf tournament to be held October 6-7 at Spring Valley in Elizabeth.  The La Veta Redskins finished 6th out of 21 teams, qualifying two individual players. Franklin Geiser shot an 82 while Jake Ferrari scored an 85. Teammate Ron Ortivez missed the cut with an 88. The John Mall Panthers’ Justin Eccher scored an 86 by winning a five man-two hole playoff for the last position.  His birdie-bogey gross (eagle-par net ) was enough to propel the Panther freshman duffer into his first playoff. 

    For any of these three area players to do well at state means they need to play error free golf and shoot the best rounds of their careers.  Good luck boys.