High school student-athletes from Montrose to Telluride and Ridgway to Norwood are leaving an indelible mark on the fall sports season in 2018.
Their historic results are from the golf course and the cross-country course, from the football field and the soccer pitch. And from the volleyball gym.
A 2018 fall state championship banner already has been raised — in boys golf — with more state honors looming in soccer and football.
No one has generated more postseason wins and statewide honors than Montrose High School, home of the back-to-back Class 4A state championship boys golf team.
The Indians’ volleyball team reached the 4A Regionals this season, winning one match and moving within one win of the State Volleyball Tournament.
The Montrose cross-country team again qualified a bevy of athletes for the state meet.
And the Montrose football team just landed a No. 6 seed in the state playoffs, along with a home game Friday night in the postseason opener.
“Extracurricular activities in general are supported very well here,” said Lyle Wright, the Montrose athletic/activities director. “We believe in them as a school.”
Plus, he said, the Montrose students have responded to the opportunities, which have been enhanced by parents and the greater Montrose community.
“We’ve got very supportive parents here who feel extracurricular activities are important. And we have a community that feels the same way,” Wright said, adding that the community support reaches beyond fans in the stands. The community support includes sponsorships and other manifestations of people power.
“We also have an insanely good coaching staff here … and not just in the fall but the winter and spring as well,” Wright said.
The result is a culture of active participation at Montrose High School.
Wright said the staff believes that there are things students learn on a football field or in the marching band that they can’t necessarily learn in a classroom.
“Teamwork, dedication, all those things,” he said. “And it’s not just athletics. We have a very good band here. We’ve made (activities) important. They’re a priority.”
Like the sporting teams, the Montrose band ranks among the state’s best.
Montrose kicked off the fall sports season by winning the school’s second consecutive state championship in boys golf.
Led by individual medalist Micah Stangebye, the Indians repeated in Class 4A at the two-day state tournament, held at the Flying Horse Country Club in Colorado Springs.
Stangebye, who finished fourth individually in 2017, won the 4A crown with his 69-71—140 total, 4-under par. The Montrose golfer won by five strokes.
Teammates Jordan Jennings and Ryan Lord tied for 21st (158). Dawson Hussong shot 159, as the Indians teamed to win the team title by six strokes over Steamboat Springs.
“It feels really good to win that team title again,” Stangebye told CHSAANnow.com. “We’re all juniors and sophomores, so we’ll be back next year …”
The Montrose golf team is coached by Dave Woodruff.
Football: With the strongest showing in recent history, the Montrose football team powered through the regular season and secured a home game for the opening round of the Class 4A football playoffs this week.
Montrose, rebounding from the only loss of the season at Ponderosa, scorched visiting Aurora Central 43-16 last weekend to conclude the regular season with a 9-1 record.
Awarded the No. 6 seed in 4A, Montrose will host No. 11 Dakota Ridge (6-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Montrose High School Stadium.
The Indians returned to their prolific offensive ways against Aurora Central after four uncharacteristic turnovers at Ponderosa.
Montrose’s multiple offensive sets, with quarterbacks Emmert Kastendieck and Zach Ubben, stunned the Trojans. And the Montrose defense, with big contributions from Thomas Ceniceros and Leo Hernandez, among others, shut down the visitors.
Montrose hit a 40-point lead, drawing a running clock in the game that honored the seniors.
Coach Brett Mertens and the Indians posted early key road wins at Grand Junction Central, 21-13; Durango, 41-36; and Fruita Monument, 24-12 — all playoff teams.
Montrose also scored a 21-17 victory over perennial power Palisade, the No. 1 seed in the Class 3A playoffs.
The Indians overpowered the rest of the Metro League with big wins over Littleton Heritage, 54-28; Denver South, 44-14; Aurora Gateway, 42-0; and Aurora Central, 43-16.
Mertens’ coaching staff includes Chuck Alexander, Jake Appling, Alex Matlock, Jeff Pollard, Kurt Screiffinuy and Kiefer Wollert.
The Indians advanced to postseason volleyball in Class 4A once again this season.
Volleyball: Led by veteran coach Shane Forrest, Montrose earned a trip to the Class 4A Regionals, hosted by No. 4 seed Longmont.
Montrose, seeded No. 21, shut out Conifer 3-0 in the opening match at regionals.
Longmont then ended the season for the Indians with a 3-0 win. Longmont (21-4) also beat Conifer to advance to the State Volleyball Championships.
The Montrose girls, who ended the season 16-9, included senior Katie Sherwood, who led the team in kills.
Junior Madison Satterly led in blocks, while senior Madison Schneider led the way in assists.
Freshman Kelsey Rocco led the Indians in ace serves. Senior Victoria Martinez led the squad in digs.
Boys soccer: The Indians advanced to the state playoffs again in 2018, under the direction of coach Cassie Snyder.
Boosted by the record goal scoring of Sean Alex, Montrose earned an opening-round playoff match at No. 6 seed Pueblo Centennial. The No. 27 seed Indians fell 2-1 to close the season 7-9-0. They were 4-4-0 in conference matches.
Pueblo Centennial, 14-1-2 overall, will play Denver North in the second round this weekend.
Alex, a junior, set the Montrose school scoring record with 23 goals this season. He scored five goals in a win over Central.
Cross country — Junior Sean Graff set the pace for the Indians cross country team with his fourth-place finish in the Class 4A Regionals.
Teammate Zack Oldroyd finished 28th in the regional meet with Montrose’s Joshua Simpson 42nd.
Also competing for the Indians were Quinn Hughes, Gabe Benitez, Huriel Rodriguez and Ezequiel Medina.
Sophomore Megan Motley of Montrose was 11th at the regional meet.
She went on to finish 128th in the Class 4A State Championships in Colorado Springs.
Stephanie Perfors was 63rd for the Indians at regionals.
Jaden Gorham was 72nd. Stephanie Borner was 81st.
The Telluride boys soccer team is in position to win its first state soccer title this week.
The Miners will play rival Crested Butte at 4 p.m. Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City for the Class 2A state championship trophy. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is the home of the MLS Colorado Rapids.
“The kids earned this,” Telluride head coach Ramon Rodriguez said. “Now we have to show up and finish the job.”
The Miners reached the title match with a history-making 3-2 overtime victory over Fountain Valley of Colorado Springs last weekend.
Ian Enkema headed the ball over the Fountain Valley goalie 3 minutes into the first overtime period to give the Miners another playoff OT victory and the school’s first berth in the state championship.
Andreas Moorman scored on a penalty kick for Telluride to pull the Miners within 2-1 at halftime. Brian Sosa scored the tying goal off a corner kick with 11 minutes to play.
“When we put one on the board before half, it gave us momentum for the whole second half,” Rodriguez said, crediting a solid Telluride defense.
In OT for the second consecutive playoff match, Telluride took advantage of a well-placed tip from Enkema for the game-winner.
“About 3 minutes into overtime, we got a lucky break. Their goalkeeper came out a little too late,” Rodriguez said. “And Ian Enkema snuck in by him … unorthodox goal. But it went in, and the whole bench runs out onto the field to celebrate.”
The Telluride parents and fans will return to the Front Range for Saturday’s state championship match between the Miners (12-5-1) and the No. 1 seed Titans of Crested Butte (14-1-2)
“It’s going to be a good match. Both teams respect each other,” Rodriguez said.
The teams played twice during the regular season with the Titans winning both close matches — 1-0 and 2-1, respectively.
“With Crested Butte, there’re no secrets there. They know what we do, and we know what they do,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a matter of the team that wants it the most.”
Boys golf: Carlo Pine of Telluride earned a return trip to the State Golf Championships this fall.
After leading the tournament for part of the opening day, Pine finished tied for 10th in the 3A state event at the Boulder Country Club.
A senior, Pine has qualified for the state tournament for four years.
Cross country: The Miners qualified their entire boys team and an individual girl to the State Cross Country Championships this season.
Senior Jaden Evans powered his way onto the podium at the Class 3A state meet in Colorado Springs again — eighth this year in 17 minutes, 18.6 seconds on the hilly 5K course. Evans won the regional title earlier in Delta.
The Telluride boys finished sixth as a team at the state championships behind Evans, Spencer Keating (22nd in 18 minutes, 34.0 seconds) and Meshach Baca-Gomberg (62nd).
Telluride freshman Ruby Tanguay was the lone qualifier among the girls. She finished 41st in 22 minutes, 59.4 seconds, just 25 seconds out of the top 20.
Volleyball: The Miners closed the 2018 volleyball season with emotional victories over rivals Norwood and Nucla.
But the Telluride girls finished just outside the state playoff field, concluding with a 13-10 overall record. They were 7-6 in conference matches.
The Miners ended with a 3-0 win over Norwood, winning 26-24, 25-15, 25-15.
Just a week earlier, the Telluride girls outlasted Nucla 3-2, winning the fifth set 15-12.
Telluride also posted wins this season over Mancos, Ridgway, Crested Butte, Ignacio, Hotchkiss, South Park and Rangely.
The Ridgway boys soccer team was playoff-bound again in 2018.
The Demons qualified for the Class 2A state playoffs, earning a home match for the first round as the No. 7 seed.
Ridgway exploded for a 4-0 victory over visiting Rye, advancing to the second round.
Junior Robert Beserra scored two goals. Teammates Tyler Kraft and Jonah Kornbluh also scored for the Demons, who collected assists from Kornbluh, Henry Bent and Christian Lindler (2).
Ridgway fell 2-0 to No. 2 seed Fountain Valley of Colorado Springs in the state quarterfinals. The Demons finished 9-5-1.
Volleyball: The Demons struggled in a rebuilding season on the volleyball court, finishing 1-19. The lone victory came over South Park.
The Ridgway girls forced a number of five-set matches, led by Michaela Messer, Geri June Hall, Emerson Gentry and Ashley Medina, among others.
The Norwood High School football team put an exclamation mark on the end of the regular season with a resounding 64-12 victory over Sangre de Cristo.
Senior Will Gabriel rushed for more than 200 yards and had more than 300 all-purpose yards in the Mavericks’ victory in 8-man football.
He scored two touchdowns, as did teammate Broc Joseph. Dustin Galarza also rushed for a score. Austin Overholt rushed for one touchdown and caught a pass for another as the Mavericks finished the season 5-5 overall, 3-3 in the Mountain League.
The Mavs finished in a league tie with Sanford and Dove Creek behind No. 1 Mancos and No. 2 Sargent.
“I thought we wrapped the season up well,” Norwood head coach John Hickey said. “We wanted to play well and we wanted an opportunity for everyone to play. And we did that.”
Norwood narrowly missed the postseason, ending a run of 11 consecutive playoff appearances. The Mavs’ RPI ranged just off the playoff board.
“We were disappointed,” Hickey said. “But I thought we had a great game from our seniors (to end the season). We’ve got a lot of underclassmen coming back, so we’ll get on the weights and get to camp and get stronger.”
The Mavericks’ football team included players from Nucla High School.
Mountain League playoff rep Sargent, the No. 7 seed, lost to No. 10 Holly 48-36 last weekend.
Mancos, the No. 2 overall seed in 8-man, lost at home to No. 15 Merino 40-0. Merino had knocked off three-time defending state champion Sedgwick County (Julesburg) a week earlier.
Rangely, a team that edged Norwood in the season opener, is the No. 4 playoff seed. Rangely beat Akron 14-6 in the first round of the playoffs.
Volleyball: The Mavericks battled through a building season in 2018, finishing with a 3-17 record.
The Norwood girls collected victories over Ridgway, Mancos and Ouray, respectively. They also forced a number of five-set matches during the season.
The Mavs were led by Lillian Parrino, Jenna Baugh, Paige Franklin, Morgan Wallace, AnnaLeigh Dabal and McKayla Fleming.
The Mustangs volleyball team secured a postseason berth in 2018, qualifying for the Class 1A playoffs.
The Nucla girls beat North Park 3-2 in a key district matchup to move on to the Class 1A Regional Championships. The Mustangs lost to Sangre de Cristo and Dove Creek at regionals, finishing a 12-12 season.
The Mustangs’ roster included Taryn Sickels, Caitlyn Littlejohn, Chyenne Smith, Aide Chavez, Taylor Sutherland, Jacquelyn Terrell and Cheyenne Joseph.