Six Bluejays will get second chances against players from state champion Haxtun
After receiving their diplomas, a number of local football stars will represent their respective schools on the gridiron one last time, as eight Mancos and Dove Creek athletes have been selected for the All-Star 8-a-side game, which will take place in Gilpin. County High School on June 3.
It will be a kind of revenge when the South team lines up against the North team.
With Mancos head coach Josh Gardner leading the South team, six Jays will take to the field, the most represented program of any team in the state. Luika Cova, Kruiz Wagoner, Mason Goodwin, Andres Moreno, Chase Moore and Jesse Henry all landed on the team following the program’s first-ever trip to the state championship game.
Their opposition – Team North – will be led by Haxtun’s coaching staff, led by JD Stone, as five of their senior graduates look to make one final statement after their dominant run through the 8-man playoffs.
Two Dove Creek Bulldogs will join forces with Gardner’s team, as seniors Chorbin Cressler and Blane Johnson will make their final appearances in the Dove Creek yellow helmet.
In another steep downfall for Southwest Colorado football, the Bluejays and Bulldogs stormed the playoffs at 8 – Mancos as the state’s No. 2 team after an undefeated regular season, and Dove Creek on the No. 4 team.
The Bluejays won the title match with victories over Fowler, Dayspring Christian and Sanford, marking program history with their 10th victory and first appearance in the title fight, before falling to Haxtun. The Gardner’s Jays’ six reps played a pivotal role in generating a nearly unstoppable offense, while the Mancos’ defense held the opposition to less than 14 points per game.
Dove Creek, meanwhile, advanced into the playoffs for the second consecutive campaign, knocking out Crowley County in the first round of the playoffs, before retiring against Holly. Head coach Shane Baughman’s only two senior Bulldogs in 21 provided leadership for a strong group of sophomores and juniors, while guiding the Dove Creek offense to another solid campaign.
Representatives from Mancos and Dove Creek will play with other stars from the Mountain, Southern and Arkansas Valley leagues as part of the Southern team. The North team will consist of stars from the Plains, North West and Central leagues.
The purpose of the game is to help raise funds to help support 8-man athletes pursuing post-secondary education with scholarships, as well as to help raise funds to improve the safety equipment of the athletes. Admission to the 7 p.m. contest on June 3 at Gilpin County High School in Black Hawk will help fundraising efforts.