EDWARDS - When it comes to the phrases "Vail Christian" and "all-league," certain fundamentals apply.
You've got to have Ellsworths, Curreys, Caynoskis and Schramms. It's a rule, written somewhere in the Vail Christian's charter.
Vail Christian football all-league is out and there really is a family element. Austin Ellsworth, Mack Cooper and Cole Caynoski are first-team all-league. Ethan Ellsworth, Branden Currey, Max Schramm and Clayton Davis are all honorable mention. For some reason, Cooper does not have siblings who have proceeded or preceded him, but we won't hold that against him.
"We earned a lot of respect for our young players, playing teams like Hayden who had 11 seniors, while we had four," Saints coach Tim Pierson said. "We were starting a lot of sophomores and it impressed all lot of teams."
Yes, all four of Vail Christian's honorable mentions are indeed sophomores, but the upperclassmen represent the first team.
Senior quarterback Austin Ellsworth is all-league again. No surprise there when you complete more than 50 percent of your passes for nearly 1,500 yards and have 20 touchdown passes to two interceptions. A reminder to both Ellsworths honored this year, your older sister, Alexis, did make all-league in basketball before you guys did.
Cooper, a running back, started his season, averaging 80 yards per carry because the first time he touched the ball all year went for six after a touchback. His yards-per-carry average went all the way down to 13.2 by the end of the season, and that generally works when one only needs 10 for a first down. Cooper piled up 873 yards on the ground and 313 as a receiver, scoring seven touchdowns in all.
Caynoski could run and catch, but he was picked for his defense. He had 63 total tackles, but, more importantly, he is the rock.
"Cole is the type of kid who makes the people around him better," Pierson said. "Other players look at him on defense and say, 'It's going to be OK.' He's a heart-and-soul guy and he frustrated a lot of quarterbacks around the league."
And the good news is that Caynoski, whose brother, Chase, played for the Saints, is a junior. Looking at next year, the Saints look pretty good at linebacker.
That's Caynoski and Ethan Ellsworth. All Ethan did was tackle everyone one in the Western Slope. The sophomore had 134 tackles in nine games. Note to Austin Ellsworth: Don't rag your brother. He might tackle you, too.
Currey, the second of his family (Kristen) to be an all-leaguer, did just about everything for the Saints. At defensive end, Currey was second on the squad in tackles. He lead the team in receiving, and had the longest run in school history this season. For the record, both Currey and P.J. Bevan (2003) both have 99-yard dashes to their credit.
Schramm, who was proceeded by his brother Dan, is the quintessential lineman on both sides of the ball. As an offensive lineman, he plowed the road for guys like Ellsworth and Cooper. As a nose guard he had 43 tackles of his own and blew up opposing teams' line for the Saints linebackers to make the play.
Davis quickly became a nice addition on both side of the ball. The sophomore had 15 catches for 233 yards as a receiver and 52 tackles as a defensive back. And he has a brother (Alex) one year behind him, so the family tradition continues at Vail Christian.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.