Battle Mountain dots all-league team
Huskies second-team selections
EDWARDS — Battle Mountain football has all-league players.
First off, that’s just a telling statement after two winless seasons in 2012 and 2013.
What’s more, the Huskies have a lot of all-league players after winning the 2A Slope North — six on the first team, six on the second team, the delightful spoils of victory.
It’s also a well-deserved acknowledgment, particularly for the seven seniors so honored, for all they have endured. They were freshmen and on the periphery of the Huskies’ success in 2011 and then were thrown into the fire the next two years and had the perseverance to see it through the dark days.
“The biggest thing was that we practiced hard and expected a lot out of practice,” Huskies coach Kevin Meyer said. “A lot of kids were unselfish, and that’s hard to get nowadays. We had a good bunch of seniors, and they really helped to elevate our play.”
D and D
Demetrius Parrish spent his first two years with Huskies football running for his life. This year, given a bit of time, the kid showed he could play. The quarterback was a great fit for Meyer’s pistol spread offense.
The junior racked up the yards on designed runs — 91 carries for 438 yards in all — and became a very capable passer. Parrish completed more than half of his passes (138-for-230), piling up 1,538 yards with 18 touchdowns against three interceptions. That would be all-league.
Parrish is referred to as “D” in Battle Mountain circles, and while he played defense at times, Sam Carlson was a force on defense. No. 77 had a knack for being around the ball. He led the Huskies with a 113 tackles. If the Huskies got a turnover it just seemed like Carlson was involved.
He was officially credited with four fumble recoveries, an interception and three sacks. However Carlson’s numbers ended up, he was a very worthy all-league selection.
Good hands and feet
If you’ve got a quarterback throwing for 1,500 yards or so, someone’s got to be catching it. Owen Riley and Chase Keep were Parrish’s favorite targets and made all-league. Riley snagged 30 passes for 452 yards including seven touchdowns.
Keep also caught 30 passes (341 yards and five touchdowns). Both happened to have good legs as well. Riley was the team’s punter and ended up as the soccer team’s goalie. Meanwhile, Keep was 10-for-11 on field goals, a fantastic ratio, particularly on the Western Slope, where kicking is a lost art.
Noah Shamis started the season with a pick-six against Middle Park and kept making big plays along with Cas Sheridan, and both players round out the first-team contingent.
Shamis scored by interception (twice), a fumble recovery and a kickoff return. Sheridan could also return a kick with the best of them, including a 50-yard run setting up a score against Steamboat. While that was probably the toughest loss of the year, the Huskies and Sheridan showed some serious fight, an element missing during the last two years. Both Shamis and Sheridan also had touchdowns in the biggest wins of the year against Moffat County and Aspen.
Parrish, Keep and Shamis are all part of a very talented junior class that is coming back. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that coach Meyer, who started the 2014 season on June 11, is now settled and can work with the team during informal sessions during the offseason.
Getting stronger in the weight room is priority No. 1 for the Huskies with continuing to increase interest in the program a close second.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.