Battle Mountain’s Steinbach named all-league
EAGLE-VAIL – Both the defensive and offensive lines were the heart of Battle Mountain football in 2005, and the 3A Slope coaches reaffirmed that fact in their postseason voting.Defensive end and offensive tackle Zach Steinbach got all-league honors, while defensive tackles and guards/centers Mitch Gray and Jamie Hijmans were named honorable mention. Steinbach’s play had opposing coaches looking for No. 70 on both sides of the ball. “Zach had been one of the guys who’s played three years for me,” Huskies coach Pat Engle said. “As a sophomore player, he didn’t play a down of varsity football, came out last year and started as an offensive tackle. This year, he was a two-way football player and was just a great football player.”
Huskies’ running backs often ran behind him for gains. On defense, he had seven sacks and was pretty much a thorn in the side of opposing offenses.”It was pretty exciting. It was fun. I really enjoy football now,” Steinbach said. “My sophomore year, it was just something to do to hang out with my friends. Now, it’s just something I love to do. Last year, I just played offense. I always wanted to get out on defense, but never got the chance to go both ways. That was a lot of fun.”Gray, Hijmans honored
Gray and Stevens traded places all season at center and guard. Gray was the center in the shotgun and Hijmans snapped the ball when the quarterback was under center. They also were defensive tackles on the other side of the ball.And both are juniors set to return for next year.”Those two kids, I expect them to be leaders next year, leaders in the weight room, leaders everywhere,” Engle said.Hijmans, in the words of Engle, is hopefully going to be “the last four-year letterman at Battle Mountain High School.” The goal of the program is to develop depth, so that only upperclassmen play varsity for the Huskies.
But in the meantime, Engle is happy to have players like Hijmans coming back.”I watched him play drums in the talent show and he plays football just like he plays the drums with a lot of reckless abandon,” Engle said. “He’s pretty exciting. He’s a kid who likes contact. He’s going to hit you until the first breath of air goes out of that ref’s whistle.”Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado