Eagle-Vail: Robbins all-league for Huskies
Editor’s note: Fear not, Eagle Valley fans. Check out Friday’s Vail Daily for a full rundown on the Devils’ all-league football selections.
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” The main thing one notices about an 0-10 football team is its record.
But the coaches of the 3A Western Slope ” those who spend hours of their lives looking at tape ” were able to see beyond Battle Mountain’s record in 2008 and acknowledge the program’s progress.
The coaches named junior Parke Robbins to the league’s first team, and handed out honorable-mention honors to seniors Roman Lopez and Wes Stephens.
The first thing opposing coaches did last fall was figure out where No. 11 was. Robbins played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and kicked for the Huskies.
“The only thing he didn’t do was snap,” Huskies coach David Joyce joked. “We might have to work on some deep snaps for him.”
“Actually, I tried long-snapping at the beginning of the year,” Robbins said. “I can do it, but I’d probably get annihilated if I did it in a real game.”
On offense, Robbins was explosive with 1,200 yards rushing, 900 yards passing and being a part of 19 touchdowns. Those numbers are particularly impressive, given that as Battle Mountain’s injuries grew during the season, Robbins essentially was the team’s only offensive threat. Opposing defenses keyed on him yet still had problems containing him.
This did take its toll on Robbins who would enter the training room early in the week with a sore back, swollen knees and an ugly-looking throwing elbow, yet still be ready to go come Friday night.
“It’s obviously a physical game. I knew that coming in,” Robbins said. “I don’t know. I just looked forward to the next week and not focus on injuries. It wasn’t too bad.”
Like many Huskies, both Stephens and Lopez played on both sides of the ball. Stephens played center and middle linebacker. His contributions to Battle Mountain football went beyond the snaps on the field.
“Wes is Wes,” Joyce said. “He battles. If we had a team of Weses, we’d be a pretty good football team.”
On offense, Lopez was critical in the Huskies’ system to opening holes for Robbins. When the other team had the ball, Lopez seemed to have a nose for the ball.
“That’s just Roman,” Joyce said. “That’s what made him special. He never gave up on a play. They break off a 90-yard play and he never gave up. He played through a bunch of injuries, but never missed a step.”
The Huskies will miss Stephens and Lopez as well as the team’s two other seniors, Lucas Brown and Chase Olle, but there is reason for optimism.
Battle Mountain was composed primarily of returning juniors and freshman last fall, and all of those players got extensive playing time in 2008. Joyce, who also teaches at Berry Creek Middle School, said that this year’s eighth-grade class is eager to make the jump to high school, helping Battle Mountain with its perennial numbers problem.
It may be December, but the Huskies are ready for 2009.
“I think they are definitely going to improve a lot,” Stephens said. “It may take a little bit, but they’ve got the coach and they’re looking good.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or email@example.com.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.