Eight is enough for Battle Mountain football
Eagle Valley football
We haven’t forgetten about the Devils. By league rule, all-league selections cannot be released until every team from the 3A Slope is eliminated. Both Delta and Palisade are in the state quarterfinals on Saturday.
EDWARDS — Yes, Battle Mountain football got postseason awards last season, but it’s still pretty cool to see Huskies gridders get recognized.
With apologies to Dick Van Patten, eight is enough for Battle Mountain — four on the first team and four honorable mentions from the 2A Slope North.
Call him “The Leg” or just a “Fantasy Team in one Person,” Chase Keep made his second all-league team as kicker, punter, wide receiver and cornerback. Not surprisingly, he was the league’s Kicker of the Year. He had a whopping 25 touchbacks, pretty much eliminating any chance of the opposing team getting any form of return.
He was 22-for-25 on extra points and booted six field goals. He caught 12 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, he had 40 total tackles and picked off four passes.
Wyatt Harwood, running back and linebacker, is next, earning his first team after being an honorable mention last year. He led the team in rushing with 603 yards, despite getting dinged up midseason. He ran for two touchdowns and went to the house for another as a receiver out of the backfield.
Demetrius Parrish is all-league two years in a row as the quarterback and both safety and quarterback in the secondary. He completed 32-of-54 passes for 504 yards with five touchdowns. He was also a threat with his legs, running 64 times for 377 yards.
Noah Shamis was second on the team with 62 tackles and ran for 191 yards and six scores.
All four of these Huskies are seniors and survived their first two years — an 0-20 stretch — to go 10-8 combined during their junior and senior campaigns.
“We’re making strides,” Huskies coach Cliff Lohrey said. “It started under (former coach) Kevin Meyer last year. The reality of the situation is that we need to start making some strides at the 3A level.”
The coach has a point as the Huskies will return to the 3A Slope, in whatever form it is — CHSAA is realigning all leagues after this two-year cycle — next fall. Nonetheless, the above quartet has made its mark on Huskies football.
The good news is that there are a lot of pieces in place, as recognized by opposing coaches, for that to happen.
Junior lineman Todger Davis (44 tackles) is honorable mention, and so is Nicky Hancock, a sophomore. Zane Hensel, the team’s leading tackler on defense, will return for his senior year, as does Chance Archuleta.
That’s a good group of young players.
“There’s no question, if they put the work in this offseason, they can be outstanding,” Lohrey said. “I’m confident they will.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.