Saints football season comes to an end
The magic carpet ride which was 2003 Vail Christian 8-man football came to an end Saturday, just four miles west of Kansas.
The Saints fell to Holly Saturday in Round 2 of the state playoffs, 39-20.
“They pounded us right up the middle. They had some good, strong kids,” Saints coach Bob Isbell said. “It was, 26-14, at halftime. They just came out in the third quarter and took it right in and scored again. We were just battling up the hill the rest of the time.”
Despite the disappointing ending, the Saints battled all year long, compiling a school-best 9-1 record. In Week 1, they recorded the program’s first shutout in a 34-0 victory at Longmont Christian.
It was the first of many firsts in 2003 for Vail Christian.
The sweetest of regular-season wins came Sept. 20, when the Saints humbled the defending league champion Silver State, 36-6. That was the first of five straight home games, in which the Saints were a perfect 5-0.
That streak propelled the Saints to their first Central League crown.
And, then, came last week’s staggering 64-52 win over Genoa-Hugo in Round 1 of the playoffs, the team’s first postseason win.
“They just did everything they needed to do to win games,” said Isbell, while choking back his emotions. “I guess the main thing is the leadership and they way they came together and played as a team. In all honesty, I’ve never been around a group of young men like that before in more than 30 years of coaching.”
But all good things must come to an end, and while there were doubtless tears shed and sad faces after the game, Isbell said that the Saints do realize what they accomplished in 2003.
“We had some time to reflect afterward. They understand. They also understand how much they gave to all of us, their efforts and everything,” he said. “We just focused on all the good things they did all year.”
It started well for Vail Christian on Saturday. Rex Roberts scored on a 95-yard fumble return, a new school record. Quarterback P.J. Bevan threw the conversion to Roberts to make it, 8-0.
The teams went to the locker room with the Wildcats leading, 26-14. The Saints scored in the second quarter when Bevan hit Roberts for 40 yards. That was followed by a 10-yard touchdown run from Robbie Brgoch.
Holly pulled away in the second half, taking a 39-14 lead late into the fourth quarter. But, the Saints battled to the end with a last minute drive, capped by a 6-yard touchdown from Brgoch.
The loss finished the Vail Christian footbal careers of the Class of 2004. These seniors were instrumental in building up the program, helping record the program’s first win in 2000 as freshmen all the way to this year’s 9-1 campaign.
The teams seniors are Matt Seatvet, Bevan, Stephen Shainholtz, Nate Simon, Kyle Morris, Michael MacCutcheon, Richard Butters, John McGee, Andreas Bauer, Will Guffey, Brgoch and Roberts.
Saints spikers fall at regionals
This was not how All Saints’ Day was meant to go.
First, the Vail Christian football team lost to Holly. And, then, the Saints volleyball team was eliminated at regionals in Gunnison on Saturday.
Vail Christian went 1-2, beating Sierra Grande after falling to Primero and DeBeque in the round-robin tournament. Those losses eliminated the Saints’ bid for their first state-tournament appearance.
Nevertheless, it was a turnaround season for the Saints spikers. After going 1-15 and winless in the 1A Mountain League in 2002, Vail Christian rang up a 7-3 league mark, good for third place league, the highest finish in school history.
Last weekend, the Saints qualified for regionals for the first time, by defeating Ridgway in the semifinals of the district tournament.
The Saints finished the season with a school-record mark of 12-12.
DeBeque and Primero advanced to the state tournament.
Due to the record seasons by both Saints’ team this fall, the Saints have garnered copious postseason honors.
The Vail Daily will be running stories on the football team’s awards next week. In accordance with league rules – that all-league honors are not released until all the teams from your respective league are eliminated, and DeBeque is still alive – the Daily will publish the Saints spikers’ awards the week after the state-volleyball tournament.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.