Bears Football Notebook
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
While Saturday’s 32-15 loss to Silver Creek in the state title game proved painful to swallow, Rifle High School’s football players were able to reflect positively on an accolade-filled season.
The Bears went 13-1, making the state title game for the first time since 2005.
It’s a season senior Eli Boone won’t soon forget.
“I’m proud to be able to play with these guys and get this opportunity,” he said.
What made the 2012 Rifle football team so special?
“Just the sheer amount of work we put in,” Boone said. “We’d show up at 7 in the morning. We put in a lot of work for this. I think that’s what got us this far, all the hard work we put in.”
Said junior Javier Nunez: “You know, one game is not going to define our whole season. It’s just one game. I’m just proud of all my teammates. We left it all on the field. That’s all you can really ask.”
Rifle High’s Ryan Moeller is still searching for a place to play football in college, but he wasn’t really thinking all that much about his future in the wake of Saturday’s loss to Silver Creek.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time, really,” he said. “I’m going to focus on going home and enjoying myself, and then starting up again on Monday.”
Moeller, a senior running back and safety who finished in the neighborhood of 3,000 yards rushing, has received some Division I interest, most recently from Colorado State University.
With his two touchdowns on Saturday, he finished up 2012 with 43 scores via the ground and 50 total TDs for the season. He had three receiving TDs and spread four more scores between his work on defense and special teams.
Rifle senior Coy Zang had an interesting deal in place with Moeller had the Bears won the state title on Saturday.
“I made a deal with Moeller that, if we won, he would have to wrestle again,” relayed Zang, a returning state qualifier for Rifle’s wrestling team.
Moeller wrestled early on during his high school days, and Zang believes he would have followed through on his deal to return to the team.
“He’s a man of his word, for sure,” Zang said. “He’s a good guy.”
Rifle head coach Damon Wells couldn’t find the words to describe what his team’s seniors have done for the school’s football program. Words don’t do the group justice.
“I don’t think we can say enough about this senior group,” he said. “I think if I tried to use any words to describe what they mean to the program or how I feel about them, I’d sell them short. I know what’s in my heart and I know what they’ve done for this program. There’s no way we could use any words to thank them enough.”
In Saturday’s other Colorado state championship games, Monarch held on to defeat Denver South, 17-14, to claim the Class 4A state title at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
In the 5A title game at Mile High, Valor Christian defeated Cherokee Trail, 9-0, to win its fourth consecutive state title. It’s the school’s first title at the 5A level.
– Jeff Caspersen
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