Bears’ fans cheer to the end |

Bears’ fans cheer to the end

Rifle High senior Jose Prado (79) and some of his teammates watch as Pueblo East accepts the Class 3A football state championship trophy following the Bears' 30-14 loss to the Eagles at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo on Saturday.
Darcy Copeland / DC Photo |

RIFLE — While Rifle High School football fans were naturally disappointed in the outcome of the Class 3A state championship game on Saturday afternoon, they were happy for the opportunity to watch the game streamed lived at the New Ute Events Center in downtown Rifle.

More than 300 fans attended the event. Admission for the game was a can a food to be donated to LIFT-UP.

After a game that was tied up until halftime, the Bears lost to the Pueblo East Eagles, 30-14.

The Ute Events Center was packed full with Bears fans, parents and former players, who were enthusiastic throughout the game.

“I’ve always been a Bears fan and these guys have had the heart, soul and strength to make it this far,” said Nancy MacGregor of Rifle at halftime.

When Charlene Collett of Rifle was a cheerleader at Rifle High School from 1954 to 1958, she remembers coming to the Ute Theatre and watching a matinee for nine cents.

So she was thrilled to be able to see the Bears play at the new Ute Events Center downtown with her former cheerleading friend, Marilyn Hall, also of Rifle.

“This was all we had in high school,” Collett said. “I think they’ve done a fantastic job here. This was where you came for date night.”

Dick Morgan used to play for the Bears from 1954 to 1957 and he and his wife, Kay, were also in the audience, cheering the team on, including their grandson, sophomore Cole Morgan.

“I played for the Bears, so did my son and now my grandson,” Dick Morgan said. “This is great. It’s just a shame the kids can’t see how many people turned out to watch them.”

And even when the Bears started to fall behind, the crowd at the Ute Theater never gave up.

“GO BEARS – GET ‘EM!” a fan member yelled allowed, even though things did not look so good in the fourth quarter.

The cheer was followed by a foot-stomping cheer throughout the theater of “Let’s go Rifle… let’s go!”

As they filtered out of the theater following the game, nobody was jubilant, but everyone seemed glad that they had the opportunity to see the game at a local venue.

“It had a good beginning and everybody was all psyched up and then it got a little quiet at the end,” said Lori Vigil of Rifle, whose nephew, Alex Cordova, plays for the Bears, “But we’re still very proud of them.”

Mandy Hickman of Rifle echoed the sentiments and expressed gratitude at the opportunity to see the game streamed live right here in Rifle.

“It was nice to see Rifle pull together for their team,” Hickman said. “It was a good turnout. The town got together and came together and brought food for Lift-Up.”

Don Chaney, manager of the Ute Theater, had the game streamed in by NFHS Network and the cost was paid for by local businesses.

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