Eight Cardinals make all-conference | PostIndependent.com

Eight Cardinals make all-conference

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

PARACHUTE, Colo. – When it came to picking this year’s Class 1A Western Slope Conference football team, Grand Valley head coach Mike Johnson expected to get a fair shake with the voters.What he didn’t anticipate, was the respect the players had earned among his coaching colleagues.”It was kind of funny because not many of our kids (were chosen) outright,” Johnson said. “We had five kids who won by a vote or so because so many different kids were nominated by the coaches, which was neat. That shows we had some depth.”

Once the votes were tabulated, eight Grand Valley starters were selected to the first team. Three others received honorable mention.”I was shocked,” Johnson said of the final tally. “I thought I’d be leaving with five or six all-conference kids and left with eight. It rewards them for a great season.”A season that many among the Cardinal faithful will say was arguably one of the best in school history.Running back Danny Manzanares, quarterback Richard Gallegos along with wide receiver Tyler Harris were tabbed as the best of their positions in the seven-team conference.

Returning to the field after suffering a season-ending broken leg in 2005, Manzanares had a superb year.During the regular season, when the Cardinals won eight of nine games, giving them the 1A WSC league title, Manzanares rushed for 1,108 yards, averaging 7.3 yards per-carry with 10 touchdowns.When given the choice to throw, Gallegos was equally effective.In nine regular season games, the senior completed 60 percent of his passes (49-of-77), passing for nine touchdowns, and threw for over 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season, all while being intercepted only twice.

Usually, Jensen was on the other end of those passes. He led Grand Valley with 26 receptions and five touchdowns, averaging 17.8 yards a catch.Cole Kraft and Jesse Forney were picked as first team offensive linemen. Teammate Tyler Harris was noted for his work on defense. William Waugh, a starting linebacker who also carried the ball for Grand Valley at times, and defensive back and part-time running back Derrick Maxfield round out Grand Valley’s first- team selections.Cardinals earning honorable mention were linebacker Colton Cowan, lineman Daniel Wisdom and Matt Zallari.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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