Vance wins WSL DPOY, Rams land four on WSL team
The 2016 football season might not have ended the way that the Rifle Bears and Glenwood Springs Demons were hoping, but fortunately for both programs the two local schools were well represented on the Class 3A Western Slope League First Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention teams.
Rifle senior linebacker Blaine Vance was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year coming off of a strong season defensively in which he finished with 80 total tackles (7.3 stops per game) and two pass deflections on a defense that allowed just 21.7 points per game.
Joining Vance on the First Team for Rifle was senior defensive tackle Alex Cordova (55 tackles, 2.0 sacks), junior guard/linebacker Connor Gould (34 tackles), junior running back Cam Shepherd (740 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, eight receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns) and senior running back Drake Montgomery (1,017 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, two passing touchdowns, two receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown).
Junior guard/linebacker Ramon Salvidrez, junior quarterback Luke Ellis, freshman linebacker Ariel Herrera, junior Brian De La Rosa and senior defensive end Max Demann earned Honorable Mention honors for the Bears.
Glenwood Springs senior quarterback Jake Townsley topped the First Team All-Conference list following a year in which he threw for 1,071 yards and five touchdowns while adding 768 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Joining Townsley was senior running back Easton Gaddis, who rushed for 915 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 52 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery — both of which he returned for scores against Eagle Valley late in the season to make the Demons playoff-eligible.
Senior center/defensive tackle Jesse DuPlesys (56 total tackles, one sack) and sophomore receiver Luke Gair (26 receptions for 450 yards and two touchdowns) joined Townsley and Gaddis on the First Team for the Demons.
Junior outside linebacker/tight end Jake Brown and senior guard/defensive end Ethan McGill earned Honorable Mention honors for Glenwood.
2A All-Conference Awards
The Basalt Longhorns put together one of the best seasons in program history this fall, and for that Head Coach Carl Frerichs and senior quarterback Miles Levy swept the postseason awards, winning Coach of the Year and Back of the Year awards.
Frerichs led the Longhorns to a berth in the state playoffs after winning the 2A WSL with a 7-3 (5-0) record, while Levy threw for 1,297 yards and 18 touchdowns, adding another 182 yards and six touchdowns rushing on the season.
Joining Levy on the First Team for Basalt was senior receiver Kyle Roberts (33 receptions, 492 yards and 13 touchdowns), senior offensive lineman/defensive lineman Cullen White (21 total tackles, 4.0 sacks), junior running back Alex Alberto (865 rushing yards and eight touchdowns), junior receiver Pablo Torres (23 receptions, 373 yards and one touchdown) and sophomore Trevor Reuss (55 total tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries).
Junior Oswald Morales, sophomore Colin Hipona, junior Griffen Jenkins, junior Thomas Wirth, sophomore Jake Reuss and sophomore Tai Kim earned Honorable Mention honors for the Longhorns.
For Roaring Fork, senior running back/safety Aldo Pinela, senior quarterback Hayden Bernot, junior defensive end/offensive lineman Kade Kennedy and senior tight end/safety Jake Kelley earned First Team honors for the Rams.
Pinela led the way for the Rams, rushing for 397 yards and two touchdowns while adding nine receptions for 286 yards and three touchdowns offensively. Pinela stood out defensively, as well, recording 54 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
Bernot piloted the Rams to a 3-6 record, throwing for 545 yards and four touchdowns while adding 367 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. Kennedy made his biggest impact defensively, recording 24 total tackles for the Rams.
Kelley, who had to fill in at quarterback early in the year for an injured Bernot, added seven receptions for 112 yards through the air and 48 total tackles defensively.
Senior fullback/linebacker Reed Featherstone, senior running back/linebacker Jorge Gomez, senior Enrique Gonzalez and junior Kevin Pacheco earned Honorable Mention honors for the Rams.
For Coal Ridge, junior running back Jacx Power, senior running back Eddy Baez and junior receiver Raul Ramirez earned First Team honors.
Power rushed for a team-high 599 yards and two touchdowns while adding 13 receptions for 96 yards for the Titans.
Baez joined Power in the backfield and rushed for 170 yards and one touchdown while recording 60 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the season.
Ramirez was the home run threat offensively, hauling in 26 receptions for 463 yards and four touchdowns while picking off five passes defensively.
Joining Power, Baez and Ramirez was senior quarterback/defensive end Jackson Sargent, senior wide receiver/safety Jacob Morgan and senior tight end/linebacker Tyler Slone, who were named to the Honorable Mention team.