Football, volleyball off to promising start
by Patty Unruh
Football vs. Merino
The Gilpin High School Eagles football squad played its first regular season game at home against the Merino Rams on Saturday, September 2, experiencing a narrow 35-28 loss.
Gilpin did not begin well. The score at the end of the first quarter was 27-0 in favor of the Rams, and it looked as though the game might be a blowout, as was last year’s 50-0 loss to Merino in the first game of the 2016-17 season. The Eagles got plenty of practice on kick returns during the first quarter of last weekend’s game, though.
It was too early for Merino to get complacent. Gilpin picked up a touchdown and a conversion by #19 Austin Boulter early in the second quarter to put 8 points on the board, and that got the team and the fans fired up. Merino also scored 8 in the second period, but the Eagles denied the Rams’ attempts to score at all in the second half of the game, a very good effort by the Eagles against the Rams’ traditionally state championship players.
#19 senior Austin Boulter was Overall Player and Offensive Player of the Game for Gilpin, leading with 212 yards rushing, 4 touchdowns, 2 conversions, and 7 tackles. He also completed one pass for 19 yards.
#47 senior Josh Trujillo was named Defensive Player of the Game. Gilpin’s Head Coach Craig Ball praised his effort as “outstanding. He had 18 solo tackles, 3 assists, 1 pass defensed, and 1 fumble caused.”
#45 senior Manny Gomez was selected as Special Teams Player of the Game, with 4 kicks for 177 yards and 4 kickoff returns for 91 yards.
The Eagles mustered 75 total tackles, including Angel Gomez with 7 solo and 6 assisted tackles. Boulter, Jack Ball, and M. Gomez each had 4 solo tackles, and M. Gomez also had 5 assisted tackles.
- Ball grabbed an interception for a 5-yard gain. Boulter and Tristan Froio put the pressure on to hurry Merino’s quarterback, and J. Ball, Boulter, A. Gomez, and Trujillo all put a crimp in Merino’s passing game with defended passes.
The Eagles were also helped by fewer penalty yards than the Rams – 46 to 60 – including a call on Merino for interference on a pass by Boulter in the fourth quarter.
Other highlights included J. Ball gaining 46 yards in 11 carries and John Immordino receiving for 19 yards. The Eagles racked up 477 total yards, including 156 in kick returns.
Gilpin has only four home games this season, three of which are this month. The next home game will be on Saturday, September 9, at 1:00 p.m. against Simla.
The Eagles team boasts six seniors this year: Jack Ball, Austin Boulter, Manny Gomez, Josh Trujillo, Tristan Froio, and John Immordino. Adding to the team’s experienced ranks are juniors Angel Gomez, Daniel Jewell, Jake Duncan, and Jaime Alexander.
Coach Ball also noted that the team spent two weeks at football camps this summer and worked on weight lifting. New uniforms this year should also help boost confidence.
VB Invitational at West Grand
The Lady Eagles varsity team came out 2-2 at the West Grand (Kremmling) neutral invitational tournament on Labor Day weekend. This year’s experienced squad includes four seniors (Katelyn Armstrong, Aspen Nadeau, Cicely Lepro, and Alex Martin) and two juniors (Courtney Holmes and Kasen Nelson). Hopes are high for a good season.
“I am extremely proud of the girls for their performance at the West Grand tournament this weekend,” Head Coach Alexis Donaldson related. “We were able to win our pool and play Lyons for the championship match. I am looking forward to opening up our league season this Thursday at Highland.”
Gilpin played hard against the West Grand Mustangs in their first tournament round, but experienced a 3-2 loss. West Grand won the first set 25/21, but Gilpin took the lead in sets two and three with scores of 25/21 and 25/18. Fans were on their feet for the close fourth match, which Gilpin lost by only 2 points (26/24). West Grand swept the tie-breaker set 15/7.
Next, the Lady Eagles emerged the victors 3-2 in a well-fought match against the Cedaredge Bruins. Sets were 20/25, 22/25, 25/22, 25/16, and 15/10 (Gilpin shown first). Alex Martin was the leader in kills with 13, followed by Kasen Nelson with 9. Martin also came in with 6 serving aces, and Nelson contributed 1 solo block. The team had 118 total digs, with Aspen Nadeau and Cicely Lepro leading with 29 each. Lepro was tops in ball handling assists with 27, and Martin led in serves received with 24.
On the second day of the invitational, the Lady Eagles dominated the Sanford Indians 3-0, with set scores of 25/19, 25/13, and 25/19. Gilpin came in with 27 kills, 6 serving aces, and 52 digs to triumph.
The Lady Eagles faced the Lions Lyons for the championship battle, losing 3-0.
The junior varsity won all of their matches in a round robin tournament at Gilpin on August 30, playing against Rocky Mountain Lutheran, Mile High Academy, and Nederland.
The next varsity game is set for Thursday, September 7, at Highland. Gilpin plays at home on Tuesday, September 12, against Longmont Christian, with the junior varsity at 4:30 and the varsity at 5:30.