Fri Dec 22nd, 2017
Special to the Drum
One of those players any coach – perhaps even Centauri’s Kyle Forster – hates to face, but would love to have on his roster, Ignacio’s Natoni Cundiff not only pushed the Bobcats’ offense forward, but often pushed opponents’ offenses backwards in 2017.
Not only was he named IHS’ Defensive Player-of-the-Year as a result, but the senior center/defensive lineman led Ignacio’s First Team All-Southern Peaks Conference selections, released after CHS lost the Class 1A State Championship by a controversial 10-7, double-overtime result at home to Strasburg.
Ignacio Offensive POY Trace Lovelace, a senior primarily used at the quarterback and running back positions, as well as placekicker, was also named First Team All-SPC along with junior running back/linebacker Mike Archuleta. Durable even on an injured knee, junior running back/defensive lineman Dustin Sanchez earned Honorable Mention All-Conference.
Joining him in that regard were Deontay Martinez and Adam Chacon from Coach-of-the-Year Forster’s squad, Monte Vista senior OL/LB Jared Atencio and junior kicker/wide receiver/defensive back Parker Randolph, Dolores sophomore OL/DL Wade Charles and freshman QB/DB Jayden Karo, and senior WR/CB Malachi Neil from Walsenburg John Mall.
Centauri senior running back/safety Brandon Buhr was named the SoPeaks’ Offensive POY and junior OL/DL Bennie Chacon its Defensive POY as the Falcons finished atop the conference with a 4-0 mark and ended up 12-1 overall after the aforementioned loss to SHS (12-1). Both individuals also joined teammates Nate Anderson (sr., QB/DB), Casey Fringer (sr., OL/DL), Jackson Price (sr., OL/DL) and Sam Anderson (sr., WR/LB) as First Team All-SPC selections.
Senior RB/LB Jacob Chavez and senior OL/DL Cedric Perea represented MVHS on the First Team, along with junior fullback/linebacker Tyler Vigil, senior OL/DL Antonio Duran and senior WR/DB Stephen Clutter. Senior quarterback/safety Justin Purkat, senior RB/LB Austin Hackney and junior FB/LB Forrest Pejsa represented DHS, as did JMHS senior RB/DL Caelan Vigil.
Despite the Panthers finishing winless in ’17 after forfeiting their final three games, senior center/defensive lineman Trystan Estrada received Second Team All-SPC status, joining Dolores’ Preston Enoah (sr., OL/DL), Josh Corbitt (sr., WR/DB) and Bryan Escarcega (soph., OL/DL); Monte Vista’s Zach Hindes (jr., QB/LB), Kaidon Wenta (soph., WR/DB) and Kevin Castro (jr., OL/DL); Centauri’s Teddy Sowards (sr., OL/LB), Brian Shawcroft (sr., WR/DB), Tristan Crowther (jr., QB/DL) and Taj Cornum (soph., RB/LB).
Ignacio finished 4-5 overall in 2017, and a third-place 2-2 in the Southern Peaks.