Barnes is SJBL Girls’ Runner-of-the-Year
Following Ignacio Football’s season-ending Nov. 13 destruction of Del Norte, freshman lineman Trajan Garcia, who came up with a fumble recovery defensively to aid the cause, took time to assess what the victory signified.
“It means a lot to me because we get to support the community and stuff like that,” he said before exiting the energetic Bobcats’ locker room. “And I think this season … I got a lot of experience. At the beginning I was not that good, but then I started to get used to it and it came to me.”
He could have been referring to his gridiron gains or, being a two-sport ’Cat, his JV-to-varsity advances in cross-country, for which he received his first varsity letter only a couple days before helping trounce the Tigers at IHS Field.
Head coach Daniel Holley proudly reported that the same honor was bestowed upon several members of Ignacio’s first boys’ XC crew in decades, including lone senior Dylan Labarthe, juniors Gabe Tucson and Jeremy Roderick, sophomore Eppie Quintana and freshman Phillip Quintana.
Tucson was also awarded CHSAA Academic All-State Honorable Mention status, despite coping with the added pressure of mastering IHS’ offense as the football team’s starting quarterback, once the Association gave its go-ahead to a Fall 2020 season – commencing as the cross-country campaign was reaching its crescendo.
Emerging as the Lady Bobcats’ No. 1 as an atypical freshman, Maci Barnes was named All-San Juan Basin League as well as SJBL Girls’ Runner-of-the-Year – over both present senior Charlize Valdez, who won the award last year, as well as Mancos senior Grace Manning.
Valdez, meanwhile, was also named All-League as Ignacio not only qualified as a team for the 2020 CHSAA Class 2A State Championships – a first for the third-year reborn girls’ program – but scored a top-10 result on the challenging course in Colorado Springs. Both she and Barnes also received First Team Academic All-State, along with juniors Avaleena Nanaeto and Alannah Gomez, plus freshman Moriah Ashley.
Honorable Mention Academic All-State went to senior Vanessa Gonzales, as well as the varsity letter also awarded Barnes, Valdez, Nanaeto, Gomez and Ashley.