Football Sports

Forfeits finalize IHS’ football season 

Monday morning, Oct. 25, the other shoe dropped. And with Ignacio Football barely treading water, sunk the Bobcats’ once-promising Fall ’21 season like cement galoshes. 

Having elected to forfeit their 10/22 Senior Night home game versus 1A Southern Peaks Conference heavyweight Centauri, the decision was made – and announced in an e-mail from IHS Athletic Director Leo Garand – to also axe their slated finale Friday night, Oct. 29, at Del Norte. 

“I’ve got nine kids left, so it was really tough; I wish we would have had the same 14 kids when we started, before we got hurt,” IHS head coach Alfonso ‘Ponch’ Garcia said at the time, alluding primarily to a crippling wave of injuries, which first impacted Ignacio right before their SPC opener Oct. 8 against Center, but also indirectly to rumored academic troubles – likely compounded by on-field struggles. “Who knows what would have happened, you know what I mean?” 

“We were in touch with them last week … trying to give them the heads-up that there could be a possibility we were not going to have a game,” he continued. “The only way we were going to play was … It would have to be a miracle.” 

“It is always difficult to not play a game for whatever reason, whether it be for COVID, eligibility issues or injury,” DNHS head coach/AD Richie Madrid commented the next morning. “The Del Norte football team was looking forward to playing Ignacio, not because they are a league opponent but because it is Ignacio and you know the game is going to be competitive.” 

Following a second 2-0 forfeit loss in as many weeks, the ’Cats finished 5-4 overall but a most disappointing 0-4 in SoPeaks play. The Tigers, meanwhile, improved to 2-6, 1-2 (their 10/8 clash with Centauri was ruled a no-contest, due to pandemic-prevention protocols depleting both teams), but then fell to 2-7 overall after losing 49-0 to non-conference replacement foe Peyton. 

“I’m really sad what’s happened because I wanted our seniors to finish on a good note. And they don’t get to finish like that now,” stated Garcia. “They’ll be very well-missed; it’s a good group of kids, one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of coaching.” 

The senior Bobcats are Gabe Tucson, Shawn Campbell, Alric Hudson, Tyler Barnes and Jeremy Roderick. 

POSTSEASON GLANCE: Having finished first in the 1A Santa Fe with a 3-0 record, PHS improved to 6-3 overall via routing Del Norte and, having received the 16-team State Playoffs’ No. 15 seed, will next visit No. 2 Centauri for first-round battle Saturday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. The winner will then face the survivor of No. 7 Strasburg (6-3, 4-0 Northern) and No. 10 Yuma (5-4, 2-3 North Central) in the quarterfinals. 

CHS (8-0, 3-0 SPC) clinched the SoPeaks crown on the 29th at Monte Vista, prevailing 55-8 on the devastated Pirates’ own Sullivan Field. Still awarded the Playoffs’ No. 13 seed, however, MVHS (6-3, 3-1) will next travel to 4-seed Florence (8-1, 2-1 Tri-Peaks) and also get underway Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. The victor of 5-seed Wray (7-2, 4-1 North Central) and 12-seed Ault Highland (6-3, 3-1 Northern) will await the winner in the quarters. 

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