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  • Pueblo West Boys Soccer: A strong team with heart

    Soccer is a sport that is often unappreciated. It’s more than just kicking a ball. It involves not only complicated skills but general talent with being quick on your feet. There is a certain breed that can successfully play this sport. The Pueblo West High Boys Soccer team was full of a group of young athletes that had such a strong passion for the game. Ashlyn Harris, a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, said, “There’s no better feeling than stepping out on the field and stunning them all by doing what none of them thought you could do.” This unique team did just that during their 2017 season.

    The Pueblo West boys soccer team were deemed the underdogs before the start of the season. After losing 14 seniors, it was a completely new team with many new faces. The starting lineup consisted mainly of returning JV players from the previous year, who were tested to show what they’re capable of.

    The 2017 Cyclones Varsity Team winning the Milk Jug, which Pueblo West has held for 15 years.

    Pueblo West held the SCL (South Central League) title for five consecutive years; because of the new roster, almost everyone assumed the 2017 season would be the year they lost it. Although, after a shocking turn around season, they became one of two teams (Centennial and Pueblo West) contending for the SCL championship, as well as a spot in the playoffs. They started off the season strong, two wins right off the bat; however, they followed it up with six hard-fought losses, demoralizing the team.

    If there was one thing this team has always had, it was heart, and a lot of it. The team had to learn to work together, which was not as easy as it sounds; no one even knew each other’s names in the beginning of the season. The nine new seniors stepped up to the plate and took charge, leading the team, bettering one another each practice. They had team bonding activities after practice as well, creating a special connection that they needed in order to become the amazing team they were known as.

    It was a very well rounded team, with a few notable returners including Colby Skrivan, Evan Martin, Cavan Sheehan, Jack Dent, and Steven Cline. Injuries were a season long struggle, and the team could not seem to stay healthy. Cavan Sheehan missed seven games due to several injuries, but returned mid-way through the season. Colby Skrivan, a crucial part of the midfield, was ruled out for the season with a torn ligament; he was a team captain and a very skilled player, so his absence certainly hurt the team.

    Evan Martin, senior, playing his heart out on the field. (Photo by Ali Campos)

     

    Despite the challenges the team had to face, Pueblo West had once again managed to overcome anything in their path. They bounced back with a win against their rivals, Pueblo South, after a nail biting 1-0 victory; Sam Parker scored the winning goal. They had played South earlier in the season and came up short with a 3-1 loss; the second game showed how much the team had already improved in such a short amount of time. Later in the season, they beat South once again by a score of 2-1 in an unbelievable game going into overtime. They clenched the victory with a goal coming from Cavan Sheehan, 53 seconds remaining in the game.

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    Cavan Sheehan (left) and Austin Shaw (right) celebrate after Sheehan’s goal in double overtime against South, giving them the 2-1 victory. (Photo by Anthony Sandstrom)

    The Cyclones seized to amaze when playing Palmer Ridge, who they had lost to the previous year. It was anticipated to be a blowout, but senior striker Cavan Sheehan started the game off with a goal for Pueblo West. The game dragged into double overtime but the two sides couldn’t be separated, and it ended 1-1. Cyclones Coach Young commented, “it was our best game of the season. We went into double overtime. Everyone worked hard and it was a very physical game. The guys played with a lot of heart, it just unfortunately ended in a tie.”

    What became known as the biggest game of the season was played against their other Pueblo opponents, Centennial. Earlier in the season the two teams clashed and Centennial came out on top by a score of 3-0. West prepared for this game for weeks by studying the oppositions play style and constantly improving their touch on the ball. They also had to cope with the loss of Colby Skrivan, who they had last time the teams played, and a couple other players with minor injuries that were not able to play at their best. The game was at Centennial’s home field, Dutch Clark, unlike last time when West had home field advantage. Centennial had also been getting ready for the game because the ball movement and talent on the Bulldog side was overwhelming. Unfortunately, Pueblo West was defeated 5-0 in their final game, eliminating them from a playoff spot.

    The loss against Centennial was disappointing for the Cyclones. The team walked away knowing they had accomplished far too much to let their heads drop. The season was hard because they started off with an all new roster and new talent to form into a functioning team. The team took everyone by surprise when they swept competitors off their feet. It was a season that will be remembered.


  • County Hockey Team Starts off Season with a Sting (Student Section Views)

    On Saturday, December 2 at the Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena, the County Hornets played their first hockey game against Rampart.

    Since no other schools in Pueblo have a hockey team, students from all Pueblo schools try out for County’s team.

    As the players came on the ice, I noticed that the stands were pretty filled with not only parents, but students as well. The crowd started cheering loudly and the game began.

    The starters for County were Nicholas Rooney #2 (East), Dixson Root #6 (East), Nathan Cress #17 (ECA), and Connor Whittington #8 and Broc Schindler #16 from West.

    County started off the first period by hustling well.

    The first period ended with the scored being 3-0 with County in the lead. Root and Whittington each scored a power play goal and Whittington also scored a short-handed goal.

    Root scored only 7:14 minutes into the game. Whittington’s first goal was the short-handed goal and that was 10:04 minutes into the first period and that goal was assisted by Preston Tafoya #19 (Centennial). Whittington’s power play goal was with 1:04 minutes left in the first period. That goal was assisted by Schindler and Root.

    As second period started, County players were confident because they were already ahead.

    5:09 minutes into the second period, Schindler scored and was assisted by Jake Pacheco #15 (West).

    After his assist, Pacheco scored an incredible goal with Tafoya assisting.

    The second period ended up being 5-0, County significantly ahead.

    The first goal of the third period was scored by Pacheco once again, unassisted, and it was a power-play goal.

    Unfortunately, the game didn’t end up being a shut-out because Rampart scored, as County’s goalie, Sean Meier #33 (County), was trying to pass to a County player but the puck was stopped and shot in by a Rampart player.

    County did bounce back fairly quickly and scored one more goal before the end of the game. Emilio Aguilera #20 (County) scored with an assist from Luke Guarienti #12 (South) with 4:56 minutes left in the game.

    County won by a significant 6 points, as it was a good game for all fans to watch.

    After the game, I was fortunate enough to get an interview from Whittington and Ryan Nicoll #22 (West).

    Whittington said that Alexander Ovechkin, who plays for the Washington Capitals, inspires him and that is why Whittington is #8. Nicoll is inspired by Nathan Mackinnon, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche. When Mackinnon played Juniors, his number was #22 and that’s why Nicoll chose his number to be #22.

    Before every game, Whittington has to put all of the gear on his right side first, then his left, and of course he has to listen to good music in the locker room. Nicoll’s pregame rituals include taking a shower before each game.

    Whittington’s favorite position to play is either left wing or center, and Nicoll’s is center.

    One of the best things about hockey games that the audience doesn’t get to experience are the chirps that happen on the ice. Whittington’s favorite chirp is something that he has said and since the guy he was chirping had a bubble, he said “Buddy, roll down your window, I can’t hear you.” Nicoll’s favorite chirp is “I’ve seen better hands on a digital clock.”

    As their are eight players on the team from West which are Whittington, Pacheco, Schindler, and Nicoll, there is also Garrett Kristan #1, Cade VanRiper #10, Dylan Horvat #11, and Trentyn Wilson #14.

    I highly suggest going to at least one game this season and supporting the Hornets, and especially all of the players that were named above.


  • High School Hockey

    The Pueblo Hockey team took their first victory of the season against the Rampart Rams 7-1. They blew out the Rams with 46 shots for and only 14 shots against. “They played well and the exciting thing is we can play so much better,” said Coach Lee LaJeunesse.

    Jake Pacheco, led the scoring with 2 goals and an assist. Closely following in points, Broc Schindler and Connor Whittington each had 2 points. Schindler had a goal and an assist while Whittington had two goals. All three of these players are Pueblo West High School attendees.

    8 of the 25 students rostered on the Varsity team are students at Pueblo West High School. “A large percent of our team is from West and I wish that we could play in the blue and black, but I still love hockey enough to play in the green and gold,” said Whittington.

    The next Hornet Hockey game is December 7, 2017 against the Coronado Cougars at the Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena. The Hornets are planning on winning this game as Coronado is 0-1 with a loss to the Crested Butte Titans. After that, they have a game Saturday, December 9, 2017 against their rival team the Castle View Sabercats.

    They Hornets are looking to have a relatively good season and should make it to playoffs. Last year they made it to the second round of playoffs but lost to the state champion team, Monarch.


  • Cyclone Football’s Season Ending Loss Not the End of the Story

    It was the first time the Pueblo West Cyclone Football Team had made semifinals since 2012.

    Pueblo South, the eventual state champions, looked as a shoe in for the championship spot on the other side of the bracket, and the whole town of Pueblo was talking about the dream to end all dreams; an all-Pueblo State Championship.

    But looming ahead of the Cyclone offensive attack was the brick wall defense of the 2016 state champion Pine Creek Eagles, who served the Cyclone’s their lone regular season loss in week seven 21-14.

    History, unfortunately, repeated itself, as the Cyclones lost 28-0 on Saturday, November 25th, “We weren’t clicking like we had in the two previous playoff games,” explained Senior Guard Ticen RothRock.

    Rothrock’s sentiment mirrored the reality of the game, where the often praised cyclone offense, normally explosive and quick to make big plays and collect touchdowns, failed to score even a point against a tough Pine Creek defense.

    “We, as a team, don’t like Pine Creek,” said Rothrock, “Part of the reason they’re so tough is because their name is Pine Creek. People are intimidated of that name and even though we were capable of beating them, that name puts some fear into us and the coaches.”

    Aside from the loss, and the end to an unarguably successful season, Rothrock was sure to mention how classification comes into play immensely with CHSAA’s current football cut offs for 4A and 5A schools. “4A is a mess, places like Pine Creek, that play 5A for every other sport, should not be allowed to continue playing 4A ball when they win four out of six state championships. That’s a 5A team, playing with 4A schools.”

    With more kids come a marked size difference in the athletes, which was definitely a factor for the defense during the semifinal game. “You can only have the defense out for so long before they get tired,” mentioned Rothrock after praising the Cyclone defensive effort, “Like these kids are huge, the guy I go against [on offense] is listed at 6’4″ and 305 lbs. and that’s hard to deal with once you’re tired.”

    However, the story of the game itself was not the only story unfolding that Saturday; following the Cyclones up to D20 Stadium in springs that day were the expectations of a notoriously sports-minded and competitive town, wanting to prove something to the larger Springs Schools. Pueblo wanted a West v. South State Championship, and that pressure made it’s way into the ears of players and coaches.

    “Obviously, we wanted it too, but some things don’t happen, and we didn’t have an easy bracket, according to the numbers, like South.” noted RothRock with a polite statement on how he did not mean to speak badly of the other Pueblo Team, “They had to play a 12th seed and a 15th seed, we played 5th and 1st. It doesn’t mean we’re better, but I do believe that our bracket was harder to survive.”

    Many of the Team’s players are now competing for the Cyclone Boy’s Basketball team, most notably seniors Jacob Wilkenson, Pierre Taylor, Nyeme Smyer Williams, and Billy Blosser.

    Others, like Rothrock, are looking to continue playing football in college. Rothrock will be playing at a Las Angeles Valley College come next Fall.

    Pierre Taylor runs through Hornet Defenders during the 2017 Pigskin Classic (the first game of the season) Credit: Anthony SandStrom for The Pueblo West View

     

     


  • Swimmers Win First Duel of Season

    After losing only two seniors from last season, the Cyclone Girls’ Swim Team is coming into a year of more changes than what may have been anticipated.

    For the 2017-2018 season, the swimmers have moved practices out to the pool at Pueblo County High School, which is a hefty 30 minute drive away from the Pueblo West Area. However, despite the obvious challenges that come with not being able to practice close to home, the team is finding success early in the season.

    Last Thursday, November 30th a very young cyclone team swam to defeat the Central Wildcats 154-52, “We swam well considering we have had a confusing system as far as practicing thus far,” stated head coach Diane Petkoff, “We have had trouble clearing, getting to practices, and pretty much every other tiny thing you could think of, but we are making it work.”

    The team did not lose a single event at the duel, collecting 12 first place finishes on the meet.

    The swimmers collected wins from Freshmen Brooklyn Phillips, Juniors Isabell Osborne and Emily Norris, as well as from Seniors Keely Fisher and Lindsey Bertoldo. The representing Cyclone diver, Senior Madison Ortega also collected a win in her first competitive diving meet.

    Phillips came away with wins in the 200 yard Individual Medley, the 100 yard freestyle, and the 400 yard freestyle relay along with Fisher, Norris, and Senior Chelsey Cosby. “Brooklyn’s time of 1:06 should make her pretty competitive in the league this year, she’s going to be a huge part of the team’s success.” noted Petkoff.

    Norris Collected wins in the aforementioned relay as well as in the 200 yard freestyle. Fisher pulled a strong last 50 to win the 100 yard breaststroke in her only individual event of the day.

     

    Bertoldo pulled out a double victory in polar events; the longest and the shortest. In the 50 yard freestyle, her time of 25.53 was close to five seconds faster than the second place finisher, which she followed with an even more decisive win in the 500 yard freestyle in a time of 5:53 to win by over a minute. Bertoldo qualified for 2018 CHSAA state meet, and will look to add more events in upcoming meets.

    Osborne added her own state qualification in the 100 yard butterfly (1:04). She collected a win there and in the following 100 yard backstroke.

    The others Cyclone relay squads were equally dominant against the Wildcats. The team of Bertoldo, Fisher, Osborne, and Junior Maddie Derting collected a decisive victory in the 200 yard Medley Relay, which was followed by a swift swims from the 200 yard freestyle relay team consisting of Kylee Lamas, Lacey Pfiffer, Portia Roybal, and Cosby.

    The ladies have a duel meet Tuesday, December 6th at 5:00 p.m. vs. the rival South High School Colts as well as a tri-meet against 5A Pine Creek and Palmer the following Saturday (December 9th).