• Category Archives Sports
  • The Milk Jug Classics: A Fight For Glory

    A typical case of Pueblo West’s bipolar weather met the Cyclones’ and their opponents, The Pueblo County Varsity Boys’ Soccer Team, on Tuesday night, providing a dramatic setting for the classic Milk Jug match, which has been played between the two teams since the opening of Pueblo West High School in 1999.

    Before the game, the players were introduced to what appeared to be a cold, wet, and dreary evening. Temperatures entering lower forties and drizzling rain stampeding the field orchestrated slippery plays and physical pain.

    However blisteringly cold it was, the Cyclones still presented a dominance that allowed them to conquer County with a 1-0 win.

    When it comes to soccer, those who play it and those who are retired from it come together to support important traditions such as the Milk Jug. Not only do the players unite and bond together in order to play a ferocious game, but the fans and spectators all join in the fun by combatting whatever extreme conditions come their way and supporting their teams.

    This could be seen by the dozens of fans huddling together on the bleachers, cloaking themselves with blankets, winter jackets, gloves, and anything that could give them warmth, some even acting as if they were actors onThe Day After Tomorrow. Players also joined in the fun by dressing up for the occasion, with Rohnin Morris being seen in a cow costume, or in more usual cases, players waddling back in forth in an attempt to get warm.

    Steven Cline, Pueblo West’s Varsity goalie, stated “In the four years that I’ve been playing for west, we (the Cyclones) have watched film to find our tendencies and fix them. We have worked hard when it comes to game time, and we have battled when we needed to against a talented county team,” when asked how the Cyclones have been able to beat County in the Milk Jug games. He also provided some insight to the perspective of a goalie on the field by relaying “It’s a lot of fun being the goalie because that’s all I’ve really done. The only bad part is not being able to really make up for it when you get scored on. All you can do is just keep working on not letting them (the opposing team) score. The pressure can be a lot to you, and it can really get to you if you let it. The way I handle pressure is to take deep breaths and try to stick to the daily warmup routine we always do because that takes my mind off the game.”

    Credit: Coach Young

    Despite the mournful cold, the Cyclones persevered through the bitter evening and created plays that transcended those of the County players. The hornet players put up a strong fight, but the Cyclones prevailed, boasting a more determined and focused mindset.

    Within the first half, Senior Sam Parker scored a goal from far out, striking it into the upper ninety. This, plus the unceasing plays of the Cyclones, put the team on a highway to victory.

    The Cyclones forged on as one unit, proving that having a close-knit team is the best game plan 100% of the time, no matter the ending score. This practice led the Cyclones to their fifteenth straight Milk Jug Title.


  • Cyclone Soccer Defeats Pueblo South: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

    Blood. Sweat. Tears.

    Last Thursday, the Varsity Boys’ Soccer Team led a fierce and captivating battle against the South’s Varsity Team, surmounting with a 4-1 win.

    To start the match off, senior, Austin Shaw led the ball into the back of the opposing team’s net, molding the score into a 1-0 lead. This first goal sent the Cyclones into a frenzied thirst for the win, attacking the opposing team’s side with strength and resiliency. Shaw, a forward, when describing his thoughts over his goal, stated, “… Really nothing was going through my head to begin with. I just kinda saw the ball, and I shot it, … once it came off of my foot, it went in, so that was pretty nice.”

    The game then pursued a more hurried and strategic playing style, with the Cyclones construing intricate passes, as well as getting back and pressuring the South players when reinforcements were brought forth against the Cyclones. Garret Lerch described South’s pressure as, “not too bad.” Lerch also went on to say, “They did put up a good fight. They did some good passing, good pressure, but overall, it wasn’t too bad.”

    The Cyclones prevailed in their fight for glory, bulldozing the opposing team whenever South stumbled into their den. Hunter Nettles can give an account for this playing style, after propelling insanely long throw-ins onto the field and crossing a pass from the 36-yard-line all the way to the goal line for an attempted shot on goal for the Cyclones.

    Before the match, the Cyclone boys marched to the field, resembling troops headed to battle, and they depicted a crisp and focused mindset. The Cyclones bestowed interminable tenacity, relentlessly pressuring the ball and trudging for South’s goal.

    Nettles gave insight to his team’s humble advantage against the opposing forces by asserting, “The advantage is just that our team is a family. We all play for each other and don’t care who scores or who gets the assist. We all just want to get the win for each other and make each other better.”

    Nevertheless, the Cyclones kicked up a heart-felt game, leaving the crowd in a cacophony of chants and cheers as the game rolled on

    Persistence and patience flowed tremendously from the Pueblo West boys, concocting a ferocious game of battleship against South. Soon into the game, the Cyclones struck the perfect piece and made the plays to triumph. With their confidence up high, Cyclones’ Xavier Hatch volleyed a flawless assist by Gavin Graham into the back, right corner of the goal, sailing passed the outstretched hands of the goalie from the five yard-line.

    Later on, Keishaun Gylling absorbed the confidence of the Cyclones around him, dribbling the ball up the center of the field and nailing it into the back net, leading the Cyclones into a 3-0 lead.

    In spite of his previous triumph earlier in the game, Shaw captured another glimpse at the goal after dribbling the ball perpendicular to the center of the field and nailing it into the back of the net.

    However, in the midst of the Cyclone’s uprising, the opposing team was able to sneak passed the Cyclone’s defense and pass the ball into the goal with only one-minute left in the game, catching everyone off guard. This gut-wrenching moment left the crowd frazzled and the Pueblo West boys shaken.

    Besides the heart-shattering goal at the end of the game, the Cyclones’ perseverance allowed the team to win in commanding fashion, 4-1.

     


  • Editorial: Something Special

    He was 8 years old when I watched him zip across the pool for the first time.

    John Plutt had just won his first race, a short 25 yard dash, and he touched the wall before other children had reached half.

    Everyone on deck couldn’t help but stare at the small, skinny, kid with arms ten times too long for his body. He hopped clumsily out of the pool, a plucky grin on his face as his mother hurriedly rushed forward to wrap him in a towel. Even in the 90 degree summer heat, John was turning blue and shivering as he walked off to talk to our coach.

    Every swimmer, coach, and dedicated parent who got to witness this historic first dip into competition knew that they had just watched something- someone- special.

    Of course, at the time, none of us knew how special John would be.

    Fast forward a couple years, I’m 12 and John’s 10. We had been swimming together for two years now, and I had been there for every practice the kid had ever had. We were lane buddies, both of us just fast enough to swim with the senior group of our team, but not old enough to be part of the social circle that came with it. Obviously, getting ignored by the oh-so-inspiring high schoolers allowed for plenty of time for John and I to get to know each other. By the time I was in middle school, I had a second little brother, and a training partner for life.

    I remember when he made his first state time, it was at a winter meet, and we were some of the only kids who even swam during the winter for our small developmental club team. It was the 100 fly, I remember he broke 1:10, and I remember screaming so loud my voice was hoarse the rest of the day. He ran from behind the blocks to our coach, who sent him quickly over to his mom and I, who he attacked in the biggest hugs he could manage at the young age of 11.

    That was the moment John became something more, as a swimmer. He got hungry, he wanted to swim more events at state, and his work reflected that. He stopped playing other sports, and he decided he really loved swimming. As far as I know, he’s never looked back.

    That first state meet was the start of a long line of state meets, and lots of races that John won. I learned very quickly that John refused to lose.

    It was that desire, that dream to win, that propelled John to convince his family into letting him switch teams with me during his 6th grade year. We left for a more competitive environment, one where I could train with other girls my age, and John could try his might against some of the older year-round boys.

    So we left, we moved, and it was terrifying. I remember John being worried that the coach would be mean.

    Little did he know that Josh Cortese, our coach, would end up being the best person to prepare him for what was to come.

    Some of the biggest turning-point races in John’s life were at a small, summer-league meets.

    Josh decided to test John by making him swim in “The Open.”

    “The Open” age group, during summer, is for kids over the age of 15, but younger kids can be entered by their coaches. At 13, John happily accepted the challenge, he swam, and still swims, with these much older kids every day. He races them in practice, and he never backs down.

    He didn’t falter in the face of this bigger obstacle. He swam with kids almost five years his senior at that league meet, and for the first time ever John realized he was not limited to being good in his own grouping, He learned that, with hard-work, age really is negotiable. The older boys quickly took him into their ranks, and helped to train him to another level.

    During his eighth grade year, we carpooled to Pueblo County High School every day for swim practice. I got to tell him all about the joys of high school swimming, and I knew then he would make a splash in Pueblo. He was already competitive with the fastest kids in town, and he wasn’t even 15!

    That year, he won a state championship during club season in the 100 fly, and his confidence sky-rocketed. Watching him win that race was like watching him win his first 25. The same grin covered his face when he got out of the water, and the same kid who used to bargain with his parents for suckers in exchange for victories walked over to his mom and immediately said she owed him a whole coconut cream pie for winning. He didn’t focus on the swim, he just wanted some food.

    His first high school meet was characterized by people saying “Who is this kid?” immediately followed by “He’s a freshman!” I couldn’t help but smile every time someone realized what I had always known. There, right there, in this goofy 15 year old boy, was something very rare.

    I am inspired daily, by my swim-brother, who sets goals as soon as he breaks them. Who has never been complacent in victory, only working harder after a big win. A boy who, no matter the attention, always stays humble.

    Imagine every practice together, every tear shed, every sore muscle, and every huge “post-win” grin coming together at one time. Imagine every aspect of your history with a person coming to mind in a second. Imagine every moment of the past rushing in and intermingling with the present as every joking “I’m gonna win as a freshmen” becomes more than a possibility, more than just a dream.

    Saturday, May 19th, I watched my closest teammate, my family, touch the wall after the most important 100 fly of his life at the 4A state swim meet.

    Tears filled my eyes as the one appeared next to his name, and everybody else on deck watched as a lanky kid, turning blue from the cold, with arms still too long for his body received his medal. They were realizing what I’ve always known, “This kid is something special.”

     

     

     

     


  • Pueblo County Hockey Elevates in State Rankings

    The Pueblo County Hockey team is looking to make some noise in the playoffs this year. Pueblo County is 8-1-0 in all of their games and 7-0-0 within their league.

    At the beginning of the season County crept their way into the number 10 spot in the state rankings. They then took their only loss against Mountain Vista, despite outshooting them 31-27. This loss removed them from the rankings.

    The Hornets won another few league games after that. The Hornets then faced a big game against Lewis Palmer; who the team hadn’t beat in 21 years. They won the game 5-0 completely dominating the Rangers. Pueblo West High School attendees Jake Pacheco, Trenton Wilson, and Connor Whittington all scored goals. “It was really exhilarating to score that first goal and get the team going,” said Whittington. Javin Billings, junior, had the other two goals.

    The Hornets also won against the previously undefeated Crested Butte team later in the weak. The first game they beat the 3-1 and the second game they won by a larger margin, 6-1.

    After these three large wins the Hornets were put 8th in the state rankings. As far as RPI goes the Hornets are ranked 5th. The only seemingly challenging games left in the year are two games against Valor Christian, and a game against the Cherry Creek Bruins.

     


  • Spring Golf Season 2018

    The game of concentration, self independence, and determination is golf. Golf  undermined sport  but it is so much more than what meets the eye.

    Coach Faith Clason, like all coaches, is determined to bring her team to the state, win SCL, and receive first place. She is also a lunch lady at Pueblo West all year. Clason prefers to not keep track of her wins and losses, she only wants to focus on  SCL and state. Golf is sport unlike football or baseball golf athletes self independence and confidence. From the start of the school year, the community focuses on the football, basketball, soccer, and baseball teams at West. Other sports, such as track, softball, gymnastics, and golf get overlooked. 

    Other sports require a multi-person team comprised of students. The coach agrees that golf is an individual sport and the team is there to help each other. A golf team is like all other teams, it creates a bond between the athletes. Clason says, “I think that there is a bond, the team does bond well and they help each other it has always been that way. It (the bond) helps because in golf to me there is no grade level difference, it is all skill level. In my years, the upperclassmen do help the lower classmen.” Clason wants all athletes who fear that their skill is very low in the sport, should try anyway because there is no harm and you don’t know if you have that skill until you try.


    Some interesting facts about Faith Clason are next to golf, baseball is her favorite sport, even though she played basketball, golfed and swam throughout her life. Her favorite golf movie is “The Legend of Bagger Vance”. Clason has been a coach for Pueblo West since 2006, head coach for the last two years, and coaches both the fall and the spring golf season. She wants her players to endure community service this spring. She is looking into the TLC, the Tender Love and Care program, because she personally loved it and it is rewarding. She motivates her players by being “very straightforward and direct encouragement” and by sharing “what I’ve been through, from a player and coach, and pass it on motivation constant.”


     This year’s season will start February 19, 2018 and will end on graduation day or senior night; the season lasts for about 3 months. The practices are held at Desert Hawk Golf Course in Pueblo West. The coaches have not set a maximum number of players as of this point but they want to keep around thirteen to fourteen girls. The tryouts will consist of playing at least nine holes of golf at Desert Hawk, the date is to be determined.

    Tournament wise, twelve are scheduled for SCL and regional leading up to state. The coaches hope to have a few tournaments up north, near Colorado Springs, Clason says, “The girls up north are just girls there is no need to fear them.” For SCL  tournaments, Coach Clason takes five girls and places four; while, The other coach stays down at Desert Hawk with the remaining girls and works on their game. For those music lovers, Coach will allow music during practice but ONLY on the putting green. When it’s tournament time, music is allowed but she requires that you have a wide time frame to concentrate and get in the right mind frame.

     

    Clason has high hopes this year for her Spring 2018 team. She is directing her main focus towards the team’s competitiveness, learning constantly, doing their best (along with winning), the mental side of golf, and, above all else, have her girls set athletic goals for themselves that can be achievable by the end of the season. Next to those goals, Clason strives to teach the team about life in general, set their mind on something, complete the task they acquire, do tasks they want to do individually and not have another person make them do what they are doing. 

    Clason communicates openly with parents and athletes and will gladly introduce herself to new parents formally. To Clason, golf is her release in life, she says, “I think it’s been a release, golf is release point for me. It doesn’t matter how old you are or long you’ve been playing there’s always something to contribute.”

    The CyChron wishes the Spring 2018 Girl’s Golf team a successful year! Good luck!