A reason to get stoked

Change in CHSAA rules means 3A FB title game could be at Stocker Stadium

Stocker Stadium has hosted the football state championship game before and a change to the CHSAA rules on Thursday means the Class 3A state title game could be played at the stadium in the future.

Stocker Stadium could become the site of a Class 3A state high school football championship game.

At The Colorado High School Activities Association’s legislative council meeting on Thursday in Aurora, the site of the 3A championship was moved from a neutral site to a home site.

Palisade, which won a 3A state title at Stocker Stadium in 2003, now has an opportunity to stay home once again for a title.

The changes included a caveat: Host stadiums must support a capacity of at least 2,500. Schools such as Rifle or Delta, which without additional seating do not support such crowds, would have to make arrangements to play on a field that meets the requirement.

Last fall, the site was Legacy Stadium at Cherokee Trail High School, where Rifle, a No. 1 seed essentially playing on the road, lost to Silver Creek.

Rifle Athletic Director Troy Phillips said if Rifle made a state title game, the most likely scenario would be playing at Stocker Stadium.

Not that it necessarily would matter to Bears coach Damon Wells.

“Our perspective has always been we want to be (in the title game),” Wells said. “If we were in the game, we’d be happy playing in a pasture, playing in a parking lot, but we just want to be in the game.”

Wells and Palisade coach John Arledge thought the change brings fairness to Western Slope teams. Stocker Stadium would work for Arledge, but he’d prefer playing a title game in the Bulldogs’ Bookcliff-lined backyard outside the high school.

But still ...

“The atmosphere will be better,” Arledge said.

Other notable happenings in the meeting included CHSAA considering the possibility of eventually adding Class 6A, according to Ryan Casey of the Denver Post.

Also, a proposed change in the football committee’s report to have Class 5A football teams with the higher seed of a matchup host throughout the playoffs did not happen.

Currently, the first round is hosted by higher-seeded teams, with ensuing games hosted by the team with the fewest number of playoff home games, regardless of seed.

CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann said the Southwestern and Colorado Springs Metro conferences submitted an amendment to keep the hosting rule unchanged. The amendment passed, 54-15.


Rifle running back and safety Ryan Moeller, who rushed for 3,002 yards as the Bears last fall won 13 straight and were the runner-up in Class 3A, is headed to Fort Collins today to make an official visit to Colorado State University, Wells said.

An official visit means the Rams are paying for Moeller’s traveling expenses.

Wells said Rams defensive coordinator Marty English has visited Moeller each week since the football season ended.


Fruita Monument High School will honor the 30th anniversary of its 1983 Class 3A state champion boys and girls basketball teams today.

Some of the teams’ members will be announced between the games against Central at Fruita.

The girls play at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 7 p.m.

It is the 11th time in state history a school has won a boys and girls basketball title in the same season. At the time, however, it was the second (girls basketball had its first title game in 1976).

Denny Squibb, now the Wildcats’ athletic director, coached the boys, who defeated Thompson Valley 67-63.

Dallas Meyer coached the girls, who defeated Pueblo County 56-51.

Squibb expects four to six players from each team to be honored.

T.J. Dickerson is one of them. A 6-foot-8 member of the boys team, Dickerson said the season before the Wildcats’ state title, he played in a basketball league through Redlands Community Church.

“That got discovered,” Dickerson said, “and as a result (CHSAA) disqualified our whole team from the state tourney.”

A CHSAA rule did not allow those playing high school basketball to also engage in any other league, Dickerson said.

Dickerson said it only made the 1983 state championship his senior season that much sweeter.


Phil Johnston will join Shawn Marsh’s football staff at Central High School next fall.

Central on Jan. 18 hired Marsh as its new head coach.

Johnston, Colorado Mesa University’s offensive line coach in 2011 and running backs coach in 2012, will be the Warriors’ offensive coordinator.

“For me, it’s bittersweet,” Johnston said. “Coach (Joe) Ramunno and Coach (Russ) Martin are great guys.”


The Grand Junction boys basketball team plays Durango at 7 p.m. today for an edge in the league.

Durango (9-0, 2-0) has allowed more than 40 points in a game only four times.

The Tigers (10-3, 2-0) are led by point guard Broderick Robinson, who has connected on 10 of 14 3-pointers his past two games, wins over Uintah, Utah, and Central. Robinson averages 16.8 points per game.


Don’t judge the Paonia boys basketball team by its 2-7 record.

In their past two games, the Eagles lost 67-66 to Class 2A’s 
No. 12-ranked team, Hayden, on Jan. 19 and 71-70 at Soroco on 
Jan. 18.

But Paonia, which is at West Grand today and at North Park on Saturday, may have found its identity during those games.

“Run and gun basketball,” Eagles coach Chase Roeber said. “Pressure defense.”

Josiah Spano leads Paonia in scoring with 12 points per game. Ben Linnell averages 10.8.

Allen Gemaehlich contributed to this report.


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