Offense from D
Central's Giandonato shows that defenders can score goals
Defenders don’t score goals. That’s what Teresa Giandonato was told.
But she can proudly argue to the contrary.
The junior defender scored the winning goal in overtime of Central’s 2-1 nonleague girls soccer victory over Grand Valley. And during an interview after the game, she politely asked if the game story in The Daily Sentinel could include something else.
“I said if I ever got interviewed I’d say this: Thanks to all of the defenders who never get any recognition,” Giandonato said. “I told you, Aubrey Stafford, that I would score.”
That would be her good friend and fellow soccer player Aubrey Stafford Raymond, who plays for Palisade High School.
Giandonato said Stafford Raymond likes to kid her about scoring, telling her, ‘Teresa, you’re a defender, you don’t score goals.’ “
Ah, but she did. Granted, her goal in overtime was on a penalty kick, but she was inches away from scoring on a rocket shot from 35 yards away in that same game. She hit the crossbar on that blast, but she’s a weapon from long distance, and Central coach Jacob Pingel said Giandonato is getting dialed in, coming a little closer to scoring each time she launches one of those long-range shots.
“She’s honing in on finding the perfect spot,” he said, adding she has a great foot, and, “She’s worked very hard and very tirelessly in the offseason to hone her skills and her talents.”
Pingel added another defender scored for the Warriors this year: freshman Chloe Marston in Central’s 4-2 win over Delta.
No one outworks him
Palisade track and field coach Tim Reetz isn’t the least bit surprised to see thrower Brandon Worley off to a good start in his senior season.
“Brandon Worley has worked his butt off in the weight room,” Reetz said. “His work ethic is unmatched.”
Worley also realized quickly his future may be in the field instead of on the track. As a freshman, he ran the 400 meters, the event in which his father holds Palisade’s school record, Reetz said. Reetz recalls Worley asking him before his sophomore season if he might be able to compete in the throws as well as the 400.
Now, Reetz said, Worley is targeting the school record in the shot put, trying to join his dad on the Palisade High School wall that lists the track program’s record holders.
Tossing credit to assistant
In addition to working hard, Worley and fellow Palisade senior Leo Gallegos, who also is off to a strong start, especially in the discus, benefit from coaching.
“Coach Dave Stone, he’s the best throws coach I know,” Reetz said. “We’ve been together six years, and we’ve had someone qualify for state (in the shot put or discus) every year.”
The Bulldogs also have a state champion during that time: Tanner Smith won the Class 4A discus as a senior in 2012.
Lifting herself to success
If it seems like Grand Junction sophomore Jill Payne has come out of nowhere to become one of the area’s best girls sprinters, she has. And Tigers track and field coach Sean Henry can tell you why.
“Jill is a stud in the weight room,” he said.
Henry added weight training is the common denominator for track athletes who make great improvements in his program. Athletes who get in the weight room consistently and follow the workouts, such as leg workouts for a sprinter, can see results like Payne has this year.
No one knew her last year, Henry said, and now they’re saying, “Wow! She’s a stud in the 100 and 200.”
Investing in the youth
The Daily Sentinel’s recent Portrait series of stories included a feature about Cedaredge wrestling coach Ted Schanen, who has wrought an incredible turnaround of a wrestling program that was on the verge of getting cut until he took over.
A common point made by people interviewed for the story was Schanen’s work at the lower levels to build the program. Whether it’s the elementary school kids or the middle-schoolers, Schanen is getting kids interested in wrestling, and the latest measure of success came this past weekend.
In a Colorado middle school regional hosted by Colorado Mesa University, Cedaredge finished second behind Grand Valley-based Purebred Wrestling. Purebred totaled 212 points and Cedaredge had 199. Grand Mesa Middle School was third with 162.5 points.
Another common point made about Schanen is his ability to relate to kids. He’s creative, fun, positive, thoughtful, intelligent and philosophical.
Cedaredge Athletic Director Brandon Milholland has witnessed all of that and said getting to know Schanen has been inspiring and “a blast.”
“Every day, philosopher Ted, you never know what you’re going to get from him,” Milholland said, “but it’s always good stuff.”