Reward for hot start: 6 head staples

First, Justine Johnson fell to the ground, not knowing what just hit her.

Then, the Montrose senior felt the back of her head, and when she pulled her hand away, it was covered in blood.

And that’s how her day ended in the Grand Valley Invitational on Monday at Battlement Mesa Golf Course.

A shank off the tee by another player made a beeline for the back of her head. Johnson estimates she was about 10 yards away and not in a position where anyone normally would fear being struck by an errant golf ball. In other words, she said, “They really shanked it.”

Johnson said the initial pain quickly numbed and adrenaline kicked in, but the sight of the blood got her attention.

“When I saw that I was like, ‘Oh my god, I need to get Coach,’ ” Johnson said. “I was freaking out.”

On the drive to a local clinic, where she got six staples to close the gash, Johnson had another thought: Her score was 26 after six holes, the beginning of what could have been a nice round.

“When they went with me to the clinic, I’m thinking, ‘I was playing so good,’ and I’m like, “I’m fine!’ ” Johnson said.

The doctor also told her she appeared to be concussion-free, as Johnson said, “I remembered everything.”

She even returned to the golf course to support her teammates, and when she caught up with Montrose coach Jim Scarry, Johnson told him about the staples. Then, Scarry said, she asked him if he wanted to see a picture of it.

He said no, but Johnson was too fast on the draw, and he got an eyeful of the stapled cut. “Nasty” was his word for it.

Johnson said the girl who shanked the ball apologized, and Johnson has a sense of humor about an incident that could have been much worse.
“This is a laughing experience for me,” she said. “The ball could have fractured my skull or hit me in the temple and killed me.”

Almost national Champ

Jacob Trujillo nearly added a national title last weekend to the Colorado Class 5A state championship he claimed in February.

The Grand Junction High School wrestler finished second at 138 pounds in the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va., bowing 5-4 in overtime to two-time Virginia state champion Neal Richards.

Trujillo said he led the match 4-1 with a minute left in regulation when Richards escaped. Richards then scored a takedown with about 20 seconds left to force overtime and won the match with an escape in the second overtime.

Trujillo finished 5-1 in a field of 63 sophomores that included eight state champions and two state runners-up. He won three matches by pin and another by major decision.

The near championship did not surprise Grand Junction wresting coach Cole Allison, who said Trujillo was back training in the wrestling room within a week of capping his undefeated sophomore season with the 5A state title at 145 pounds.

“Jacob has a really strong work ethic, and he’s never satisfied, which is why he has the success that he does,” Allison said.

Motivated by Miley Cyrus?

Palisade soccer player Cruz Maestas said senior teammate Natalie Combs complements great physical skill with excellent leadership and a winning attitude.

Maestas said when she gets down during a game, Combs knows how to revive her spirits. For example, during a game this season, Combs saw Maestas getting frustrated, so Combs started singing a Miley Cyrus, aka “Hannah Montana,” song: “Everybody Makes Mistakes.”

Maestas said she has returned the favor for Combs, and in one game, Maestas said, “I was singing the song to myself in my head. And at halftime I told Natalie, and she said, ‘Me, too!’ “

Kudos to coaching colleague

Central girls soccer coach Jacob Pingel was gracious in defeat Tuesday, lauding Grand Valley coach Eric Sarno for the job he’s doing with the Cardinals, who topped the Warriors 2-0 to improve to 6-1.

“They’re well-coached,” Pingel said. “Their coach (Sarno) has really turned their program around.”

Marveling at Suplizio

When Mead made the long trip from Longmont to play Central recently at Suplizio field, Mavericks coach Jared Parrish lamented his team’s stay was shortened by two innings when Central won 10-0 in five innings.

“It’s a shame to come out here and get only five innings in a facility like this,” he said.

When Parrish learned Central plays about eight games a year at Suplizio, he responded, “It must be nice.”


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