Photo by Special to the Sentinel

Brock Clark, 8, and Austin Shepherd, 63, were both a part of the 2012 Rifle football team that lost in the Class 3A state title game. The two were sophomores and now as seniors return to the state championship game. Clark is the key running back for the Bears and Shepherd is one of his offensive linemen. Both are inside linebackers for Rifle’s stout defense. The Bears play at Pueblo East on Saturday for the state title.

A return trip

Rifle seniors remember what it’s like to play in state title game

Austin Shepherd looked lost, his eyes empty with bewilderment.
It was a tough day, but Rifle’s future could be seen on this disappointing day.
That balmy day was back on Dec. 1, 2012.
Last Saturday, Shepherd was smiling, posing for photos and celebrating a return to the Class 3A state championship game. None of those sophomores who lost in 2012 were thinking about redemption last Saturday. This is a different team.

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