The 2018-19 football season has so far been one to remember. Early mornings, late nights, strenuous training, and consistent hard work are just a few things that have gone into this Durango High School football season. Every individual player has sacrificed so much for the success of the team and has so much passion for the sport.
Football is more than just a game at DHS. It’s something that brings students together, teaches life lessons and prepares kids for their future. The seniors on the team are starting to reflect on what the game means to them.
“To me, football is more than just a sport, it is what inspires me to never give up on something you care about. Football is the reason I never quit what I’ve already started,” said Sr. and wide-receiver Alex Hise.
This is Hise’s last year playing for the Demons. Hise has incredible speed and is essential to the Demon offense.
As a sophomore, Gage Mestas has also done some reflecting on the lessons he’s learned from football. His understanding of the game goes beyond tactics and skill.
“You can’t only think of yourself when you play football. I always tell myself: play for the name on the front of the shirt and they’ll remember the one on back,” said Mestas.
In the past, Gage has played in the shadow of his older brother, Gavin Mestas. However, now that Gavin has graduated, Gage has an opportunity to reach his full potential. Being one of the younger players on the team, he has already had an unforgettable season with 25 catches, four touchdowns, and 244 receiving yards.
David Vogt, the Demons head coach, has a lot of faith in this year’s team. He has high hopes for the playoffs and believes this team has something special.
“The athleticism on this team is crazy and the dedication and work ethic these kids have is outstanding,” said Vogt.
DHS has exceptional athletes that will go on to do big things in their future. However, having those special qualities does not come easy. Players endure a very demanding training schedule; they are at school by 7:40am to lift weights, practice from 3:30 to 6:15 afterschool four days a week, and they watch film every Saturday and sometimes before practice.
“The training schedule is pretty hard but honestly I don’t really mind it. I know that if I want to be good, I need to do it,” said So. Jordan Woolverton.
Woolverton is the quarterback for the Demons and has had a remarkable season so far with eight passing touchdowns, five rushing yards, and throwing an astonishing 1,250 yards overall. Football is a huge part of his life and he is set on pursuing it in the future.
The Demons currently hold a record of six wins and five loses. Their season has already been filled with heartbreaking losses and sweet victories. The arch rival game between Durango and Bayfield was definitely a crowd favorite. The Demons were victorious, winning 32-16 and broke Bayfields school record streak of 16 consecutive wins, making the game particularly exciting.
“Our hardest competition this year in just our normal league has been Montrose. They are very well rounded and have a stud receiver that we just can’t stop,” said Vogt.
Montrose is ranked number 5 in 5A. The Demons knew that when they made it to the playoffs, they would face many teams at the same level as Montrose, or even better. Durango needed to stay focused and driven in order to beat these talented teams.
The Demon season came to an end Saturday the 10th as they lost 40-0 to Erie.
Noah Roper, a Division I recruit with an offer from Air Force along with top Division II offers from Colorado School of Mines and CSU-Pueblo, simply could not be stopped.
“Our first game in the playoffs was against Erie. It was a tough game to play physically, but more so mentally because we weren’t able to get a touchdown. It was a hard way to end our season but I know the team next year has a bright future,” said Hise.
In many ways, football is just like life. It requires perseverance, self denial, hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. The sport provides a healthy, effective learning environment for many kids at Durango High School and exemplifies the Demon way. It allows students to be a part of team working towards a common goal: a state championship.