Its a moment every field goal kicker dreams of splitting the uprights to win the big game.
Former Montezuma-Cortez High School placekicker Ryan Haley had missed two field goals for the South team in the 55th Colorado High School Coaches Association All-State, North-South football game at Adam State Colleges Rex Stadium in Alamosa on Saturday. With his team down 27-25 in the final two minutes, Haley was ready for one last chance.
I struggled a little bit early but was barely missing. Id been kicking it all week in practice, and I knew I could do it, he said.
The South marched down the field and got to the 36-yard line with only a few seconds remaining. Haley, who has committed to kick for the Mesa State Mavericks in the fall, lined up from 53 yards. No problem.
The team had my back and was supporting me. I played it out in my mind of me making a field goal to win the game, he said. When it went in, it was a great feeling. It was a relief. Three of my high schools coaches were there to see it. They were all really proud.
With the split of the uprights, Haley and the South team prevailed 28-27 over the North. Mancos coach Kyle Graff coached the South offensive line, where Haley also suited up at tight end.
It was one of the biggest stages you can get in high school football, Haley said. Everyone talks about the kicker as a hero or scapegoat. I like a little of the pressure. It gets the adrenaline going. Its one of the greatest feelings in sports to come through in that situation for your team.
Haley will report to Mesa State fall training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 10, in Grand Junction.
Former Mancos Lady Bluejays guard Kendra Cox played for the winning Black team, as it won 53-45 on Saturday at Plachy Hall in the girls basketball championship.
Emilio Marquez helped lead the Red team to a 90-67 win over the White team in boys basketball. The former Mancos Bluejays star will try to walk on at Fort Lewis in the fall.
Former Dolores Lady Bears basketball standout Cortney Brunner played on the Blue team.
In volleyball, former M-CHS coach Trena Walker and former Lady Panther Andi Pickens represented the Black team, but fell to the Red team in the finals in straight sets, 22-25, 22-25, 21-25.
At the All-State baseball game in Denver on Thursday, Dolores Bears Ryan Greene (Denver Post 2A first team All-State), Austin McCracken (Denver Post 2A honorable mention) and Tyler Underwood (Denver Post 2A honorable mention) represented and played in the game.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at firstname.lastname@example.org.