by Scott Boyle
Sports wise, it is a somewhat ambivalent time of year for Sport-Shorts. Does one continue to faithfully watch college football, especially as the bowl season approaches?
Does one shun the gridiron completely for the basketball court since the high school football season is completed for the year?
Or does one embrace both, following both football and the developing basketball season, in the process leaving little time for anything or anyone else? Vacillation.
High school teams have made up their minds; its basketball season. Teams have been chosen, practices conducted, games scheduled and off we go.
The San Juan Bronco boys have already started their season, just like they do nearly every year, with a contest against the Shiprock Chieftains.
The Broncos sport a completely new lineup after graduating five senior starters and seven seniors overall, plus add a new coach in long time football coach, Monty Lee, who takes over the Bronco basketball program in addition to his football duties.
The Broncos lost the annual matchup to the New Mexico Chieftains, 79-69, but performances of note were the career high totals of three players.
DiQuan Lopez poured in 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and swiped five steals, setting the stage for an active season.
Max Morley had 15 points and Terrance Tate scored nine points and collared six rebounds, all in their first starting roles for the Broncos.
The next two weekends finds the Broncos in two tournaments, at the Bulldog Invitational in Gunnison this weekend and at Richfield for the 2A Preview next weekend with Whitehorse sandwiched in between next Tuesday.
The Buckaroo gals also sport a new coach this season, Benjamin Wolford, who comes to Monticello from Manila.
Wolford is the new Sergeant for the Division of Wildlife for the Southeastern Region, in addition to being head coach for the Lady Buckaroos.
Ben and his wife of 15 years, Sarah, have four kids; Michaela 14, Jordynn 11, Zachary 10, and Danielle 8.
Wolford brings experience to the coaching ranks at Monticello. He was the assistant coach of the Utah State Girls team when it was a club sport trying to get approved for competition in the NCAA.
He also was assistant coach for a year at Manila High School and then head coach for two years for the girls basketball program and then head coach for the boys baseball team for three years.
He also worked as the supervisor over youth recreation at Ogden City, where he organized and taught coaches how to coach in all the youth sports.
Assistant coaches are Kraig Black and Kelly Pehrson.
This year’s Lady Buckaroo roster includes Aapree Sheeran, Mary Beh, Zoe Chadwick, Ashley Hoggard, Megan Shaw, Roxanne Cordova, Kari Schmidt, Izabell Slade, Tawna Wells, Allie Maughan, Aleina Rodriguez, Atlanta Black, Michaela Wolford, and Bryndee Price as manager.
Sheeran, Beh, and Chadwick bring significant experience to the team for Coach Wolford, all three being returning starters.
“This team is made up of a great group of girls,” offered Wolford, “who support and encourage each other. They are hard working and willing to learn.”
“Starters for each game won’t be determined until the practice before the game,” he continued. “It will be based on performance at practices. I want each girl to know she has a chance to start if she works hard and shows what she can do at practice.
“There is a wide range of skill level and experience on the team. Each girl brings a special personality and contributes to the team in her own special way.”
The Lady Buckaroos season began Tuesday with a home contest against the Dove Creek Bulldogs. Stats for the game were not available at press time. The Lady Bucks travel to Milford this weekend for the annual Oak Tree Inn varsity and junior varsity tournament.
Monticello boys open their season with the traditional trip to the Cortez Invitational this weekend and the 1A Preview in Richfield next weekend.
The first home contest for Coach Tony Esplin’s Buckaroos will be December 17 against the Grand County Red Devils. More on the Buckaroo Boys next week.