Cougars make Utah history in challenging shortened football season
It has been an extremely challenging past year for the Monument Valley High School football team to say the least. Due to the COVID-19 shutdown in the fall of 2020, the Cougars were unable to field a team at all.
This year, MVHS did indeed field a team, but their game this past Friday, September 24 against Dolores, CO was their only home game, and also is unfortunately the final game of the season for the Cougars.
The Monument Valley coaching staff reports that the team was barely hanging on with just 13 players on the roster to begin the season.
Injuries further depleted the roster to the point that the team will be unable to continue after just three games – losses to Navajo Prep, NM; Pinon, AZ; and Dolores, CO. Sadly, the Battle of the Drum game against Whitehorse that was scheduled for October 22 will not be played this season.
Despite the difficulties, the Cougars made Utah high school football history this season. At Pinon on September 10, backup quarterback, sophomore Nevaeh Wilson, became the first-ever female varsity quarterback in the state.
She took over when Monument Valley’s starting quarterback was injured just before halftime and came on to throw a 60-yard touchdown on a screen pass to Cougar running back Kendall Phillips. Wilson started against Dolores this past Friday and quarterbacked the game’s opening drive before moving to wide receiver and cornerback for the remainder of the game.
Not only did Monument Valley make history with their quarterback, but they are the only Utah high school team in history to have two females playing on the starting roster. Precious Bedonie also played this season, on the line for the Cougars. In addition, the team had a female on the coaching staff.
The loss of an entire season in 2020 was a huge blow to the Monument Valley football team, particularly in gaining on-field experience. But the Cougar coaching staff wanted to express how proud they are of their players in 2021.
They learned that their players are tough and battled to play against all odds. The coaches are hoping they’ll be able to recruit more players for the 2022 season to revive the football program at Monument Valley High.