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Local volleyball athletes earn SJBL honors, All-State games selections

The future is now. Mancos senior Teya Yeomans, right, autographs a National Letter-of-Intent Wednesday morning, Nov. 8, committing her to play for – and study at – Montana State University. Watching at left is MHS Volleyball head coach Brianna Yeomans-Allison. Special to The Journal
Yeomans and Yeomans-Allison Named Player and Coach of the Year

FORT COLLINS – The San Juan Basin League will have their hands full in 2024 to duplicate the success of the past six months. This year’s teams put together collective achievements that set the bar really high for future years.

Three teams – Mancos, Dove Creek, and Ignacio – earned spots in their respective state tournaments, while combining for a record of 6-6 against the best teams in the 2A and 1A classifications.

As a result, in the postseason accolades doled out by the SJBL, a strong contingent from the Bluejays, Bulldogs, and Bobcats headlined the all-conference selections.

Wrapping up a 23-4 season and the program’s first league title since 2009, Mancos hauled in the top honors with senior Teya Yeomans earning Player of the Year, while head coach Brianna Yeomans-Allison picked up Coach of the Year recognition.

Yeomans joined classmate Haylie Higgins and sophomore Claire Goodwin as first team all-SJBL selections, while sophomore Aysia Mathews collected a second team selection as part of the program’s impressive run to the 2A state tournament – the program’s first appearance in over a decade.

Dove Creek senior Kylie Gatlin hammers a shot past the block of Cheraw sophomore Lili Ontai Nov. 10, during 2023 CHSAA Class 1A State Volleyball Championships inside the Denver Coliseum. Joel Priest/Special to The Journal
Dove Creek's Kylie Gatlin looks to tip away from Haxtun's Cassidy Goddard at the 2023 CHSAA Class 1A State Volleyball Championships inside the Denver Coliseum. Joel Priest/Special to The Journal

Meanwhile, league runner-up and 1A state semifinalist Dove Creek all picked up a trio of first-teamers, with seniors Kalie and Kylie Gatlin joining junior Ralynn Hickman on the top of the SJBL honor roll.

Ignacio’s third-place team finish in the SJBL and the program’s 2A state tournament appearance joined three selections to the all-league squad, with senior Solymar Cosio (first team) joining freshman Kelly Sirios (second team) and junior Ollyvia Howe (second team).

Dolores also landed an all-SJBL selection, with senior Mikayla Puett picking up a second team nod.

Yeomans, Gatlin sisters to participate in All-State Games

For one more weekend as high schoolers, the state will get to witness some of southwest Colorado’s best on display.

Hosted by Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State games showcases players from across the state’s five volleyball classifications, with individuals selected based on talent, dedication, team play and leadership. The contests have continued a tradition that surpassed its 50th anniversary in recent years, and the competition on Sunday, Nov. 19 will provide a curtain call for the careers of dozens of standouts from across the state.

Yeomans, the Gatlins, and Ignacio’s Cosio all earned invitations to the prestigious event, capping off tremendous four-year careers playing shoulder-to-shoulder with other all-staters.