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Mancos volleyball team stuns Dove Creek; football wins in Chama

Both programs pass early tests

Nothing builds confidence like getting a good grade on the first assignment of the new school year.

For Mancos, the Bluejays football and volleyball teams earned straight A’s in their first week of action, combining to go 3-0 against stern competition.

The volleyball team opened the season with a huge win over San Juan Basin League rival Dove Creek, downing the Bulldogs in a thrilling five-setter, before following the win up with a 3-0 thumping of New Mexico’s Escalante High School.

For head coach Brianna Yeomans-Allison, the win over D.C. came from a culmination of months of work. “They put in the time in the offseason,” said the Mancos head coach,” and we got contributions from the whole team, including our bench.”

Mancos fell behind after dropping the opening set 27-25, but rebounded with second- and third-set victories, 25-19 and 25-23.

Dove Creek (5-1, 1-1 2A/1A SJBL) answered with a fourth-set win, 25-17, setting up a grandstand finish – with Mancos edging the Bulldogs in the deciding set of the pivotal league match, 15-12.

The Jays enjoyed a balanced attack, led by 14 kills from senior outside hitter Teya Yeomans, to join eight kills from classmate Haylie Higgins, and six from freshman Bailey Beh. Sophomore Aysia Mathews fired six aces from service, and classmate Claire Goodwin led the team with 17 digs.

Mancos withstood a flurry of attacks from Dove Creek’s Ralynn Hickman and Kylie Gatlin, who combined for 45 kills in the match.

The Bluejays victory snapped a 16-match winning streak that Dove Creek owned in the series, dating back to 2015. Mancos (2-0, 1-0 2A/1A SJBL) turn their focus to another big league match this week, as they travel to Ignacio (2-0) on Tuesday, Aug. 29, before hitting the road for a Labor Day weekend tournament against West Grand, Sanford, and Peyton.

On the gridiron, Mancos enjoyed similar success, sprinting past New Mexico eight-man powerhouse Melrose, 58-28, in the season opener for head coach Josh Gardner’s squad.

Playing at a neutral location in Chama, New Mexico, the Bluejays (1-0) made themselves at home, scoring at will in the opening half. Senior quarterback Kail Wayman rushed for the first four touchdowns of the game as Mancos raced out to a 30-0 advantage.

Turnovers forced by seniors Chris Medina and Andrew Jaime added to the deluge, before senior running back Levi Martin got into the act with a rushing score of his own to open the third quarter. Martin added two more scores, and Wayman tacked on his fifth, as the Bluejays kept the Buffaloes from ever climbing back into the game.

Mancos football will be travel tested this year – their first six games of the season are away from Bluejay Field, including three neutral site games – as the Jays turn their focus to a contest against Monticello this upcoming Friday night at 7 p.m.