Hat Trick: Three of Manitou’s sports teams are undefeated


Nick Kellner

Manitou Springs gym turns volleyball players from ordinary to champions.

The Manitou Mustangs were experiencing a very rare and special “hat trick” in sports, just one week ago. All three fall sports, including boys’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, and football were all undefeated (hadn’t lost a game) throughout their season, but unfortunately the soccer team lost against the number one team in state, the TCA titans.

The soccer team is now 8-2, but was 8-0 before their first loss, the volleyball team is 14-0, and our football team is 6-0. Not only is this really exciting, it is also super rare; there is no other team in the state of Colorado with all three high school varsity squads undefeated or experiencing a “hat trick” (three at one time). Not only have our teams won all their games but most have been complete blowouts.

The football team has won with scores such as 46-0, 53-0, 42-21, and 42-0, but don’t be surprised, the teams played aren’t as easy of teams as we may think. On September 20th, the Manitou Springs student body came to school with an unforgivable sight. On the beloved home stadium the letters SMHS (St. Mary’s High School) were painted on and across the field. The game between Manitou and St. Marys has been a rivalry for many years, because of the same school colors, and has been made a sort of “bowl game” for high school. Johnny Swanson, starting quarterback, says, “After not scoring in the first quarter, it was an eye opener to the entire team, we weren’t expecting this much of a battle from St. Mary’s, but we knew that we needed to beat them. And after the first quarter, our team came out stronger and from then on scored 14 points each quarter to win the game 42-0.” It wasn’t all offense either, after the first quarter, the defense grabs one interception and the ball is returned off a punt two different times; both from senior starter Dustin Bohnert.

Manitou Springs' legendary field
Manitou Springs’ legendary field

The last game for the football team was against the Florence Huskies, who only beat the St. Marys Pirates 43-7 and they already lost a game this year against Kent Denver. This was a tough game for the football team because they haven’t beaten Florence in the past 10 years, but we pushed hard out of the gates and pulled out a 26-14 win. Needless to say this was a game everyone and the school needed to watch.

The soccer boys have had an amazing season so far, mostly demolishing teams by a large margin. Their scores to the games up to their loss this season so far are 3-0, 8-0, 5-1, 9-0, 2-0, 9-1, 9-1, and 11-3. The main question that’s been being asked is, has the boys soccer team really been tested? I sat down with Varsity star and team captain Sawyer Lincoln to ask him this question.

Lincoln said, “I believe that we have really only been tested twice this season, once against Mitchell and once against St. Marys. The St. Marys game was more of a game we had to win, never having one over them, this would decide how good we really are this season, but we walked off with an easy 5-1 win. The game at Mitchell was a great game but we just happened to want it more then them and pulled off with a 2-0 win.”

In that 2-0 win against the Mitchell High School Football Club, Glenn Shoptaugh came off the bench to score a goal by putting the soccer ball in the back of the net, and to assist a player on a score to put the Mustangs up by 2. What was your mindset coming off of the bench when the score was still 0-0?

Shoptaugh said, “I just knew i needed to help the team in some way, shape, or form. Even if that was using more communication, giving more encouragement, having more persistence, or whatever it was. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to score an easy goal to get us up 1-0.” The next game that the soccer boys played was against the TCA Titans who were and still are ranked first in the whole state of Colorado. The Mustangs lost 2-1 in the nail biting game against the Titans, and to say the least, this hard loss lead to another careless loss against the Aurora West College Prep, again, 2-1.

The Mustangs volleyball team has played more games than any other team, therefore making it harder for them to keep up their streak. So far they have had mostly blowout games in which they have won 3-0. This all changed when they played Platte Valley on September 21st. The Platte Valley Broncos were and still have been the hardest team they have played so far. Although the Mustangs were still able to win, it went to 5 games all of which had ridiculously close scores. They were able to take the first to games 25-22 and 25-23, but when it came to the third and fourth games they lost both times with a consecutive score of 21-25.

“After we lost game 4, we knew we had to put everything we had into it because not only did we not want to lose as a team, but we didn’t want to lose as a school; we didn’t want to be the team to end the hat-trick streak,” said senior volleyball captain Georgia Sinclair.

Thankfully Manitou was able to come back in game 5 and take the win home with a final score of 16-14. The next big game will be against Colorado Springs Christian School at home on October 10. When previously played, the Mustangs won 3-0 but all three games had scores that could have easily favored CSCS. “Being number 1 is hard because it puts a target on our backs, but that target is what drives us to work harder not only as an individual but as a team; especially with regionals coming up and what we hope to be state after that.” Said Sinclair. The number one ranked volleyball team in their league has so far done an outstanding job, and can hopefully continue it! Go Mustangs!

The unanswered questions still remain, “Will the Mustangs ever lose?” And “Who will be the team to end the Mustangs win streak?”

By Nick Kellner and Glenn Shoptaugh