Steamboat Springs As runner-up in the Western Slope League, it is not much of a surprise that so many Sailors finished their 9-2 season with conference kudos.
Five seniors made the 3A Western Slope All-Conference team while six other team members were named to the honorable-mention list. These 11 players will be honored at the Sailors' annual football banquet at the Steamboat Grand Hotel Conference Center, beginning at 7 p.m. tonight.
In their final season of Sailor football, all-conference honorees Joey Marias, Gaspar Perricone, Mike Radford, Steven Mahosky and Wes Adams helped get their team to the state playoffs before narrowly falling 20-13 to Niwot.
As the standout running back, senior Marias brought in more than 40 percent of the team's 2,910 rushing yards. He reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the Sailors' eighth contest against Montezuma-Cortez and finished with 1,186 yards for the season.
Marias was also a major contributor in the Sailors' first win in 10 years against the Palisade Bulldogs when he ran in 48- and 60-yard touchdowns in the final quarter of a 26-19 game.
Helping Marias to get the yardage this season were offensive linemen Radford and Mahosky, also all-conference honorees. The Sailors' most dominant rushing performance occurred early in the season against Glenwood Springs when the offensive line opened the holes for the backfield to gain 430 rushing yards.
Defensively, Perricone and Adams helped hold their opponents to a combined 130 points in a season where the Sailors came up with 268 points.
Perricone led the team in tackles with 97 solos and Adams led the Sailors with most punishes on a quarterback, recording five sacks on the year.
Radford also built up some impressive stats defensively. He finished with 54 tackles and three sacks.
Receiving honorable mention were seniors Tanner Barr, Ray Banning and Raimundo Moreno. Barr, who was most effective on the run, finished the season with 395 yards passing and 658 yards on the ground. The quarterback's rushing total was the second most by a Sailor this year.
Steamboat coach Mark Drake will be looking at a strong core of players returning next season who collected honorable-mention honors this year.
Those players are juniors Patrick McMahon, Zach Forcum and Will Zimmerer.
Defensively, Forcum came up with big numbers, finishing as the team's second leading tackler with 55. Stepping into the fullback position only midway through the season, McMahon was a major force in the Sailors' offensive attack, mustering 487 yards on the ground.
As league champions, the Rifle High School Bears led the Western Slope with six all-conference players. The Bears were the only team to hand the Sailors a regular-season loss.