Young Sailors top Craig | SteamboatToday.com

Young Sailors top Craig

Victory ends middle school's 15-year losing streak

Brent Boyer

— Steamboat Springs Middle School football coach Daren Mangiaracina had to check the school’s trophy case to determine how long it had been since the team defeated rival Craig Middle School.

What he discovered was a 15-year losing streak to Craig — a streak that ended Saturday afternoon when the Sailors defeated Craig 12-8 at Gardner Field.

“We hadn’t beat Craig since about 1978,” Mangiaracina said Sunday. “It was a win the team has been shooting for forever.”

With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Sailors trailing 8-6, quarterback Nick Grant threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeff Dawes.

It was the second time in the game Grant and Dawes hooked up for a long scoring play. The duo connected on a 35-yard pass play in the first half to score the Sailors first six points.

Mangiaracina said the team’s quarterback-to-tight end combination is as good as he has seen at the eighth grade level.

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“Grant has a cannon for an arm, and Dawes is just amazing,” Mangiaracina said.

Similarly impressive is the team’s defense, led by defensive coordinator Dennis Hensen.

The Sailors are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 106-24 in those games.

“Our defense is fabulous,” Mangiaracina said. “We have a ton of returning players and some of our new players are really impact players. We’ve just got a lot of talent on our team.”

The team is looking to improve on its 7-3 record from last year, Mangiaracina’s first as head coach.

— To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com