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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation September 23, 2017

9/5/2017 12:07:00 PM
Outlaws take down Highlanders
The Outlaws have looked strong on defense as the season gets underway. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
The Outlaws have looked strong on defense as the season gets underway. photo by Jerry Baldock

Outlaws take down Highlanders
The Outlaws played with heart and determination in their first pre-season game of 2017, and posted a 32-24 road win over the Burns Highlanders on Friday, September 1.

Christopher "Pherry" Luz scored early in the game on a 90-yard punt return to give the Outlaws a 6-0 lead. Burns also scored a touchdown, and at the close of the first quarter it was even at 6-6.

Sisters found themselves down 12-6 at the half, but came back strong in the second half due to their strong offensive line, which included Jett Mingus, Brady Wessel, Casey Warburton, Joel Miller, Jaden Condel, Sam Mitchell and Matt Harris.

Jaden Condel, who plays right tackle, said, "The offensive line started off rough, but we began picking up blocks. Our team had so much heart and we all stuck together and fought."

The Outlaws scored four TDs in the second half. Stevens opened the Outlaws second-half scoring and Luz ran it in for a two-point conversion. Stevens scored two additional TDs in the half and Luz scored one.

Luz said, "At first we struggled with communication and lost our fire, but then it began to turn around."

Korbin Sharp finished the night with two interceptions, the final one on the goal in the closing 12 seconds, which clinched the win.

Sisters High School student Wyatt Hernandez reported, "This year's team is senior-dominated, but everyone in the program has friendships that span back for years, which adds to a unique and valuable team chemistry. I think with the will, heart and skill that this team has, they can accomplish anything they set their sights on. It should be an exciting 2017 for Outlaws football."

New coach Neil Fendall told The Nugget that he was pleased with how the Outlaws competed in the second half.

"We've got a lot of new players in new positions this year and errors are expected," said Fendall. "Ugly wins are more acceptable at the beginning of the year, but mistakes and errors will be fixed as we practice, and play games."

The Outlaws will play at home against Cascade on Friday, September 8. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

By Rongi Yost

The Outlaws football team brings back 11 seasoned players who will all help lead and guide this year's squad.

Nine seniors return for their final season, including Christopher Luz, Jaden Condel, Brady Wessel, Austin Lake, Tyler Friend, Jake Stevens, Casey Warburton, Zach Morgan and Ethan Morgan.

Luz is an exceptional athlete, who will play at wide receiver, defensive back, and also see some time at quarterback. Condel is strong and tough, and will play on the offensive line and at linebacker. Coach Neil Fendall told The Nugget that Jaden will be a warrior for the Outlaws.

Wessel is a steady, consistent player and will play on both the offensive and defensive line. Lake will see time on the defensive line, and will add dimension at tight end. Fendall noted that Austin is approximately 240 pounds, and for his size is exceptional at catching passes.

Friend has made big improvements and is much more physical this year. He will play at wide receiver. Last year, Tyler played in the secondary, but this year he will help out more at linebacker. Stevens is a very explosive player and when he puts it into high gear, he's a breakaway runner. Jake will play at running back and as a defensive back.

Warburton worked hard in the off-season and is back much stronger and with more confidence. Casey will see time on the offensive and defensive line. Ethan Morgan will play at quarterback and as a defensive back. Fendall noted that Ethan is a tremendous athlete with a strong arm, who is very knowledgeable about the offense.

Juniors Joel Miller and Korbin Sharp round out the returning varsity players.

Miller will play on both the offensive and defensive line. According to Fendall, Joel is the most improved lineman and at around 250 pounds, and at 5 feet 10 inches, he's built for the position. Sharp is one of the Outlaws' best athletes and is a role model for the team, both in practice and preparation.

Eleven new players join the Outlaws to make up the 2017 roster.

Seniors Sam Mitchell (offensive and defensive line), Chayce Sproat (wide receiver and linebacker), Damien Wells (wide receiver and defensive back), Patrick Dingeman (offensive and defensive line), and Jared Richerson (wide receiver and defensive back), along with junior Matt Harris (tight end and linebacker) have all moved up and will play significant roles on varsity.

The Outlaws also gained seniors Jett Mingus (offensive line and linebacker), and Austin Morss, Turner Stutzman, Andre Roberts and Spencer Kemp, who will all play wide receiver and defensive back. These players are all either out for football for the first time or are new to the school.

Fendall said, "As a group, these guys add talent and depth that really saved us. Without them it would have been tough to even have a team."

Fendall told The Nugget that the team goals are centered around the culture they want to create within the program; a culture of accountability, competition, and compassion for others.

"Football is just a game and we treat it that way," said Fendall. "It just happens to be a great conduit for learning how to look yourself in the mirror (accountability), how to deal with losses, adversity and failure (competition), and an opportunity to learn about others and what they are going through and deal with it.

"Football takes all types, and we try to teach that success comes in many ways, styles and forms. Our success will be creating a place young men want to push themselves, form relationships of depth, and work to become men who practice self-accountability."

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