With practically no time to remove his cleats, let alone continue reveling with his teammates, Grant Pierce hurriedly left Wolverine Country Stadium last Saturday for work. A referee's yellow shirt hid his well-worn No. 10 jersey.
"It's a never-ending day," quipped the BHS freshman, who started (in the 52nd minute) and then, with an even better upper-90 bulls-eye, authoritatively finished (in the 80th) a furious four-goal reply to visiting Alamosa's second half-starter. The Wolverines stunned the Mean Moose in a 3A Southwestern League thrilling win.
Bayfield had fallen 8-2 at home the evening before to 4A Durango's JV.
"I'm just proud of the guys out there; we've really held together," Pierce said. "It was a great effort all around-(after) that first goal, I knew we were going to keep going for it."
Added sophomore Finlay Marshall: "The second half of last night's game-we picked up the intensity. We still lost, but the intensity was there," against the Demons. "So today we just tried to keep the intensity throughout the entire game, and we really, really pushed. And as soon as we got that equalizer, it was all.downhill, I guess. Easy goings!"
Said Pierce, "We lost all games last year, so hopefully this is the start of something new."
Foreboding skies looming over Tuesday's follow-up hinted otherwise. And with Pierce unfortunately on the inactive list, 5A Aztec frequently punctured BHS' midfield, creating lengthy high-speed runs directly at goalkeeper Ben Young and producing eight unanswered goals to stretch their own scoring streak to four matches while halting the Wolverines' at four.
Credited with a 59th-minute goal versus Alamosa to win over the Moose, freshman Colton Fine ripped BHS' best chance against Aztec in the 44th.
The Aztec goalis was forced to sprawl to his left to smother Bayfield freshman Tilden Berriman's credible 75th-minute attempt at the far post, and Tiger senior Garrett Tucker then booked his second goal of the afternoon in the 79th to end the scoring.
Aztec improved to 6-0-1 overall after outshooting BHS by an unofficial 25-16 margin. Still plenty hungry to dig into a weekend SWL homestand versus Ridgway (4 p.m. today) and Telluride (11 a.m. tomorrow), the Wolverines dipped to 1-4-0 overall and remained 1-2-0 against the loop.
"We're still in a rebuilding process," head coach Dave Foster stated in an early-season e-mail. "I have a really young team but the incoming freshmen have a lot of club [DYSA] experience.have a good understanding of the game and I look forward to focusing this year more on technical skill and tactics-and making sure we are playing smart soccer."
"I have a good feeling about everything."
"We have great chemistry and I think that's what makes us better than last year," said Marshall. "We're getting along, there's no arguing in practice-it's just straight trying to have fun with the game."
"This team is going to go somewhere, definitely in the next few years."