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‘Core Four’ at DHS one last time

Demons’ seniors to tackle Montrose in their regular-season home finale

Austin Miles, left, is one of just four current seniors at Durango who’s been a part of the football program at one level or another since freshman year, along with Lane Joseph, Garrett Marcum and Jesse Sneddon. Those four will be honored as part of a nine-man senior class tonight. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file photo

Austin Miles, left, is one of just four current seniors at Durango who’s been a part of the football program at one level or another since freshman year, along with Lane Joseph, Garrett Marcum and Jesse Sneddon. Those four will be honored as part of a nine-man senior class tonight.

The New York Yankees had their “Core Four” – Jeter, Pettitte, Posada and Rivera.

Durango High School has a similar unit of its own, a group of four seniors that are the lone four to play football at DHS at some level during every year of head coach Greg Wyatt’s tenure.

Their names aren’t nationally known, of course, but they’re as important to the Demons’ turn to an annual playoff contender as those four stars to the Yankees’ World Series titles of late.

Joseph. Marcum. Miles. Sneddon.

Lane Joseph, Garrett Marcum, Austin Miles and Jesse Sneddon will be honored along with five other seniors on tonight’s Senior Night before DHS takes on Montrose.

It didn’t start with so few four years ago. Other players have opted to undertake different paths, more appealing pursuits, while still others have joined the fray since a small senior football class.

Miles, the physically imposing lineman, said he doesn’t begrudge those that have fallen by the wayside in other pursuits – he just can’t imagine doing anything else.

“Kids, just, I don’t know. It wasn’t their thing, and that’s their deal, but the kids that stuck around, this is what they want to do. This is what they want to play,” said Miles, son of Hugh and Mary Miles. “And I respect that, because this is what I want to do.”

Miles was the only one of the four to play at the varsity level as a freshman, but they’ve all contributed to helping turn DHS from an 0-10 team in 2008 to one that’s qualified for the postseason the last three seasons, and all are contributors again this season.

Joseph leads the team in receptions and yards from his tight end spot, with 17 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown. Marcum is next in line, playing both receiver and defensive back, having hauled in 13 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown.

Sneddon is averaging a pair of tackles per game as a defensive lineman, while Miles has been a key cog in the rushing game that’s produced 784 yards in eight games.

“They’ve been a big part of the growth of the program, and hopefully it will continue,” Wyatt said. “And games like (tonight) are great opportunities to continue their legacy.”

Making it four postseason appearances in a row may be out of reach. DHS sits 24th in Class 4A in playoff points, with tonight’s game against Montrose the best chance to make up ground.

But upsetting the first-place Indians would be something to at least hang their hat on for the Demons (3-5, 1-2 Southwestern League) and be a memorable moment for the senior class to go out on.

“(Miles) has been pretty fired up. They recognize that time is getting short, and you’ve got to take advantage of every play,” Wyatt said.

Miles, meanwhile, hasn’t given up hope of going back to the dance as a senior. And if winning out doesn’t get Durango to the promised land of the Class 4A playoffs, it’s not going to deter him from accomplishing the goal for himself and his fellow seniors either way.

“If winning out gets us to the playoffs, then that’s what we’re going to do,” Miles said.

rowens@durangoherald.com

Lane Joseph leads Durango with 17 catches and 178 yards as a tight end. He’s part of Durango’s core group that’s been playing football at one level or another since freshman year. Enlarge photo

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald file photo

Lane Joseph leads Durango with 17 catches and 178 yards as a tight end. He’s part of Durango’s core group that’s been playing football at one level or another since freshman year.

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