The Bobcats are right back where they were one year ago - almost.
But in 2009, the Bobcats have one more season of experience, and they have the taste of the state football playoffs
fresh on their palates.
Ignacio, winners of the Southern Peaks League for a second consecutive season, will host its second consecutive Class
1A high school state playoff football game at 1 p.m. today.
The first-round matchup will feature the host Bobcats (7-2) against Meeker (6-2), located in rural northwest
"I think ... making the playoffs last year helped us a lot," Ignacio head coach Lupe Huerta said.
"Last year, we'd never been there before. As coaches and as players, we were not quite as prepared as we should have
been," he said.
But this year, they know what to expect in the playoffs.
"This year, we're back. We have prepared better. This week's practice has been good. The kids are relaxed. I think
we're all around better prepared," Huerta said.
Last year, Calhan visited Ignacio in the opening round of the playoffs, and the powerhouse from the plains won
"Hopefully, this year we can do a better job," Huerta said, adding that the Bobcats will have to stop the potent
rushing attack of Meeker.
"They have a couple of pretty big horses who run the ball," Huerta said. "It's important that we stop them in the
middle," he said, adding that the Cowboys like to run their quarterback as well as their other backs.
Ignacio will bank on its stylish Brooks brothers offense.
Center Ryan Brooks snaps the football to brother Shane Brooks to trigger the Bobcats' attack.
Russel Hubert and Pedro Vigil handle the running game along with the versatile Chance Wyatt, who has played fullback,tight end and tackle this season.
On the outside, Shane Brooks' primary targets are wideouts Oakley Hayes and Josh Plehinger. The speedy duo doubles as
cornerbacks on the Ignacio defense, which is coming off a shutout against Del Norte last weekend.
Plehinger and Hayes also contribute to the field-positon game with their kickoff and punt return duties.
Tackle/defensive end Alex Herrera, a towering 6-foot-8 presence, anchors the offensive line along with Ryan Brooks,Colton Wyatt, Chance Wyatt and Tanner Harwood.
Meeker enters the playoffs as the No. 2 team from the 1A Western Slope League.
Like Ignacio, Meeker is a recent addition to 1A football after competing for many years at the 2A level.
Meeker's only losses this season came against Class 1A No. 5 state seed Hotchkiss (9-0) and defending Class 2A state
champion Olathe (9-0).
Hotchkiss is scheduled to host No. 12 seed Dolores (5-4) at 1 p.m. today.
The No. 1 seed in the Class 1A state football playoffs is unbeaten Yuma at 9-0. Yuma will host No. 16 seed Crowley
County (6-3) of Ordway in the first round.
The Ignacio-Meeker winner will take on the Yuma-Crowley County winner in the second round Nov. 14.
"This is all about those seniors. They are the ones that got us here," Huerta said. "We've gone through some growing
pains, but these guys succeeded in getting us here (to the state playoffs)."