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Bricks give heft to team spirit

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Scott Gardner was part of the first graduating class at Mountain Vista and was an offensive guard on the football team.

So he was part of the tradition of players painting bricks green on one side and decorating the other side to reflect themselves. Players tote the bricks to practice and games where they are stacked.

Coach Ric Cash started the custom when the school opened in 2000 and players 17 years later are still following the tradition that represents hard work, individuality and coming together as a way of achieving success.

Gardner, who works in law enforcement in South Carolina, still has his brick.

“In the beginning it made sense to me because it represented carrying your load,” said Gardner. “It definitely represented hard work and not to be lazy. We had guys carry half a brick and that showed their character.

“I still have my brick. I saved it with all my awards. You earned it. The bricks always weigh the same. Kids need to get the image of carrying a load for the team.”

Changes proposed for volleyball

Coach Doug Schafer watched his Mountain Vista volleyball team play 15 sets on the final day of the 2016 state tournament.

Two tiebreaker games and a five-set championship match against Fossil Ridge were included in the hectic day that saw the Golden Eagles wear down in the fifth set in a championship match loss.

Schafer is probably eager to see if the volleyball committee subgroup’s proposal is adopted to change the pool format to a double elimination Olympic Crossover bracket for the state tournament.

The volleyball committee meets Nov. 14 and is expected to vote on the proposal. If passed, it must still be approved by the Legislative Council in January before the change can go into effect for the 2018 season.

The new plan would still have 12 qualifiers in each class but the top four seeds in each class would draw first-round byes. Each team is guaranteed two matches in the double elimination bracket. The semifinals will be single elimination. The tournament would be expanded from two to three days.

Appreciation for officials

Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green noted weeks ago that the Colorado High School Activities Association is going to start doing more to recognize officials.

And, the CHSAA has designated the week of Oct. 9 as Officials Appreciation Week.

“Without them it would just be recess,” said Blanford-Green.

There are currently 4,686 officials working in various sports for the CHSAA membership.

Schools have been encouraged to show appreciation to officials in a variety of ways including a signed card from the team, a pregame “shout out” or a gift card or basket.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

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