2 Denver Public College highschool soccer groups aiming to win state championships for the primary time in 32 years – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4)– In 1989 the Denver Prep League was the king of high school football. Thomas Jefferson High School defeated Montbello High School 34-32 to win the 4A state championship. It was the last game in the career of Spartans head coach Herman Motz in the Hall of Fame and the last time a DPL team won a state championship.
Now, 32 years later, these city rivals are fighting for the national championship again, but this time they play against two other teams in separate divisions.
Denver Prep League teams have played football in Colorado since 1901 and have only won six state championships. That could change this weekend as Thomas Jefferson Gateway will play in the 4A title and Montbello, now known as Far Northeast Warriors, will take over Boulder in the 5A title.
“We play good football here too, and the kids in Denver can play,” said Mike Griebel, head football coach at Thomas Jefferson High School. “We’re proud of that and hope we can continue like this and Coach (Tony) Lindsay and I, and the teams we have, can bring these two trophies home this weekend.”
The Spartans are 7-0 and are led by Avery Shunneson and Jaden Hill. The two have teamed up for 951 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
“Jaden is a mix of everything because where I’m kind of a tuck it and downfield runner, he can suck, he can move, and he even weighs more than me, which is crazy,” said Shunneson.
“My main focus is that if you’re in my way, if you’re in my way, it’s only bad news,” Hill said when asked about his mindset as a response.
And in defense with a 320-pound Senior Defensive Tackle, affectionately known as “Tiny”.
“I can get out of blocks very easily, so I just enjoy it. I love the trenches so it works for me, ”said Treshawn“ Tiny ”Smith.
This game has another special meaning. Coach Motz died on January 9th and the Spartans and Spartans are hoping to win another game for him.
“He’s very special to us because it’s been like that lately. He brings us the feeling of duty to live up to the greatness that TJ had in front of us, ”said Coach Griebel