Evergreen Newspapers' all-area football team

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By Dan Johnson

As we get ready to say hello to 2009, I decided to drop one last surprise on you, the reader, in 2008.

Typically, the last paper of the year features a look back at the top stories of the past 12 months. Personally, I find that angle to be stale, so I thought it would be fresh and fun to try something new.

For the first time ever, the sports staff at Evergreen Newspapers (myself and staff writer Brian Forbes) has put together an all-coverage-area football team.

For those that don’t know, the high schools we currently cover under the Evergreen Newspapers umbrella are: Chatfield, Columbine, Clear Creek, Conifer, Dakota Ridge, Evergreen, Front Range Christian and Platte Canyon.

The selection criteria were rather simple. We were looking for the players that consistently stood out on the football field when we were in attendance. We also talked with local coaches and asked for their input.

Once the team was selected, Brian and I then went back over the list of names and narrowed our Player of the Year selection down to three: Andrew Melton, A.J. Melillo and Willie Hayes. You can see on the previous page who won. It was a very tight race, and a difficult to decision to make, as all three had great seasons.

If the response to this all-area team is good (I hope it is), then moving forward we may look to include more sports and run similar packages throughout the school year.

2008 was filled with a lot of ups and downs for not only myself, but plenty of people around the world. Here’s hoping that 2009 finds us all healthy and living the best life we can.

Dan Johnson is the sports editor for Evergreen Newspapers. Contact him at 303-933-2233, ext. 15 or by e-mail at sports@evergreenco.com

2008 Evergreen Newspapers all-area football team


QB- Danny Spond, Columbine

HB- Willie Hayes, Conifer

HB- Andrew Melton, D. Ridge

FB- Dillon Whisman, P.Canyon

WR- Austin Rodriguez, Dakota Ridge

WR- Scott Kellogg, Chatfield

TE- Kyle Slavin, Chatfield

OL- Mike Vaggalis, Conifer

OL- Bryce Schwindt, Columbine

OL- Chris Rogers, Columbine

OL- Tanner Russell, Columbine

OL- Mark McKinnon, D. Ridge


DL- John Pontius, Front Range Christian

DL- Jeff Yearsley, Evergreen

DL- Michael Pollick, P.Canyon

DL- Mitch Sturm, Columbine

LB- Jacob Wright, Columbine

LB- Zach Moisey, Chatfield

LB- Kalvin Winter, Conifer

DB- Stephen Theiss, Conifer

DB- Chris Ball, Clear Creek (not pictured)

DB- A.J. Melillo, Platte Canyon

DB- Nathan Wiggins, Columbine

Special teams

K- Shay Borrego, Chatfield

P- Taylor Accardi, Dakota Ridge

Ath.- Sam Stratton, Chatfield