Indians end season in bi-district loss to Snyder

Through the gap–Senior running back Nate Leyva threads the needle for more yardage during district play against Perryton on Oct. 29. The Indians would defeat the Rangers, 49-42.

The first season for a partnership between Athletic Director and head Coach Greg Poyner and the Indian football team ended in a 31-0 loss to Snyder in bi-district action on Nov. 12.

The Indians finished the season with a 5-6 overall record and a 3-1 district record, taking second place in District 2-4A Division II.

“Even though we didn’t win as many games as I would have liked, I still feel we had a great season,” senior linebacker Jude Edwards said.

Quarterback Blake Flowers was in the elite in the state in passing yards, finishing the season with 3,041 total yards with a 61 percent completion rate, throwing for 22 touchdowns and rushing for nine more.

“Our passing game worked pretty well, especially with a very talented quarterback like Blake,” senior linebacker Sloan Rowland said.

Senior running back Nate Leyva led the Indians in rushing with 817 total yards and seven touchdowns, while junior receiver Cuyler Cramer racked up 626 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

The Indian defense worked together with veteran linemen and athletic linemen under the guidance of Defensive Coordinator John Richmond.

“Even though I just met him this year, Coach Richmond quickly became someone that I look up to,” Edwards said. “I respect his tough coaching style that pushed me to be better every day. I knew that I could ounce on him to make the right calls during the game.”

Richmond held leadership meetings on Wednesday mornings during the season.

“He taught me and other leaders on the team the meaning of extreme ownership,” Edwards said. “It was a concept that applies to not jus the football field but all aspects of life.”

As the season ended, the seniors realized they had to say goodbye to years on the field and teammates who had become brothers.

“I felt that we grew a lot as a family and more as men,” senior defensive lineman Tomas Barrientos said. “I’m proud of us for that. I would tell the team next year to not take anything for granted and work every day like it’s your last because one day, that last will come. I don’t regret anything. I was talking to Noe (Ybaben Burciaga) the other day, and we both agreed that we left everything on the field.”