Titles highlighted 2022 Year in Sports

January 2022
• The Yuma High School boys basketball team returned from the holiday break with wins over Haxtun and Holyoke, improving to 7-1 overall and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A.
• The Yuma High School boys wrestling team finally makes its first home appearance of the 2021-22 season with a 50-21 dual win over Burlington before a raucous crowd in The Pit.

• Yuma High School’s girls wrestling team resumes it season after the holiday break by placing third in the Bennet Women’s invitational with 105 points.
• The YHS girls wrestling team’s one and only appearance in The Pit for the 2021-22 season is canceled as Lamar has to back out thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak.
• It turns out the Yuma girls still get to have a home dual with Lamar, rescheduled to January 27 as part of Wrestle Night at The Pit, including the boys having their annual showdown with the powerhouse Wray Eagles squad. The boys lost to Wray, but the girls claimed a 42-15 win over Lamar.
• The month ends with the Yuma boys basketball team sporting an 11-1 record, including a tough 61-52 win at rival Wray.
• The Yuma girls basketball team ends a big upset win at rival Wray late in the month, 66-53, the program’s first win over the Eagles in three years.
• It is announced the proof of vaccination or a recent negative test of COVID-19 is going to be required for spectators attending the Colorado State Wrestling Tournament at Ball Arena in Denver in February.
• Yuma High School baseball coach Brady Nighswonger was presented the Willie White Ethics of Coaching Award by the Colorado Dugout Club Coaches Association.
• Lone Star’s girls basketball team ends January in first place in the YWKC League and ranked No. 6 in Class 1A.

February 2022
• Yuma senior John Smith earns is 100th career win during his last match during the Big “O” Duals Tournament held in The Pit in early February.
• Yuma District Hospital & Clinics announces it will offer free COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated people who will be attending the state wrestling tournament.
• YHS ends up sending 13 to the girls and boys state wrestling tournaments, which will be held at Ball Arena in Denver. Qualifying for the girls tournament are Camila Sanchez, Chloe Smith, Abril Montes de Oca, Mia Dischner, Fatima Duran and Ashley Marshall. Qualifying for the boys tournament are Jose Ruiz, Payton Wells, Kallne Blach, Trey Stegman, John Smith, Kevin Hermosillo and Yahir Trejo.
• The Yuma boys placed third at regional, while the girls placed fourth at theirs.
• Yuma’s boys basketball team beats Sedgwick County to finish the regular season with an 18-1 record with another LPAA regular season title. The Indians have own 38 straight league games, but could not claim the league title in 2020-21 due to not playing Wiggins and Wray thanks to a COVID-19 quarantine.
• The Lone Star girls win the YWKC League title.
• The Yuma girls snap a six-game losing streak by finishing the regular season with wins over Caliche and Sedgwick County.
• The high school wrestling season comes to an end with the state tournaments in Denver. Mia Dischner placed third at 185 pounds, John Smith sixth at 126 pounds, and Kevin Hermosillo sixth at 182. The Yuma girls finished 17th in the team standings with 33 points, and the Yuma boys finished 23rd in their tournament with 24 points.
• Yuma’s boys basketball team had to beat Holyoke in overtime in the semifinals, then hold off rival Wray in the final to claim District 2 championship in Sterling, its third district title in five years.
• The Lone Star girls get back to regional for the third straight year after winning the District 5 Tournament at Brush High School.
• Yuma’s girls blow a 34-18 lead to lose to Burlington 54-50 in the district quarterfinals, but still qualify for regional thanks to their RPI putting them 21st in the 32-team field.

March 2022
• The Yuma boys basketball team gets back to the 2A State Tournament after blowing past Dawson School and Vail Christian in the Region 1 Tournament held in The Pit.
• Yuma’s girls basketball season comes to an end at regional in Rye. The Indians beat Heritage Christian 42-38 to reach the Sweet 16 for the ninth time in 10 seasons, but was knocked out the next day with a 44-11 loss to Rye, finishing with a 10-12 record.
• Lone Star’s girls basketball team finally breaks through in regional, after two seasons of regional heartbreak, beating Merino for the program’s first-ever trip to the state tournament.
• Yuma High School’s boys basketball team claims the program’s sixth state championship, and third in five years, by beating Lotus School for Excellence, Denver Christian and finally Sanford in the championship game at the Budweiser Events Center. The Indians finished with a 25-1 record, their only loss coming in overtime to Eaton earlier in the season.

• Lone Star’s girls lost their first-ever state tournament game, but rallied to win their next two for the consolation championship in the 1A Tournament held at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. The Longhorns finished with a 20-6 record.
• All-Lower Platte Activities Association selections in basketball are released. Yuma’s Clay Robinson, Javier Gamboa, Beau Tate and Javier Duran are named to the boys team. For the girls, Lea Richardson is selected to the All-LPAA team, and Caddis Robinson earns honorable mention.
• Yuma senior Clay Robinson is named the Class 2A Player of the Year and Dave Sheffield is named Coach of the Year after Yuma’s championship season. Beau Tate was named to the Second Team, and Javier Gamboa and Javier Duran each received honorable mention. In Class 1A, Lone Star’s Alivia Weathers was named to the First Team, and Alison Davis and Lamya Kuntz each received honorable mention. Otis’ Jack Willeke also received honorable mention.
• Yuma High School’s track and field teams open the spring season as the boys win the Yuma Early Qualifier, and the girls finish second. Meanwhile, the baseball team drops its season opener at Akron.
• Yuma senior Clay Robinson and junior Lea Richardson play in The Show at Metro State College. Robinson also played in the Northern Colorado All-Star game at Severance High School. Otis’ Jack Willeke also competed in The Show at Metro State.
• Ron Metcalfe of Yuma is honored with the National Federation Award for outstanding contributions to the game of basketball as a high school sports official.He also spent more than 20 years officiating baseball and softball, including multiple state tournaments.

April 2022
• The Yuma High School baseball team starts to round into shape by getting an exciting sweep of Haxtun at Tribe Field in mid-April after opening the season with five losses.
• Aaron Prior of Yuma helps get the local golf tournament season off to a great start by hitting a hole in on at Hole No. 4 at Indian Hills Golf Course during The Masters 2-Person Tournament. Prior used a pitching wedge on the par-3 hole, which was playing at 159 yards that day. It was his second ace on that particular hole. He and partner Luke Goeglein won the tournament.
• Yuma High School track and field teams both place second in the 54th running of the Yuma Bill Kalb Invitational, then have more than one week off before going to the Wray Dick Evans Invitational. The track season has been fraught with high winds and cold temperatures.
• Yuma High School basketball is moving up to Class 3A in 2022-23 thanks to CHSAA going from five to six classifications. It is announced Yuma will be in the 3A Metro District that includes Faith Christian, Lotus School, Manual, Prospect Ridge, Stargate, St. Mary’s Academy and William Smith. Yuma basketball will continue to be in the Lower Platte Activities Association during the regular season.

• Track and field, baseball and girls golf continue getting in as many competitions as possible while battling constantly-battering high winds, as well as cold, in what is shaping up to be one of the worst-weather spring sports seasons in recent memory.
• The Otis baseball team gets knocked out in the semifinals of district, but still qualifies for regional as the 13th-seed in the 16-team field, making the long trip to fourth-seed Dove Creek, 560 miles away. The Bulldogs.
• The Lone Star girls won the YWKC League meet in Holyoke.
• The Yuma baseball team opened the season with five straight losses, won nine of 12 to climb above .500 and got as high as No. 10 in the RPI. However, the Indians then finished the season with five straight losses, falling to No. 18 in the RPI.
• Yuma’s boys track and field team repeat as Class 2A state champions at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood. It is the program’s third state title overall. Yuma scored 59 points to edge Limon for the state title. The Indians were led by Clay Robinson. He won the 200-meter dash, setting the state meet record in the process, the 400 and the long jump, while barely finishing second in the 100. He finished his career with five individual state titles and two team championships.
• Yuma girls scored 19 points, led by the 800 sprint medley of Caddis Robinson, Fatima Duran, Lyndsey Mekelburg and Lea Richardson winning a state title in a very exciting race.
• Also for Yuma, Nash Richardson placed in the pole vault, triple jump, 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, and Kevin Hermosillo in the shot put and discus,
• Lone Star senior Alivia Weathers of Yuma concludes her stellar high school career by winning the 1A triple jump, setting a state meet record, and the pole vault, while placing second in the 100 and the long jump. Lone Star finished seventh in the 1A team standings. Lamya Kuntz finished second in the pole vault. For the Lone Star boys, Abraham Martinez was third in the pole vault, a Wyatt Cochran was fourth in the discus and sixth in the shot put.
• Arickaree’s Jacob Jefferson won the 1A 400 and 110 hurdles, and was second in the 800. Hayden Page was fifth in the 400 and eighth in the 800.
• For Otis, Peyton Wells was second in the discus and fourth in the shot put, while Carter Wells and Taylor Ringlein each placed in the pole vault. Madelyn Willeke placed in the pole vault to score for the Otis girls.
• Of course, the weather again made its mark, cancelling Friday’s state meet action, pushing the conclusion to Sunday, when YHS and many other schools were holding their graduations.
• The Yuma baseball team ended its season in predictably-bitterly cold weather conditions with a 6-3 loss to Lyons in the regional tournament held at Peyton. The Indians went 9-14 in 2022.
• Jailyn Mekelburg and Aspen Chadwick compete for Yuma in the girls golf regional, but come up shor to state berths.

• Yuma’s youth baseball teams doubled the fun by sweeping the 11-12 and 9-10 titles at the Sterling Tournament. The 11-12 team won its ti
• e over Sidney, Nebraska, while the 9-10 team beat Brush in its final.
• Among those participating in the CHSCA All-State Games in Pueblo were Clay Robinson in basketball, Harper Whitehead in Spirit, Fatima Duran in wrestling, and Lone Star’s Alivia Weathers in basketball and Lamya Kuntz in in volleyball.
• The Yuma Hoopsters Club’s second annual Heat in the Street 3 on 3 Tournament is again a big hit as it is held at City Park in early June.
• It is announced that Yuma’s Clay Robinson is named the Class 2A Track Athlete of the Year, and Lucas Lubbers the Coach of the Year. Lone Star’s Alivia Weathers and Arickaree’s Jacob Jefferson won the 1A Athlete of the Year awards. Yuma’s Fatima Duran, Lea Richardson, Lyndsey Mekelburg and Caddis Robinson also are all-state by winning the 800 sprint medley at the state meet.
• Yuma’s Yahir Trejo and Silas Baucke are named to the All-Lower Platte Activities Association Team in baseball.
• Yuma’s 10U team wins the Yuma Baseball Organization’s Jeff Armstrong Baseball Tournament. The 12U team went undefeated before losing in the semifinals. A total of 14 teams competed in the two divisions. It was the first JAM Tournament to be completed since 2019, thanks to COVID-19 in 2020 and a rainout in 2021.

• The Pioneer takes a look at the Yuma High School football schedule for 2022, showing that it definitely will be another challenging slate of games.
• The YHS volleyball schedule is featured as the Pioneer takes a look at the challenges facing the team in the upcoming season.
• Fall sports are about to start and it is still not clear if Yuma High School is going to have a softball team in 2022. YHS is going to host a meeting to gauge the interest in having a softball team.
• The month ends with Andrews Brothers Seed winning the Yuma Recreation Department Co-Ed Softball League Tournament title, beating Harman Farms 11-5 in the championship game.

• Presley Papachek is featured in the Pioneer as the new athletic director for Yuma School District-1.
• It is announced that Yuma and Wray high schools will team up to field the Yuma County Softball team for the 2022 season. The team will practice in both locations, and share home dates while using the Wray softball schedule.
• Jamie Robinson is featured as the new head coach of Yuma High School volleyball as preseason practices begin.
• Yuma High School’s boys golf team gets off to a solid start in the 2022 season.
• Yuma County Softball opens its season in Wray with a loss to Rocky Ford.
• The YHS boys golf team enjoys a strong start to its season, including placing second it its own Yuma Invitational, with JJ Ward, Jack Blecha, Nash Richardson and Jake Hagemeier leading the way.
• The Yuma volleyball team opened its season by going 1-2 at the Kit Carson Fall Fling, getting their lone win over Akron.
• Yuma County Softball earns its first win, 7-1 over Valley in the Platte Valley Classic.
• The Yuma High School cross country teams open their season at the Windsor Wizards Invitational.
• Yuma High School’s football team has an impressive start to the 2022 season with a 56-14 win over visiting Sterling on a hot Thursday night in late August.
• The Otis and Arickaree football teams open their seasons in late August with blowout wins over Kit Carson and Bethune, respectively, portending playoff 6-man seasons.

• The Yuma County Softball team picked up a fun 8-6 win over Platte Valley in Wray.
• The Yuma Football Team played two of its first three games on Thursday nights in Yuma, including a 49-0 win over the Banning Lewis Stallions on a hot and windy night to improve to 3-0 on the season. It is the program’s first 3-0 start since 2010.
• Lyle Smith shoots a 76 to win the Indian Hills Club Championship, held in hot and windy conditions on a Thursday in September.
• The Yuma Football Team concludes September, and its nonconference schedule, with a 4-0 record after a 10-7 win over Brush, in Yuma. It is Yuma’s first 4-0 start since the 2009 championship season, and first win over Brush in football since 2001, though the schools had not played each other in a varsity game since 2007.
• Yuma’s boys golf team saw its season come to an end at the Class 3A Region 3 Tournament in Greeley. The Yuma foursome of Kyle Schuetz, Nash Richardson, Jack Blecha and Brodie Castillo had a good showing, finishing 15th out of 23 teams, but none scored low enough to earn a state berth.
• The Yuma cross country runners have strong efforts at every meet they attend throughout September.’
• It is announced that JJ Ward and Nash Richardson earned all-conference in boys golf, while Jack Blecha earned honorable mention.
• The Otis football team finished September 5-0 after a 63-48 win over La Veta, and Arickaree 4-1 after a highly successful month. The Otis volleyball team improves to 9-5 overall after winning the Akron Tournament.
• Yuma County Softball makes its Yuma debut with a doubleheader loss to Burlington, then closes the month with two losses in Yuma to Holyoke.

• Yuma girls cross country team win the LPAA title at the Wiggins Invitational, while the boys take second among league teams. Ashley Ibanez leads the girls as the LPAA individual champion.
• Yuma Middle School’s volleyball team wins the A-Team League Tournament in Fort Morgan. Team members include Maya Vasquez, Aubrey Black, Berkley Nighswonger, Addison Armstrong, Taryn Sheffield, Laisha Loya, Taryn Mekelburg, and Emory McClaran.
• The Yuma Football Team beats Wiggins on a last-second field goal in the Homecoming game, then holds on for a win at Burlington to start the season 6-0 for the first time since the 2009 championship season. Yuma rises to No. 2 in the 1A RPI.
• The Yuma County Softball team sees its season come to an end with a 5-16 record, dropping its final doubleheader at Limon.
• The Yuma Volleyball Team keeps sticking around the .500 mark.
• The Otis and Arickaree football teams both are 5-1 and highly ranked in 6-man heading into their Washington County showdown.
• The Harvest Cup remains in Wray for another year as the Eagles hold off Yuma 20-14 at Powell Field, handing Yuma its first loss of the season
• Arickaree claims a 52-33 win over Otis in a Washington County showdown of highly-ranked 6-man football teams.
• The season comes to an end at regional for the Yuma High School cross country runners. The girls team came up just short of qualifying as a team, but there were good efforts all around by both teams.
• Yuma’s football team loses its final home game of the regular season 21-17 to unranked Holyoke, then close out the regular season on a three-game losing streak with a 28-0 loss at top-ranked Limon.
• The Otis and Arickaree football teams both get a week off before opening the 6-man playoffs in early November. Meanwhile, the Otis volleyball team’s win streak reaches double digits.
• Yuma’s volleyball team concludes the regular season with a comeback win over Northridge in The Pit.

• The Yuma Football Team still opened the playoffs at home for the first time since 2013, rolling past Rye 42-6 to advance to the quarterfinals for the second straight season.
• The Yuma volleyball team gives its best shot a regional in Rye, beating the home team before losing to North Park, who goes on to beat Rye and advance to the state tournament. Yuma finishes with a 12-13 record.
• The Otis volleyball team does not win its regional at Simla, but advances to the Class 1A State Tournament as a wildcard. The Bulldogs lose their first two matches to get knocked out of the tournament.
• Otis beats Sierra Grande 55-13 at home to advance to the quarterfinals in the 6-man playoffs.
• Arickaree holds off Branson/Kim 26-22 at home to advance to the quarterfinals in the 6-man playoffs.
• The Arickaree volleyball team sees its season end in regional.
• The Yuma football team sees it season end on a chilly Friday night with a quarterfinal loss at Colorado Springs Christian, 24-23, after taking a 15-point lead in the second quarter. Yuma finishes with a 7-4 record.
• Otis advances to the 6-man semifinals with a 44-26 win at Cheyenne Wells.
• Arickaree sees its season end with a 79-50 loss at Granada in the quarterfinals. Arickaree finishes 8-3.
• Otis sees its season end in the semifinals with a 46-13 loss at No. 1 Stratton, which went on to win the 6-man title the next week in Pueblo.

• A total of six YHS football players are named to the 2022 1A League 4 All-Conference team, Cesar Varela, Alex Lozano, Kevin Hermosillo, Kallen Blach and Daman Hernandez, while Ethan Goeglein earns honorable mention.
• YHS junior Caddis Robinson is announced as a selection to the All-LPAA team in volleyball. She also receives Class 2A honorable mention.
• It is announced that former YHS boys basketball coach Gary Childress will be inducted into the CHSCA Hall of Fame in the spring of 2023.
• The season openers on December 2 are cancelled due to high winds and blowing dirt, but the YHS boys basketball team opens the next day with an exciting win at Wray, then drops an overtime decision at Platte Valley a few days later.
• The Yuma girls lose to Wray and then lose to Briggsdale.
• Yuma’s wrestling teams get their seasons started with solid efforts at tournaments.
• The mid-December blizzard results in the cancellation of the home debuts of the YHS girls and boys wrestling teams, as well as basketball’s Yuma Holiday Tournament. All the teams do get in some action over the weekend before the Christmas break, including the Yuma girls basketball team getting its first win of the season, and the Yuma boys going 2-1 in December.
• The all-state football selections are released, with Yuma’s Alex Lozano and Cesar Varela named to the Class 1A First Team, Kevin Hermosillo to the Second Team, and Kallen Blach and Daman Hernandez earning Honorable Mention.
• YHS girls wrestling enjoys a successful December, and Kallen Blach leads the Yuma boys at the Bob Smith Invitational in Wray by winning the 190-pound title.