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Blue Jays Football Primed for Deep Playoff Run

November 23, 2023

Mancos High School finished the season on a five-game winning streak, good enough to earn a number one seed in the Colorado 8-Man football state playoff bracket. That seed paves a path to a deep playoff run, and perhaps a rematch against the only team that beat the Blue Jays this season, Haxtun High School. The Blue Jays wrote a balanced script in 2023, featuring both an explosive offense and suffocating defense all season. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Southwest Health System and Keesee Motor Company

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It's a new year, same impressive Mancos High School football team come playoff time. The Bluejays rattled off five straight wins to end the regular season atop their division. You're watching the Local NEWS Network, brought to you by Southwest Health System and Keesee Motor Company. I'm Connor Shreve. The Bluejays lost just one game all season to Haxtun, a team they'll get a rematch with in the State Title Game on Friday night. Offensive coordinator Alan Matthews says the team is consistently improving.

I'd say right now, at this point in the season, we're playing the best football that we've played. We've got a mature group of kids that have played a lot of football, and I think overall, it's really starting to click for 'em right now.

Two-way start Kail Wayman is among Colorado 8 Man Football leaders with 27 touchdowns. But he says a lot of the Bluejays' dominance starts on the defensive side of the ball, led by his fellow linebackers.

They bring everything. They're the center of our defense. When they set the tone, it's hard for other teams to get going, if the first play of the game, you just get hit right in the mouth. So they set the whole tone for the rest of the game, and it's just awesome.

What do you like?

Wayman ranks fourth in total rushing yards in Colorado this season and says it's been great getting recognition as one of the state's best.

It means a lot. I just remember being a freshman and always thinking, like, just looking up to those guys that always had the title of 8 Man of the Year. And it's just something I never thought I could get, but now it's coming closer, it's just like a dream to me.

Now he has the chance to bring Mancos its first football State Title. That will require a win over Haxtun, a team that handed the Bluejays their only loss of the season. Wayman says the team is embracing the playoff pressure.

It's just the same as always been. It's just another game to us. We're having fun. We're just glad to be out here on most teams. There's only four teams out here, so we're just glad to be out here.

Matthews says the team just can't beat itself.

I think the biggest thing for us is to be steady and take care of the football. We're good up front. We're well-coached up front. And we've got to be consistent, and we've got to be steady with inside run, and then we've got to make other big plays when it's time to make other big plays.

CSU Pueblo will host the game Friday at 5:00 p.m. A link to Stream the action is available on the Colorado High School Activities Association website. Learn more about these and other stories online at Thanks for watching this edition of The Local NEWS Network. I'm Connor Shreve.


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