San Juan football a force to be reckoned with

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BLANDING, Utah -- When it comes to top high school football teams, Bingham, Timpview and Juan Diego have been dominant in their classifications -- but don't forget San Juan. The defending 2A champion is one of 10 teams that remain unbeaten.

The small school in southeastern Utah is a force to be reckoned with, and the athletes are putting in the miles to prove it.

"It's a small town, and that's what we live for is football. That's what everyone loves," says senior linebacker Stetson Shumway.

The San Juan Broncos have won 26 of their last 28 games and two of the last four 2A state football titles. The success on the gridiron means a lot to the team.

"I'm a little biased," says Head Coach Monty Lee. "I think it means everything. I think it's our life blood. You know, they live and breathe football. They just can't wait for the ‘boys of fall,' so to speak."

But to build their tradition, the team will have to log a lot of miles. Their five road games this season will require them to drive 2,270 miles.

"We're San Juan. We go everywhere." Shumway says.

The team will travel as far south as Kirtland, N.M., and as far north as Grantsville, Utah. In fact, in the last 10 days they have traveled to Grantsville then Kamas -- a total of 1310 miles -- on a bus. Despite the long journey in such a short time span, the team won both games by an average of 15 points.

"I think we spend half our life on the bus sometimes," Lee says.

While the team travels long distances to play games, their fans are right behind them.

"Home games especially. I mean, the whole town is there to support us all the way," says running back Colby Redd. "We have great fans for sure."

"This is a disadvantage for these kids to have to travel seven, eight hours in a pop," Lee says. "They take pride in it, and they take pride in these kids doing the best they can; and I think it shows in the success the program has had over the last 20-odd years."

That success has included 10 state championship appearances and five state titles.

After a win over No. 1 ranked South Summit last week, the Broncos proved they have a great chance to add another state championship to their trophy case in Blanding.


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