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Dolores Athletics & Activities

Dolores HS/MS


Dolores Athletics & Activities

Dolores HS/MS

Dolores Athletics & Activities

Dolores HS/MS

Team News.

Team News

1 year ago @ 2:03PM

Homecoming Football Game TONIGHT against Whitehorse HS

Come out and support the Varsity Football team as they take on the Whitehorse Raiders for Homecoming.

Kickoff at 7pm

Homecoming Royalty at Halftime

Team News

1 year ago @ 10:39AM


Watch any play this season from Dolores High School and you’re almost guaranteed to see number 55 on the field. Forest Pejsa starts at linebacker, center, punter and kicker for the Bears.

“It helps us get momentum going,” Pejsa, a sophomore, said of his work load. “I’m always in there and always trying to encourage everyone no matter where I’m at. I try to be a playmaker even if I’m at center, middle linebacker, at punter, anything.”

This isn’t new to Pejsa, either. Pejsa logged 119 tackles as a freshman and an all-conference nod all while never coming off the field for Dolores, a Class 1A team.

“It makes me have to work a lot harder in conditioning since I’m not going off the field,” Pejsa said. “There’s a lot more that I have to think about and visualize myself doing on the field that it just takes a lot more mental preparation.”

This season, Pejsa has 47 tackles through three games. That stat is good for seventh overall in Colorado. Four of the top six tackles leaders have played four games.

“You look at a kid that’s at a 5A program, as a linebacker, that’s all he does is play linebacker. When their offense in the field, that linebacker is over there taking a break, getting some water, and having time to be coached on the sideline,” head coach Chris Trusler said. “With Forest never leaving the field, he doesn’t have that luxury. He’s putting up massive numbers that kids that only play one side of the ball can’t get.”

Trusler imagines the potential Pejsa could contain if he played just one position.

“It would be kind of scary to think, if we had a big enough team to where Forest only played linebacker and he had three or four plays on the sideline to get a break, how much more he would be able to dominate the game,” Trusler said.

With the incredible workload Pejsa takes on, challenges with mental errors or frustration due to fatigue should be expected, but Pejsa credits his teammates with keeping him level.

“There’s definitely challenges no matter where I’m at,” Pejsa said. “I also have (senior Tristan Medina) and our other captains to keep me in place and make sure that I’m being the best leader that I can be. Even when I’m having a tough time, they encourage me to play harder.”

However, according to Medina, Pejsa is the one giving the encouragement.

“There’s really no need to pick up Forest, I’d say he’s one to pick up other people,” Medina said. “He’s never one to get negative or hang his head.”

Trusler attests there haven’t been any mental errors from Pejsa despite having no time on the sidelines to take a break.

“We haven’t seen those moments and I think that’s a true testament to the offseason preparation that Forest does and the commitment that he’s made not only to himself, but to his team,” Trusler said.

Pejsa is just a sophomore, but has already been named the captain because of his play, work ethic and leadership.

“He’s a bigger captain and role model than anyone on the team,” Medina said. “I definitely look up to him as a captain, as a friend, he leads by example. He knows when it’s time to get to work.”

Pejsa embodies exactly what Trusler and the Dolores coaching staff look for in a student-athlete.

“We ask our players to do certain things; we ask them to commit, to be coachable, to be good students and to be leaders on and off the field. He takes that to heart and he does everything that we ask all of our guys to do,” Trusler said. “It’s a pure joy to be able to coach guys like that because you know their heart is in it and you know that they’re going to give 100 percent every play. It’s great to have guys like that because they separate themselves as being a leader.”

Trusler mentioned that he uses Pejsa as a frequent reference point for the rest of the team.

“He definitely sets a mark for other student-athletes to follow,” Trusler said. “When another student-athlete says, ‘Hey, I keep getting pushed around out here, what can I do to get better?’ Well, go work out with Forest Pejsa.

“If kids have dreams or aspirations of playing at the next level and they ask what they need to do, well, go watch Forest Pejsa and that’ll show you what you need to do to have that opportunity.”

Pejsa not only offers an example of the type of player the Bears want, he also creates favorable matchups for his teammates defensively.

“When he’s out at linebacker, teams double- or triple-team him on every play,” Trusler said. “That really gives some of the other guys on the team opportunities to make sacks or tackles in the backfield.”

“It opens up another hole for my teammates to go get and I have no problem with that,” Pejsa said.

Even with the double and triple teams Trusler mentioned, Pejsa still finds a way to get his tackles in.

“He’s in on every tackle basically,” Medina said. “Whether it’s right, left, middle, you can count on Forest to make big plays.”

The coaching staff looks to Pejsa for his ability to take over games at any point in the contest.

“Defensively, if we need a big turnover or a big stop, we’ve challenged him before several times in timeouts and the problem gets handled,” Trusler said.

Pejsa attributed his success to the work he put in during the offseason. It’s only fitting that Pejsa is a three-sport athlete. He plays basketball and is a member of the track and field team in addition to football.

“During the summer, a lot of days he’s lifting weights, and then an hour later he’s working out with the basketball program,” Trusler said.

One could argue there is no offseason for Pejsa.

“He’s continually working year-round to get better,” Trusler said. “With what we’ve already seen, I still think there’s a huge amount of upside for Forest. We should be looking at him playing Division I football in a couple years when he graduates.”

Pejsa takes pride in always being in the game, but also takes pride in his grades as a student-athlete.

“I try to remain with straight A’s,” Pejsa said. “I try to be a leader on and off the field.”

“As we teach all our guys, they are student-athletes. Student coming first,” Trusler said. “Our kids being in athletics is a privledge, not a right. Even with all the sports and practices and everything that he’s a part of, he still maintains a very high GPA, he doesn’t make excuses. He gets it done.”

Pejsa is there for his teammates in any way he can be.

“Whether he’s busy or not he goes there for football lifting, whether we have to lay sod, whether we have to do concessions, you can count on him to be there,” Medina said.

“If I had a whole team of Forest Pejsa’s, we would win a state title every year,” Trusler said. “No question about it.”

Trusler’s declaration is telling not only of Pejsa’s blistering start to the season, but of the kind of role model that Pejsa is on the field and in the community.

“Any time you have a student-athlete that models all the values, dedication and leadership that you would want, there’s nothing better than that,” Trusler said. “He’ll have respect from me for the rest of his life because of the effort that he has put out.”


Credit to Gannon Casey CHSAANOW

Team News

1 year ago @ 2:02PM

Bears win in Shiprock

SHIPROCK — A 60-yard kick return and ensuing touchdown from the visiting Dolores, Colo., football team stole the momentum and flattened Shiprock's hopes of a comeback win tonight at Chieftain Stadium.

The Chieftains, donning black uniforms in their home opener, fell behind 18-0 but slowly chipped away in the second and third quarters. But the momentum Shiprock (1-2) gained from a 14-0 run was wiped away when the Bears returned a kickoff for 60 yards as the third-quarter buzzer sounded and then scored a touchdown on the first play of the fourth period.

The score — a 10-yard quarterback sweep by junior signal caller Justin Purkat — was the final one of the game. Dolores (1-1) held on to win 24-14.

The Bears racked up a little more than 200 yards in penalties and turned the ball over four times, but still did enough to sneak away victorious, thanks in large part to Purkat's performance. Purkat threw three touchdown passes in the first half and and rushed for another.

As a team, the Bears picked up 164 yards on 32 carries, but Shiprock's defense did hold Dolores to just the one second-half score, which was set up by the long kick return.

Chieftains coach Eric Stovall said he was encouraged by his defense's effort.

"I thought defensively we showed a lot of heart and a tremendous ability to stay together," Stovall said. "We showed the ability to play through adversity, and we're learning. Come district time, it'll pay dividends."

With the hosts down 18-0 near the end of the first half, a 32-yard run by Steve Lara set up a 30-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rakeem Anagale to wide receiver Donovan Chee.


After the break, Shiprock remained fired up and forced and recovered a Dolores fumble on the first possession of the second half.

With only 2.5 seconds left in the third quarter, an eight-play Shiprock drive culminated in a 12-yard Lara touchdown run to make it an 18-14 game. Lara was a machine on that drive, carrying the ball six times for 57 yards.

Shiprock's senior rusher was unstoppable for most of the night with 19 carries for 144 yards. He followed his blockers, made sharp cuts and often broke the first tackle attempt on each of his carries. Stovall said Lara has looked like a complete runner.

"He's strong, he's powerful and he has somewhat deceptive speed," Stovall said. "He's definitely a worker."

But the life was sucked out of Chieftain Stadium on the kickoff after Lara's score.

And late in the fourth, on a broken play when Shiprock was getting desperate, Anagale tried to scramble for a first down on a fourth-and-6 play and was hit hard by a Bears defender. The team turned it over on downs, and the QB's shoulder was injured in the process.

Anagale was pulled from the contest in favor of junior Darnell Chee, who threw an interception and fumbled the ball away on Shiprock's next two drives.


The Bears' pass rush was on point, according to Stovall.

"I thought they brought a lot of pressure up front. Mixing their defensive fronts, they threw a four-man front at us, a three-man front and an even front at us at different points," Stovall said. "They did a good job of applying the pressure when necessary on key downs, and it allowed them to create some turnovers."

Like the Bears, Shiprock committed four turnovers. The Chieftains also lost an onside kick and touched the ball on a separate kickoff, which Dolores recovered.

Stovall said Anagale should be ready to go for Shiprock's home tilt against Class 5A's Gallup (1-0) next week.

Team News

1 year ago @ 3:30PM

Bears seek first win in Shiprock NM


Come out and support the Dolores Varsity Football team as they seek their first win.  Friday September 9,2016, under the lights in Shiprock, NM.  Kickoff at 7pm.  Listen live on KKDC 93.3 The Crow.


Team News

1 year ago @ 8:58AM

Bears located in Dove Creek

DHS scrimmage in Dove Creek starts in 30 minutes

Team News

1 year ago @ 7:03PM by Jardyn Angell -Cortez Journal

Bears utilize concussion testing

As the Dolores football team gathered on the field to begin practice last Wednesday, sophomore Logan Fuller was in the computer lab.

Fuller, like each of the Dolores players is required, was taking his baseline concussion test, administered by athletic trainer Nick McLaughlin.

The online test provides questions and prompts to test athletes’ short- and long-term memory and reaction, which can later be used to identify wheter a concussion has occurred. And it’s important that the Bears concluded the assessment prior to contact to ensure that the results provide an accurate baseline. Full contact practices began on Thursday.

“What we’re doing is we’re taking their cognitive levels,” said McLaughlin, who splits his time between Mancos and Dolores. “So we run them through a bunch of short-term and long-term memory tests to get an idea of where they sit right now.”

“So later on in the season, if they get a concussion, we can do the same exact test again and compare the results,” he said. “It gives us an idea how bad the concussion is, and it also allows us to track it to see when they are ready to return to sports.”

“A lot of times with concussions it’s just clear and present,” said head coach Chris Trusler. “So this is more for when a kid gets whacked and thinks his bell just got rung, but the next day he still has a headache, or blurred vision or is dizzy or nauseas.”

The Colorado High School Activities Association does not require the test, but Trusler said that it’s best to be proactive when it comes to matters of the mind.

“We tell the kids that their brains will take them further in life than their legs will,” he said.

It’s the second year that Trusler has had his football team complete the assessment, and now serving as athletic director, he also hopes to get the basketball, wrestling and baseball squads involved as a precautionary measure.

Dolores is not the only local school hoping to advance in its concussion protocol.

McLaughlin proctored the test for members of the Mancos football team the day before, and Montezuma-Cortez provided the assessment for its athletes for the third consecutive year.

It’s the second year that the Blue Jays football team has undergone the assessment, and Mancos athletic director Heath Showalter said that he’s planning to have the volleyball and cross-country squads tested as well, just in case.

“We’re going to try to get all of our athletes tested so we have guidelines on where they are now,” he explained. “But hopefully they never get a concussion.”

Team News

1 year ago @ 7:03PM by Jardyn Angell -Cortez Journal

Bears looking for answers

Dolores head football coach Chris Trusler is piecing things together.

Sophomore Justin Purkat drops back to pass at practice on Wednesday. He and fellow sophomore Logan Fuller are competing for the starting quarterback position.Enlargephoto

Jardyn Angell/The Journal

Sophomore Justin Purkat drops back to pass at practice on Wednesday. He and fellow sophomore Logan Fuller are competing for the starting quarterback position.

After four days of official practice, it’s still too early for Trusler and his staff to name permanent starters at certain positions. So during two-a-days this week, they’ve been searching for the right fits to fill holes left by graduating players.

Finishing with a 3-6 record last year, the Bears lost eight players to graduation, including Jalen Balderrama, who led the Southern Peaks League in passing yards and Kyle Biery, who led the league in sacks.

DHS also said goodbye to its top three rushers from last season in Josh McCoy, Balderrama and Branden Donaldson.

So, how will the Bears replace their production?

“It’s kind of too early to tell for sure,” Trusler said. “We’re going to have to have some guys step up in a major way this year.”

At quarterback, there’s still a question mark. Although Trusler did say that sophomores Logan Fuller and Justin Purkat are the two vying for the starting job.

The running back spot isn’t much clearer. But junior Talon Zwicker is the only returner that had over 20 carries last season.

One thing Trusler was certain of is that Tristen Medina and Forrest Pejsa will play a vital part in the Bears’ success.

Medina is the team’s lone returning senior, and he’ll likely be asked to shoulder much of the offensive workload. Trusler will also look to last year’s first team all-conference selection to serve as a leader for the young squad.

Last year, Medina led the league in receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns – including three rushing, four receiving, one fumble returned for a score and another off a punt return.

Then there’s Pejsa.

Last year, as a freshman, Pejsa finished second in the league in total tackles, bringing down 119 ball carriers from his middle linebacker position to earn a second team all-conference nomination.

He will anchor a corps of linebackers that should give opponents pause. Trusler called the group that includes Pejsa, Zwicker, Fuller, Austin Hackney and Skieler Grooms, “phenomenal.”

“Our linebackers are really good,” he continued. “Our big goal this year is to make more tackles in the backfield instead of sitting and processing and waiting for the offense to cross the line.”

The Bears began full contact practice on Thursday, and they will host Dove Creek next Saturday for a scrimmage.

By then, Trusler and his staff will begin solidifying each player’s role, as Dolores kicks off the 2016 season on Friday, September 2 at home against Hotchkiss.
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