SAGUACHE— Head Coach Joel Johnson has Mountain Valley running full bore with the wind at their back. Mountain Valley (6-0) has figured out what works well for them and are executing it to perfection. Oct. 13’s victory over hapless Cripple Creek-Victor (0-7) while not impressive on the field showed up big in the standings. The win clinched the 6-M Southwest League for Mountain Valley punching their tickets to the state tournament.
But the accolades don’t end there. Not only is Mountain Valley going to be among 16 other teams competing for a state title, but with Saturday’s one sided 66-16 victory over Kim-Branson (1-6) gave them their seventh win of the season. The final team standing between Mountain Valley and a flawless season is Cheraw (1-6) Friday Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.
A run first team, Mountain Valley leans on senior Isiah Wellman and junior Elijah Roberts. Wellman has rushed for 994 yards on 72 carries. Roberts has collected 772 yards on 52 touches. Both boys lead the team in yards per carry (min. 5 carries), Roberts with 14.8 and Wellman with 13.8. Meaning both boys are good for a first down and more every time they take a handoff. Wellman and Roberts are also tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with 16.
The passing duties go to sophomore Salvador Vigil. Vigil is a fairly accurate passer completing at a 65.1 percent clip. Thus far in the season Vigil has thrown for 1,041 yards and 19 touchdowns. Downfield Vigil is typically looking for senior David Hammel. Hammel has collected 613 yards on 29 receptions and has logged 14 touchdowns.
As if the offense needed any help with winning games, another big part of why Mountain Valley is successful is the defense. In six games the defense allows on average 14 points per game.
Looking forward, currently Mountain Valley holds the No. 7 spot in the unofficial RPI rankings by CHSAA. If positions hold through the remainder of the season and seeding meetings that means with 16 teams qualifying for state Mountain Valley would be in prime position to host at least one game come November.
If Mountain Valley has a weakness it’s their average opponent’s winning percentage (OWP). The teams Mountain Valley has faced average a winning percentage of .393, giving MVHS the second lowest OWP of the teams currently occupying the top 16 spots. While that doesn’t devalue what they’ve accomplished any, it does mean that Mountain Valley will need to acclimate to competition quickly in the post-season.