DENVER (CBS4)– In 1989 the Denver Prep League was the king of high school football. Thomas Jefferson High School defeated Montbello High School 34-32 to win the 4A State Championship. It was the last game in the career of Spartan’s head coach Herman Motz in the Hall of Fame and the last time a DPL team won a state championship.
Now, 32 years later, these city rivals are fighting for the national championship again, but this time they play against two other teams in separate divisions.
CONTINUE READING: Some RMNP trails may not be open for an entire year in the fire zones of the state’s two largest forest fires
Denver Prep League teams have played football in Colorado since 1901 and have only won six state championships. That could change this weekend as Thomas Jefferson takes on Gateway in the 4A title and Montbello, now known as the Far Northeast Warriors, takes on Boulder in the 5A title.
“We play good football here too, and the kids in Denver can play,” said Mike Griebel, head football coach at Thomas Jefferson High School. “We’re proud of that and hope we can continue like this and Coach (Tony) Lindsay and I, and the teams we have, can bring these two trophies home this weekend.”
The Spartans are 7-0 and are led by senior running backs Avery Shunneson and Jaden Hill. The two have teamed up for 951 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
“Jaden is a mix of everything because where I’m kind of a tuck it and downfield runner, he can suck, he can move, and he even weighs more than me, which is crazy,” said Shunneson.
CONTINUE READING: COVID In Colorado: The governor’s office is lifting the mandate on face masks for those who are vaccinated
“My main focus is if you’re in my way, it’s just bad news for you,” Hill said when asked about his mindset as a response.
And in defense with a 320-pound Senior Defensive Tackle, affectionately known as “Tiny”.
“I can get out of blocks very easily, so I just enjoy it. I love the trenches so it works for me, ”said Treshawn“ Tiny ”Smith.
This game has another special meaning. Coach Motz died on January 9th and the Spartans and Spartans are hoping to win another game for him.
MORE NEWS: Teen Named Miracle, who survived the horrific crash, is getting a special prom after 10 weeks in the hospital
“It is something very special for us because it is up to date. He brings us the feeling of duty to live up to the greatness that TJ had in front of us, ”said Coach Griebel