Denair Eyes High Playoff Seed After Win Over Mariposa

Submitted by Denair High School

MARIPOSA – Neighborhood bragging rights, solo second place in the Southern League and, most importantly, a probable first-round playoff bye will be on the line this week as Denair’s football team tries to extend its most successful season in more than a decade.

The Coyotes (8-1 overall, 5-1 SL) control their fate. Friday’s 28-7 road victory over Mariposa kept them alone in second place in their conference with one regular-season game to play. A victory this week at home against Waterford guarantee no worse than second place in league.

Unbeaten Ripon Christian (9-0, 6-0) – which handed Denair its only loss – is cruising to the SL title. The Knights host winless Delhi (0-9, 0-6) this week, so nothing short of a miracle would get Denair a co-championship.

But a victory over the Waterford (6-3, 3-3) would position Denair for a well-earned week off when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII playoffs begin Nov. 2. Because there are only six teams in the Section’s smallest division, the top two seeds get first-round byes.

“I’d rather take the week off and get rested and get some kids healthy than play another game,” said Denair Coach Anthony Armas. “We’ve got a lot of kids going both ways (on offense and defense).”

Denair and Big Valley Christian (8-1) of Modesto are the likely top seeds, if they both win.

“I know zero about how they figure out the playoff seedings,” Armas said. “I think it’s strength of schedule and record, but I don’t know what they’re thinking about in Sacramento.”

The playoff brackets for all divisions will be announced online Sunday.

Armas felt his team was guilty of thinking too much about the various playoff scenarios last week, which may have contributed to a relatively slow start against Mariposa.

“I think we got caught up too much in the playoff buzz,” he said. “Some of the kids were asking about it and wondering who we might play. … I tell them the same thing every week: We just need to take care of our business and the rest of that stuff will sort itself out.”

For one of the few times this season, Denair found itself behind against the Grizzlies (2-7, 1-5).

Mariposa took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter before Denair rallied behind running back Drew Pritchard and a passing attack led by quarterback Elvis Silva that hasn’t been needed often this season.

“They were pretty hell-bent on stopping the run,” Armas said. “They were really stacking the  box on defense.”

Pritchard’s 1-yard plunge tied the score late in the first quarter. He gave Denair a 14-7 halftime lead on a pretty 17-yard touchdown pass from Silva.

Pritchard wasn’t done. He added a 10-yard TD run in the second half to stretch Denair’s advantage to 21-7. He finished with 75 yards on 13 carries, caught two passes for 42 yards and also played a key role on defense, intercepting a Mariposa pass in the first half.

Steffin Winston (15 carries, 75 yards) capped Denair’s scoring with a 15-yard TD pass from Silva in the fourth quarter. Silva, a junior, had his best game of the season, completing nine of 11 throws for 143 yards and two TDs.

“It was close into the third quarter, but it never felt like we were in danger,” Armas said. “We fumbled twice inside the red zone. One of them was inside the 5-yard line after a long drive.”

JV Game: Mariposa 45, Denair 0. The Coyotes are 1-6-1 overall and 1-5 in league play.

This week: Waterford has lost two games in a row (to Orestimba and Gustine) but still has playoff aspirations. The Wildcats also have beaten Denair the past two seasons – something Armas won’t have to remind his seniors of this week. “Their quarterback really makes their offense go,” he said. “They’re aggressive on defense. We’ve got to do what we do and do it well. We’ve got to be disciplined on both sides of the ball. We’ve got to focus on us.” … Friday’s game kicks off at 7:15 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium. … A scheduling oddity had Denair playing four homecoming games in a row – its own, plus away games at Gustine, Orestimba and Waterford. The Coyotes went 4-0 in that stretch and are a perfect 5-0 this season on the road. … Denair won eight games for the first time since 2006, when the Coyotes made it all the way to the Section Division VI championship game. They lost to Lindhurst and finished 8-4 overall. … Denair remains No. 2 in the Modesto Bee’s small-school rankings behind Ripon Christian. … In ’N Out Burger in Merced was a popular place for Southern League football teams last Friday night. The Coyotes stopped there on their 90-minute trip back from Mariposa. So did Ripon Christian after it played at Le Grand. And some of the Le Grand players also showed up. “It was packed,” Armas said.

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Cumbre Anual de Padres, Camino a la Universidad

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

[TRANSPORTE GRATUITO]

El sábado 17 de noviembre de 2018, la tercera Cumbre anual de padres de Camino a lá Universidad se llevará a cabo en UC Merced de 8 AM a 12:30 PM. La Cumbre de Padres de Camino a la Universidad es un evento informativo con talleres presentados en inglés y español.

El evento gratuito está abierto a los padres de K-16. Se servirá el desayuno y regalaremos una computadora portátil, una tableta y otros premios electrónicas.

El Distrito Escolar Unificado de Denair (DUSD) proporcionará transporte GRATUITO para todas las familias de DUSD interesadas en asistir a este evento GRATUITO. Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Daisy Swearingen al 209-632-7514 x1202.

Annual Pathway to College Parent Summit 2018

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

[FREE TRANSPORTATION]

On Saturday, November 17, 2018 the 3rd annual Pathway to College Parent Summit will be held at UC Merced from 8AM-12:30PM. The Pathway to College Parent Summit is an informational event with workshops presented in both English and Spanish.

The free event is open to K-16 parents. Breakfast will be served and we will give away a laptop, tablet and other electronic goodies.

Denair Unified School District (DUSD) will be providing FREE transportation for all DUSD families interested in attending this FREE event! For more information please contact Daisy Swearingen at 209-632-7514 x1202.

Denair Campuses Have Big Plans to Mark Red Ribbon Week and its Message Against Drug Use, and Other Unsafe Behavior

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Next week is Red Ribbon Week at schools across the country. Red Ribbon Week began in 1980 as a way to discourage drug use among children while promoting healthy behaviors. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was one of the original proponents.

The campuses in the Denair Unified School District have a number of events planned starting Monday. All are being coordinated by staff as well as student members of the PHAST (Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco) Clubs. The theme is “Life is Your Journey: Travel Drug-Free.”

Last year, Denair High finished second in Stanislaus County in the contest for best decorated campus. “We are hoping for first place this year,” said adviser Melissa Treadwell.

Denair High School

  • Monday: Crash scene. There will be a wrecked car on the grass near the student store unveiled about 8:40 a.m. The car will be an example of what can happen if people drink and drive, text and drive or are under the influence of drugs and drive. The car (donated for free from Myers Towing) will be there all week as a reminder to students. There also will be games for students to play.
  • Tuesday: “Drunk Goggles,” where students try to walk a straight line while wearing goggles that simulate impairment. Fire hose game, where students partner up to use an actual fire hose to knock down cones. Firefighters will be on hand. A selfie station where students can take photos in front of a themed backdrop and with Cosmo the Coyote. A “Dunk Drugs” game where students can try to dunk staff members in a water tank. Special Red Ribbon menu choice at the cafeteria.
  • Pinko Game (a drug education board).
  • Thursday: Educational props and materials. The “Drunk Goggles” experiment will be repeated.
  • Friday: A prize wheel where students can win cool stuff.

Denair Middle School

  • Monday: PJ Day. Students can wear pajamas to school. The theme is “Reach for Your Dreams, Don’t Let Drugs Get in Your Way.”
  • Tuesday: Sports Day. Students can wear their favorite team’s jersey. The theme is “Team up Against Drugs.”
  • Wednesday: Beach/Hawaiian Day. Students can wear their favorite beach clothing (no bathing suits, but flip flops are OK). The theme is “Catch the Drug-Free Wave.”
  • Thursday: Color Day. Each grade level and staff has a color: sixth-graders (white), seventh-graders (orange), eighth-graders (yellow) and staff (purple).
  • Friday: Backwards Day. Students can wear their clothing backward. The theme is “Turn Your Back on Drugs.”

Denair Elementary Charter Academy

  • Monday: “Red instead (of drugs)!” All students are encouraged to wear red.
  • Tuesday: “We’re crazy about being drug-free!” Students are encouraged to wear crazy socks or do their hair in a crazy style.
  • Wednesday: “Put a cap on drugs!” Students can wear their favorite hat.
  • Thursday: “Team up against drugs!” Students can wear their favorite team or sports uniform.
  • Friday: “Put drugs to rest!” Students can wear pajamas to school.

Denair Charter Academy

  • Monday: Pajama Day. Students can wear pajamas to school.
  • Tuesday: Disney Day. Students can dress up as their favorite Disney character.
  • Wednesday: Sports Jersey Day. Students can wear their favorite team’s jersey.
  • Thursday: Fandom Day.
  • Friday: Wear Red Day.

Denair Unified District Office

  • Monday: “Red instead (of drugs)!” All employees are encouraged to wear red.
  • Tuesday: “We’re crazy about being drug-free!” Employees are encouraged to wear crazy socks or do their hair in a crazy style.
  • Wednesday: “Put a cap on drugs!” Employees can wear their favorite hat.
  • Thursday: “Team up against drugs!” Employees can wear their favorite team or sports uniform.
  • Friday: “Put drugs to rest!” Employees can wear pajamas to work.

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Denair Scores Early and Often in 36-6 Homecoming Win

Submitted by Denair High School

DENAIR – There are fast starts … and then there are faster starts.

Friday’s 36-6 Denair blowout of Delhi clearly falls into the second category.

The Coyotes scored on four of their first five plays of the game, built a 29-0 lead at halftime and coasted the rest of the way in front of a raucous homecoming crowd at Jack Lytton Stadium.

To make the night even better, the Coyotes got some help from Orestimba, which knocked off Waterford. The left Denair alone in second place in the Southern League standings and firmly in control of its own playoff destiny with two weeks left in the regular season.

The Coyotes (7-1 overall, 4-1 in the league) play at Mariposa this week before hosting Waterford on Oct. 26.

Unbeaten Ripon Christian (8-0, 5-0) – which beat Denair 35-7 four weeks ago – is cruising to the Southern League title. But two more victories would assure Denair of second place all alone and, more importantly, a high seed and home game when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII playoffs begin Nov. 2.

“The only thing we can control is the next two games,” said Denair Coach Anthony Armas. “The CIF is going to rank us where they rank us. There’s nothing we can do about what other teams do.”

Friday night, the Coyotes made quick work of the Hawks (0-8, 0-5).

On its second play from scrimmage, Denair scored on a 28-yard run by Hunter Musgrave. After forcing a Delhi punt, Musgrave struck again, sprinting 88 yards on the first play of the next drive. He finished with 144 yards rushing on just four carries.

The score-on-the-first-play sequence was repeated on Denair’s next two possessions – first by Drew Pritchard on a 72-yard run and again when quarterback Elvis Silva connected with Steffin Winston on a 60-yard TD pass.

“We’ve got some good athletes all around,” said Armas of his offense, which is averaging more than 43 points a game in the Coyotes’ seven victories.

Denair led 29-0 at halftime. Silva threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Scott Badal in the second half, which was played almost entirely with a running clock.

The Coyotes’ defense also made its presence felt, forcing two more turnovers – a fumble recovery by Winston in the first half and another interception by Pritchard in the second half.

“It seems like Drew intercepts a pass every week,” Armas said.

Creating turnovers is not a fluke. It is a point of emphasis each week in practice in what is known as “Turnover Tuesdays,” Armas said.

“It was something we really harped on in the off season,” he explained. “Our defensive coaches do some drills where we work on stripping the football (out of opponents’ hands) or working on tips to get interceptions. Our kids really started flying around on defense in the Gustine game. Turnovers swung the momentum then and have been paying off in the past few weeks.”

JV Game: Delhi 13, Denair 6. The Coyotes are 1-5-1 overall and 1-4 in league play.

This week: Denair will play on homecoming for the fourth week in a row, this time at Mariposa (2-6, 1-4). Facing the Grizzlies the road always is a challenge, Armas said. It’s a 90-minute bus ride to a one-of-a-kind venue. “They play at the fairgrounds,” he said. “It’s just different. There are concrete and steel and car parts all around. A few years ago, they put sawdust on the field after it rained to soak up the water. It’s just a different environment.” … Fullback Dylan De Silva is expected to play after serving a one-game suspension after being ejected two weeks ago against Orestimba. … This is the first time Denair has won at least seven games since 2006, when the Coyotes made it all the way to the Section Division VI championship game. They lost to Lindhurst and finished 8-4 overall. … Denair remains No. 2 in the Modesto Bee’s small-school rankings behind Ripon Christian.

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