Duran leads football team in honors

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During Derek Duran's freshman year, a football coach called him the future of Moffat County football. Four years later, the senior finished his career with his second, first-team selection for the Western Slope League.

"Derek had an incredible career," coach Kip Hafey said. "He helped take two teams to the state quarterfinals and finished his career with a 24-8 record as a starter."

Duran passed for more than 3,000 yards and ran for 1,000 more in his career. He was a part of 25 touchdowns, either passing or running.

Duran was given his award Monday at the football team's annual banquet.

The ceremony happened a couple of weeks earlier than hoped, but that didn't mean there weren't reasons for celebration.

"We play in a league that is loaded," Hafey said. "Unfortunately, the ball just didn't bounce our way this year."

The Bulldogs finished fifth, one spot from the playoffs. Then in the first round, the Western Slope League went 4-0 in the playoffs. The Western Slope is now 10-2 in the first round of the playoffs the past three years.

"We are a top 10 team in the state, and I still believe we finished that way," Hafey said of his 5-5 Bulldogs. "There were two 5-5 teams in the playoffs and if there was a power rating in 3A like there was in 4A and 5A we would have been ahead of them."

With a fifth-place finish in the Western Slope League, the Bulldogs were awarded four league honors.

Along with Duran's first-team selection were honorable-mention selections, seniors Reid Hanneman and Kevin Loughran, and sophomore JT Haddan.

Hanneman was used primarily on defense this year. He was second on the team in tackles with 45 solo and 21 assists.

"Reid was all around the ball all the time," Hafey said. "He was tenacious on defense."

Hanneman's interception against Glenwood Springs helped the Bulldogs win for the fourth-consecutive year on homecoming.

Hanneman was named the team's MVP on defense. Senior Kyle Gannon, who Hafey described as, "a maniac on special teams," received the MVP on special teams.

Opponents ran away from Loughran on defense and after him on offense this year. He was the leading receiver in the league at tight end with 26 catches and 351 yards.

"Kevin was one of the top tight ends in the state," Hafey said. "He was a good blocker for us, and as a three-year starter, he was a leader. Kevin played with emotion and gave his all every play."

Haddan became affectionately known as "Diesel" this year. He had an affinity for running over opponents.

"On offense, one defender could never take him down," Hafey said. "On defense, he played at one of the most physical positions (middle linebacker) on the field."

Haddan will play an important part in next year's team -- a team that Hafey said will be another traditional Moffat County team.

"Tradition is always under construction," Hafey said. "We'll never be a rebuilding program; next year we'll reload."

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