Garcia, Morehead are All-State selections | AspenTimes.com

Garcia, Morehead are All-State selections

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Jim Ryan/Special to The Aspen Times Aspen's Quinn Morehead, seen here picking off a pass during Oct. 28's game against Olathe, garnered both All-Conference and All-State recognition after a standout senior season.

Ben Fentress played at Football Championship Subdivision school Murray State in Kentucky. He’s been to multiple kicking camps, where he shared the field with some of the country’s best athletes – including a few that went on to play in the Southeastern Conference.

Still, Basalt High’s kicking coach insists he has never seen a talent quite like Bertilio Garcia.

“From the 50-yard line and in, he’s a real weapon,” Fentress said Wednesday. “He works really hard, is very disciplined with his technique and, let’s face it, he has the God-given gift of a super strong leg.”

That leg was on display all fall, as Garcia routinely launched kickoffs through end zones and attempted – and converted – field goals from distances that would give accomplished professionals pause.

The junior produced multiple highlight-reel caliber moments. In Oct. 28’s game against Coal Ridge, he nailed a 44-yard game winner in a 13-12 Longhorns victory.

Little more than a month earlier, on the road against reigning state champion Olathe, Garcia split the uprights from 57 yards out. The field goal was the longest in Colorado this fall regardless of classification, and the third-best boot in the country, Longhorns head coach Carl Frerichs said.

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“He really raised a lot of eyebrows around the state and the country after that,” Fentress added.

The feat helped Garcia secure a spot on The Denver Post’s 2A All-State first team for the second consecutive season. A total of 28 athletes were honored, including standout Aspen wide receiver and cornerback Quinn Morehead and five players from state champion Florence.

“He won a lot of games this year with his leg, and kept us in a lot of games,” Frerichs said of Garcia.

Added Fentress: “I’m excited to have him coming back for one more year.”

Morehead’s final season on the high school gridiron was a memorable one.

In addition to being a big-play threat on special times, Morehead routinely bottled up the opposition’s top receiver with suffocating defensive pressure.

His most significant contributions likely came on offense, however, as he and freshman quarterback Tucker Beirne formed one of the most prolific duos in the state.

The 5-foot-7, 165-pound spark plug hauled in 78 catches – more than 53 percent of Beirne’s total completions – for 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Four of those scores came in Sept. 2’s road game against Moffatt County, when Morehead caught 20 passes for 258 yards – including 37 on a game-winning touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.

“I’ve never had a kid get 20 catches in a game. That’s pretty impressive,” Skiers head coach Mike Sirko said. “He made some incredible catches for us, and this year very few people challenged us as far as throwing the ball on him. It took part of the field away.

“He was a great multi-threat guy and had a great season.”

Morehead, who joins a list of recent Aspen All-State selections that includes running backs Tucker Eason (2007), Nicky Ufkes (2009) and lineman Dane Christensen (2010), has the talent to make an impact at the college level, Sirko said.

Fentress is optimistic Garcia is on that track, too.

“He’s absolutely a [Division I] prospect,” Fentress said. “I sent a tape of him to a guy at the University of North Alabama, and he said the kid’s the real deal. I think he could go anywhere he wants.

“He keeps a pretty level head on his shoulders. He’s very humble and he understands this is a process. … He’s going to work hard this summer, and hopefully he’ll be signing a letter of intent two Februaries from now.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com