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Senior Nick Brent drives toward the end zone during the championship game against the Fall River Bulldogs in Chester on Nov. 22. Photo by Mari Erin Roth

Chester wins championship undefeated

The CHS Volcano football team won the final game of the season against the Fall River Bulldogs by a score of 14-0. It was freezing outside during the Northern Section Championship football game Nov. 22 in Chester, but the Volcanoes were hot on the field, downright scalding.

The pressure was on as the CHS boys went into the competition with zero losses for the season; one more would make it perfect.

“After we played Loyalton, I said we were in the process of reaching our goals of becoming a family and a team,” said CHS head football coach T.J. Ragan. “Our last goal was to go undefeated and win the championship, which we were able to accomplish Friday night.”

The Volcanoes have had some pretty amazing scores this season. The Burney Raiders came closest to the Vols during the season’s second game Sept. 6, 22-20. Zero was the most common score for Chester opponents as the Vols won six games allowing no points for the challengers. Dramatic scores include 64-0, 57-0 and 50-0. Thirteen turned out to be their lucky number, undefeated 13 games to zero.

That final championship game was not a battle easily won. The Redding Lions and the Chester Volcanoes met for the first game of the season, result 14-6, and this last championship game for both teams. The only losses the Lions sustained all season were the two to the Chester Vols.

“They are a good team,” said CHS defense coach Oliver Pollard of the Lions on Nov. 22 at halftime. The score stood still at 6-0 due to a touchdown scored by Chester senior Hunter Snyder.

Senior Callum Kremer scored a second touchdown for the Volcanoes in the third quarter, 12-0. The duo team of junior quarterback Kameron Stelzriede and Snyder made the 2-point conversion look easy. Stelzriede tossed a perfect pass to Snyder who stood alone in the end zone, 14-0. The crowd went wild as the lead widened and hopes of the championship grew nearer.

The game was peppered with interceptions, surprise turnovers and dramatic plays. Stelzriede almost snuck into the end zone at one point after traveling half the length of the field unnoticed.

Senior Michael Berznak completed the cross past the goal posts in the next play, but the scoring play was flagged back and was unrepeatable. The Lions fought hard and fought to the end. There was nothing that seemed predetermined or inevitable about the outcome of the game.

But in the end, the Volcanoes surely did win, and they won well. They came together and finished a most amazing season. The Lions showed good sportsmanship throughout and it was tough to tell the first-place team players from the second place team players by the size of their smiles.

The 2019 season is one the Chester Volcano alumni can talk about for years to come.

“I am proud of the team, players and coaches, for accomplishing all they set out to do this season,” said Ragan. Congratulations undefeated Northern Section Championship Volcanoes!

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