Manitou Springs takes to baseball diamond in school year's final weekend

(Photo courtesy of Manitou Springs High School)

Cory Archuleta is a busy man, what with being in charge of Manitou Springs baseball and all.

On Friday, his workload doubled, as Archuleta was named the Mustangs football coach, his first head football coaching job at the high school varsity level.

"I'm just so knee deep in baseball right now that it really didn't hit home just yet," Archuleta said on the eve of the Mustangs' game against undefeated Jefferson Academy (4-0).

Archuleta takes over a football team that just three seasons ago was in the Class 2A semifinals.

But the last two seasons haven't been as kind to the Mustangs. Under Monte Gutowski the Mustangs went a combined 5-14, yet made the postseason last season with a 3-2 league record (3-6 overall heading into playoffs). They lost in the first round 40-0 to eventual state champion Bayfield.

"I was with coach (Danny) Gieck under him the two years he was there," Archuleta said. "It's just something we hopefully have to get back to where the kids are enjoying playing football again."

Archuleta has plenty of experience on the gridiron. He's been a head coach at the middle school level for a number of seasons, including three in Manitou, and was the head junior varsity coach at Manitou for three seasons before taking last year off. But he is hoping to draw on other coaches to help and help soon as he continues his focus on baseball.

He is planning to reach out to legendary Manitou Springs coach George Rykovich, who was in charge of the Mustangs for 36 seasons and who has served as an assistant on several teams over the last six seasons, including as defensive coordinator under Gieck.

"Hopefully I'll talk him into coming back and helping out and being that guy that can help us as a staff," Archuleta said. "I've got guys that I know and that the kids like and can get stuff started early to mid-May and then I'll get summer stuff down for June and July."

Archuleta will be the Mustangs' fifth head coach since the 2009 season.

As for being the baseball coach, Archuleta is in charge this season. Beyond that, who's to say?

"We haven't really gotten that far yet with what's going to go on with baseball stuff," Archuleta said. "I'd like to stay on staff with baseball in any capacity."

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