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Pueblo County’s two-way football player Corbin Spear making up for lost COVID-19 year

Codrington's punt return seals win for NC Central

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Sep. 4—Due to a family decision, a three-sport athlete at Pueblo County High School opted out of the 2020 football season.

Corbin Spear, who played football since his youth with Pueblo County Bantam at North Mesa and then Pleasant View Middle School, wasn’t on the Hornets roster his junior season.

That was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic where athletics took a backseat to what was happening throughout the world, the country and the community.

“It was a family decision,” Spear said. “My parents thought is was safer if I didn’t play.

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“I started at wide receiver my sophomore year. But my junior year because of COVID-19 my parents thought it was best if I didn’t play for health reasons.”

So, Spear did the next best thing. He concentrated on his studies and waited for the next chance to play. He said he didn’t even attend football games, citing it was better for his mental health.

“It was really hard not being out there with the dudes,” he admitted “But I was happy seeing them succeed.”

Pueblo County head coach Monte Pinkerton is glad Spear is back.

“He’s just a good kid, a tough kid who obviously a good athlete,” Pinkerton said. “He’s a good football player on top of being a good person.

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“He started as a sophomore at wide receiver and we were expecting big things out of him last year. But he wasn’t able to play and he was missed on the field.”

When the winter came around he joined the Hornets’ boys basketball team. While COVID-19 was still an issue, Spear said his parents felt it was OK for him to participate in basketball.

One of eight children, Spear decided to play soccer in the spring when the sport was moved from the fall to Season C.

This fall, Spear returned to his favorite sport and is a key player for the Pueblo County football team.

He starts at wide receiver and safety and even returns punts for the Hornets.

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Friday night at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo West’s 4-0 win over Pueblo County in the annual Pigskin Classic, Spear provided some of the highlights. He had two receptions in the first half for nine and 33 yards and another in the third quarter for another nine yards. He also played well defensively with a couple tackles and breakups.

In Pueblo County’s season-opening 24-7 nonleague victory over La Junta at Hornets Stadium, Spear was an integral piece.

He caught a couple passes, including a touchdown on offense. On defense, he had a deflection and made a couple tackles.

“He’s a leader by example,” Pinkerton said. “Even sitting out that year with everything going on he still comes in and does what he’s supposed to do, what he’s asked to do. With some injuries already, we’ve had to move him around. We had him at corner but moved him to safety and he’s done a great job.

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“He’s physical, can move around and plays the ball well. He’s just a football player. It doesn’t matter where we put him, he’ll play well.”

Spear doesn’t have a lot of hobbies. In fact, he said his hobbies are playing football and basketball and lifting weights, “although you wouldn’t know it by looking at me,” he said, referring to his 6-foot-3, 160-pound frame.

While football is his first love, Spear is realistic about playing at the next level and is focused on continuing his education.

“I’d consider playing football in college but my priority is getting a degree. Right now my college aspirations are working on an application to Oklahoma University,” Spear said. “I’d like to study industrial engineering.”

For now, Spear is enjoying his senior season, especially on the football field reunited with teammates for a final time.

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Senior sports reporter Jeff Letofsky can be reached by email at jletofsky@chieftain.com or on Twitter @jeffletofsky

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