Week two of training camp coverage has concluded and we learned a lot. The week ranged included 2A, 3A, and 4A classifications with a varying level of expectations heading into the 2019 campaign. Let’s take a closer look at what our training camp coverage revealed to us in week number 2.
The Roosevelt Roughriders logo this year may need to be changed. No, not because it is out of date, it is one of my personal favorites, but perhaps a more fitting logo should be a question mark. The Riders have the potential and Lane Wasinger has proven to be one of the best young coaches in Northern Colorado. But after failing to make the playoffs last year, and graduating a ton of talented seniors, what do the Riders have in store for the 2019 season? No one knows. The team has more talent coming up through the ranks that will see valuable playing time this year, but do they have the experience, and can they learn on the fly? Friday night might show us something as they play host to a number two ranked Pueblo East team. The jury is still out for the Riders, and I still believe they should keep that logo.
Tuesday was a different story. The Resurrection Christian Cougars know exactly who they are. They are a team looking for not only revenge, but to take the next step. After a devastating loss to Platte Valley in the Semi-final, the Cougars look possibly stronger this year. The case could be made that Res, should not have even made it to the Semi’s last year with such bad luck with the injury bug. Resurrection Christian makes the case to be the most likely contender for a state championship in Northern Colorado. Buck Coors and that offense looks to take a big leap in the Senior’s second season at the helm. The question mark may land on the defensive side of the ball, where the Cougars were lights out last year. A ton of young guys need to step up, and the injuries need to stay away, and you could be looking at your 2a state champs coming out of Loveland.
The Northridge Grizzlies have made some changes. I don’t mean just a couple of small changes; I mean a culture shift. The Grizz now boast one of the most experienced coaching staffs in Northern Colorado in recent memory. With head coach Jeremy Hayden, offensive coordinator Mark Roggy, defensive coordinator Don Edick, and even O-line coach Ryan Burkholder. The culture change is no more evident than in the number of athletes signed up this year. Northridge has over double the number of athletes out this year as compared to last. With Hayden and Roggy introducing a new spread offense, Northridge looks to improve upon a 6 point per game offense of last year. Culture changes take time, but with the experience that this coaching staff has look for that change too move relatively quickly.
The Reds offense will have some changes, but one thing that will stay the same is Quarter Back Scott Grable. The Junior boasted over 1,000 passing yards last season and about a 51% completion percentage. Both impressive numbers from Grable. This year it’s going to take a complete season of work and that includes winning some games at home. The Reds were 4-0 on the road before their playoff loss to Rifle last season. In a division with the likes of Resurrection Christian, Berthoud, and University, the Patriot West has quickly risen as a division to be reckoned with. This Reds team can do some damage this year, with the expected growth offensively and the strong leadership from guys like Tanner True, this team could make some noise.
On Friday we learned about the Windsor Wizards. Chris Jones will be back this year after missing most of last season due to a car accident that happened in August. When a guy like Jones isn’t around the field every single day, things can get out of whack. That happened last year for the Wizards who missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. In what is a ground and pound offense for Windsor, they do return their leading rusher. Wyett Ekeler rushed for over 700 yards last season and will surely be relied upon heavily again. The Wizard’s formula for wins is simple, run the ball, and play great defense. It would be a shock if they didn’t find a way back to a winning season.
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