With conference play just a week away, this is shaping up to be a big week for local football teams.

We will know a lot more about BoCo area squads when the dust clears in the next 48 hours and it all starts Thursday night with a Top 10 clash between a pair of 4-0 clubs at Everly-Montgomery Field — Erie and Silver Creek.

After only winning three games in each of the past two seasons, Silver Creek is off to a great start in its return to 3A, reaching No. 6 in the latest CHSAANow.com poll. Erie broke into the latest rankings, earning the No. 8 spot and even garnering a first-place vote.

It should be a high scoring affair, with both teams averaging more than 35 points per game.

Everly-Montgomery will host another big game Friday night, when Niwot welcomes in Skyline.

The Cougars (3-1) are coming off their first loss of the season, while the Falcons (4-0) have rolled to an undefeated start, equalling the number of wins Skyline had in all of 2014 and '15. The Falcons even received votes in the latest 4A poll, but haven't cracked the Top 10 yet.

Other games to keep an eye on Friday include undefeated Fairview (4-0) travelling to LPS Stadium to take on Arapahoe (2-2) in the Knights biggest test so far this season; Monarch (2-2) heading to Broomfield to battle the 3-1 Eagles; Mead (3-1), coming off a huge win over Longmont, welcomes 4-0 Fort Morgan; and Longmont (2-2) is hoping to rebound when they travel to Holy Family (3-1) to battle the Tigers in a showdown between two teams with opposite styles of offense.


And don't forget Legacy coach Wayne Voorhees returns to the sidelines for the first time since a bus accident left him with a fractured skull to lead the Lightning (3-1) against Overland (0-4) at the Stutler Bowl.

News and notes

• Want more prep sports? Make sure you check out the BoCoPreps.com podcast. Each week I'll break down the area's biggest stories along with BoCo reporters and the occasional special guest or two. New episodes are uploaded every Thursday and you can find it, along with past podcasts, at BoCoPreps.com.

• Considering all that has occurred in the BoCo are over the past couple of weeks, it was eerie to watch the events surrounding the Jose Fernandez accident unfold on a national stage.

Fernandez, the 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher, along with two friends, was killed sometime before 3 a.m. Sunday morning in a boating accident near Miami Beach. Fernandez was a much-loved player by both his teammates and the surrounding community.

When the Marlins finally took to the field again on Monday night, it was one of the most moving scenes you'll ever experience, sports related or not. The grief they felt and the love they shared for Fernandez was palpable. The Marlins came out all wearing No. 16 jerseys in honor of their fallen teammate. Their opponents, the New York Mets, embraced the team on the field before the game.

And then Miami leadoff hitter Dee Gordon, who hadn't homered all season long, went deep, driving a ball to the second deck. By the time he rounded the bases and reached home plate, Gordon had broken down, tears streaming down his face.

It was impossible to not get choked up watching it all.

• Although his bid to repeat as Class 4A state golf champion came up just a big short, Jackson Solem had a two-year run in a sport that is amongst the best the state has ever seen. A senior from Longmont Christian who golfed for Silver Creek, came from four shots back to force a playoff with Luke Trujillo of Discovery Canyon.

Trujillo eventually won on the second extra hole, but it does little to diminish what Solem has accomplished over the past two seasons. Solem has proven to be one of the most mentally tough competitors to ever tee it up in Colorado.

Feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions or story ideas at 303-473-1315 or rosaj@dailycamera.com