You wouldn't know it, and probably neither would Mead head football coach Jason Klatt. But in fact he and I have crossed paths more often than I would have ever thought going back to Metro State in the early 2000's.
When I worked in the sports information department at Metro from 1998-2002, I remember Jason Klatt as one of the Roadrunners' best baseball players — he even earned all-RMAC honors as a shortstop in 1999.
Fast forward about eight years, and I ran into him again when I first took a job at the Loveland Reporter-Herald and he was an assistant coach with Mountain View. The Mountain Lions, guided by Bart Mayes, had a very successful run at the Class 3A level in 2008 and 2009 (3A semifinalists in 2009).
Here we are in 2016, and Klatt is now leading the Mavericks program that is on the rise. And I am not surprised a bit given how much success he has had as an athlete or a coach in the past.
The 3A Tri-Valley League is filled with tough teams with four teams (Mead, Erie, Holy Family, Roosevelt) who can legitimately say they have a shot at coming out on top (I'm including 1-3 Roosevelt because they've allowed but 89 points in four games). A TVL title for the Mavs this year would be their first in the sport.
But, there's one more week left before league play and Mead has a toughie — No. 2 ranked Fort Morgan (4-0). — tonight at the Mead football field. I am looking forward to covering the game as I expect a large and rowdy crowd, and the two teams should produce a dandy, too.
Here's a brief look into the game prior to kickoff:
No. 2 Fort Morgan (4-0) at No. 9 Mead (3-1), 7 p.m., Mead HS
While Mead has proven it can score points almost at will so far this year, the Mavericks have not really played a team as defensively stout as the Mustangs. Fort Morgan has allowed just 42 points on the season, though 28 of those came to Holy Family two weeks ago. Another McBride — junior Trey — leads the FMHS defense with 12 tackles for loss already.
It will be interesting to see how the Mavericks attack a Mustangs team that has given up just 80 and 31 rushing yards each of the past two weeks. Mead's bread and butter is the run, so you have to figure they will come out testing the ground game until it proves unfruitful. But Mead can also look to that Holy Family game to see the Mustangs are prone to the pass. The Tigers torched Fort Morgan for 480-plus yards passing in that game, so look for Riley Glynn to try and stretch out the field early at least a couple of times to see if they can get a quick spark.
Ten different players have scored touchdowns for Mead this year to help MHS to a Class 3A-most 187 points scored. That hefty variety of end-zone seekers shows you can't key in on just one or two players if you are the Fort Morgan defense.