Are we ready for some football?
Amazingly, the 2013 football season already is upon us. It will be an intriguing year for local fans, as the BoCoPreps.com coverage area includes a pair of defending state champions, Monarch in Class 4A and Silver Creek in 3A, that are in prime position to make runs at repeat titles.
The Coyotes and Raptors clearly are the local teams to beat. Yet they hardly are the only intriguing story lines to keep an eye on as the 2013 campaign kicks off. For instance:
— Can Fairview, an injury-slowed club a year ago that put up huge offensive numbers and squeaked into the 5A playoffs, find enough of a running game and defense to become a serious postseason contender?
— Will Skyline be able to end the program’s run of frustration and build on its late success last year, which included a win against Silver Creek, behind dynamic quarterback Garret Angstead?
— What will veteran college coach Bob Simmons bring to the table in his quest to turn around the program at Boulder?
— How will talented-but-untested squads like Longmont (which opens against 5A power Ralston Valley) and Broomfield (ditto against Pomona) react to their demanding nonconference schedules?
— Will a solid Erie club be able to overcome the distraction of being homeless while the Tigers’ home field is repaired from flood damage long enough to make a repeat playoff run?
We here at BoCoPreps.com certainly don’t have the answers. But like everyone else, we can’t wait to see what happens once the footballs start flying around the field this weekend.
A look at this week’s matchups:
Legacy (0-0) at Escambia (Fla.) (0-0)
Kickoff: 5 p.m. MDT, Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.
Last year: Legacy 4-6; Escambia 4-6.
Quick hits: The Lightning has gone 3-0 in out-of-state trips during head coach Wayne Voorhees’ 11-year tenure … Legacy will be strong up front but must replace 2012 leading rusher Phydell Paris (1,151 yards) and quarterback Steven Yoshira … Escambia produced more than 2,000 rushing yards in 2012, with four different players gaining at least 200 yards … Legacy returns home to take on cross-town rival Broomfield on Sept. 7.
Rooney’s read: Escambia by 7.
Monarch (0-0) at Greeley West (0-0)
Kickoff: 6 p.m., District 6 Stadium.
Last year: Monarch 13-1, won 4A state title; Greeley West 3-7.
Quick hits: The Coyotes begin the defense of their 4A state championship against a squad they defeated 32-6 in last year’s season-opener … Senior Ethan Marks led Monarch’s vaunted rushing attack with 1,975 yards and 22 touchdowns last year … Marks gained 122 yards on just 10 carries in last year’s opener against Greeley West … This game marks the debut at QB for Monarch senior Jay MacIntyre, the son of CU football coach Mike MacIntyre … Monarch must avoid looking ahead to next week’s home match against Wheat Ridge, the only club to defeat the Coyotes in 2012 … This will be the debut of former assistant Jason Renouf as Greeley West’s head coach.
Rooney’s read: Monarch by 20.
Poudre (0-0) at Fairview (0-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Recht Field.
Last year: Poudre 2-8; Fairview 5-5, lost in first round of 5A playoffs.
Quick hits: After missing the first six games of 2012 due to a fractured ankle, Fairview QB Anders Hill completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,192 yards with 11 touchdowns in the final four games of the season … Hill’s talented array of receivers is led by senior Sam Martin, who recorded 113 receptions for 1,971 yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons … Poudre surrendered an average of 42.3 points a game in its eight losses last year, including a season-opening 42-7 loss against the Knights … Fairview rolled up 436 yards of offense during that win.
Rooney’s read: Fairview by 20.
Pomona (0-0) at Broomfield (0-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium.
Last year: Pomona 9-3, lost in second round of 5A playoffs; Broomfield 8-3, lost in first round of 4A playoffs.
Quick hits: A late, dramatic comeback by Broomfield fell just short last year, as Pomona recorded a thrilling 41-38 victory … The always-competitive Eagles will be uncharacteristically inexperienced entering the 2013 season … Senior Alec McLain takes over at quarterback for Broomfield. He will have one of the top tight end prospects in the state in his huddle in senior Michael Wristen … Pomona is ranked fifth in the state’s preseason poll in Class 5A.
Rooney’s read: Pomona by 10.
Longmont (0-0) at Ralston Valley (1-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., North Area Athletic Complex.
Last year: Longmont 6-4; Ralston Valley 11-2, lost in semifinals of 5A playoffs.
Quick hits: Longmont features some solid skill-position players but must hope junior Clint Sigg proves to be a capable replacement at quarterback for Forrest Wetterstrom … Ralston Valley opened the season with a thorough dismantling of Mullen, posting a 43-0 victory behind a 14-for-15, 255-yard passing performance from QB Jacob Knipp … Knipp went 24 for 29 for 413 yards and four touchdowns in the Mustangs’ 41-3 win at Longmont last year.
Rooney’s read: Ralston Valley by 18.
Niwot (0-0) at Skyline (0-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Everly-Montgomery Field.
Last year: Niwot 2-8; Skyline 5-5.
Quick hits: Though neither coach likely will want to put too much emphasis on a Week 1 game, this cross-town showdown could prove critical for two squad looking to make strides in 2013 … Skyline posted wins in three of its final four games last year, including an upset victory against eventual 3A state champ Silver Creek … Skyline QB Garret Angstead threw for 1,427 yards and rushed for 897 yards while accounting for 23 touchdowns last year … Niwot senior WR Elijah Noterman averaged 21.3 yards on 36 receptions in 2012.
Rooney’s read: Skyline by 8.
Frederick (0-0) at Elizabeth (0-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last year: Frederick 8-3, lost in first round of 3A playoffs; Elizabeth 7-4, lost in first round of 3A playoffs.
Quick hits: Frederick won a defensive struggle against Elizabeth in last year’s opener, surrendering only five first downs and 87 total yards in a 7-0 win … Elizabeth is ranked third in Class 3A and Frederick has another marquee showdown next week in its home opener against fourth-ranked Pueblo East … Frederick senior Michael Broz will make his debut as the Warriors’ starting quarterback.
Rooney’s read: Elizabeth by 7.
Erie (0-0) at Mitchell (0-1)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Garry Berry Stadium.
Last year: Erie 7-4, in first round of 3A playoffs; Mitchell 3-7.
Quick hits: Erie expects to boast a stellar running game behind a group of backs that includes Joe Ramey, Christian Mickey, B.J. Jensen, Coltin Brink, and Ryan True … The Tigers collected 234 rushing yards while dominating Mitchell in a 41-0 victory to open last season … Mitchell surrendered 33 unanswered first-half points during a 39-14 loss at La Junta last week … Erie opens its home slate next Friday against Berthoud in a game that will be held at Mead High School due to weather damage at Erie’s field.
Rooney’s read: Erie by 14.
Valley (0-0) at Mead (0-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last year: Valley 2-7; Mead 3-7.
Quick hits: Finally boasting a bevy of senior leaders, the upstart Mead program is expecting to make significant strides in 2013 … Mead recorded a win in the first game of coach Jason Klatt’s tenure in the 2012 opener against Valley, posting a 30-21 win on the road behind 171 rushing yards from current senior Logan Anderson … The Mavericks face consecutive road games the next two weeks against St. Mary’s and Holy Family.Rooney’s read: Mead by 7.
Faith Christian (1-0) at Holy Family (0-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m., Mike G. Gabriel Stadium.
Last year: Faith Christian 8-3, lost in quarterfinals of 2A playoffs; Holy Family 8-3, lost in first round of 3A playoffs.
Quick hits: Holy Family rolled up nearly 400 rushing yards in a 27-24 season-opening win against Faith Christian last year … The Tigers’ David Sommers is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in 3A, and he will be well-protected behind an offensive line that returns four starters … Faith Christian opened the season with a 21-10 win against Bennett last week.
Rooney’s read: Holy Family by 6.
Haxtun (0-0) at Longmont Christian (0-0)
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Last year: Haxtun 5-5, lost in first round of 8-man playoffs; Longmont Christian 5-4;Quick hits: Longmont Christian is taking aim at its second consecutive I-25 Division crown in the 8-man North Conference … Warriors quarterback Parker Liske rushed for 444 yards and six touchdowns last season … Haxtun opened the 2012 season with a 48-6 rout of Longmont Christian.
Rooney’s read: Haxtun by 8.
Boulder (0-0) at George Washington (0-0)
Kickoff: 11 a.m., All-City Field.
Last year: Boulder 3-7; George Washington 3-7.
Quick hits: This game marks the Boulder debut of coach Bob Simmons, a former head coach at Oklahoma State and an assistant at CU in the early 1990’s … The Panthers enjoyed one of their few highlights of the 2012 season in the opener against GW, posting a 41-6 victory. That win was part of a 3-0 start before Boulder dropped its final seven games … Last week Simmons said he expects both Malcolm Patterson, who threw for 543 yards and four TD’s in limited duty last year, and Levi Chandler to see time at QB.
Rooney’s read: Boulder by 7.
Centaurus (0-0) at Conifer (1-0)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Last year: Centaurus 2-8; Conifer 10-3, lost in 3A semifinals.
Quick hits: Centaurus faces a tall task against a Conifer club that welcomes back two 1,000-yard rushers in seniors Matthew McClintock (1,347 yards, 18 TD’s) and AJ Eleniewski (1,208 yards, 13 TD’s) … Conifer advanced to the 3A state semifinals last year before getting eliminated by eventual champ Silver Creek … The Lobos opened their 2013 slate with a 14-0 win at Glenwood Springs last week.
Rooney’s read: Conifer by 10.
Lyons (0-0) at Ellicott (0-0)
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Last year: 6-4; Ellicott 1-8.
Quick hits: Lyons senior Logan Watson went 6-for-9 with 106 passing yards and two TD’s and added another 98 yards and a touchdown on the ground to lead Lyons’ season-opening 23-6 win against Ellicott last year … With Watson and senior Trent Poulsen the Lions boast a number of strong skill-position players, but low numbers and lack of depth may be an issue.
Rooney’s read: Lyons by 4.
Nederland (0-0) at KIPP Collegiate (0-0)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., Strive Academy.
Last year: Nederland 0-9; KIPP 3-6.
Quick hits: It was a rough Zero Week opener for Nederland, which dropped a 45-0 decision at home against Cornerstone Christian on Saturday. The Panthers managed only 43 yards of total offense … KIPP gained almost 200 rushing yards in the Tigers’ 34-28 win against Nederland last year … This will be the debut of new KIPP coach Ken Crawford.
Rooney’s read: KIPP by 10.
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