BOULDER — On the field, they are rivals from the same city, separated by a mere couple of miles. Every year they play against each other, it is a highly anticipated showdown that fills the stands and brings plenty of attention to the community.
But, community is what led Boulder and Fairview to join forces this week in hosting a youth football camp at Recht Field.
“We used to do this back in the day with separate camps, but since then the numbers are down in the community,” Boulder coach Ryan Bishop said. “We’re in this together. This is about Boulder County for us. I started the idea, but we worked together for this camp we have now.”
This year marked the first time that the rival schools held one camp together and worked with kids in the area on the game, using athletes from each team to help as well.
Bishop approached Fairview coach Tom McCartney about the idea of coming together for a summer camp with the kids in the hopes to generate more interest and keep kids in the area interested in playing football as they progress in the schools. The decision to put the rivalry aside for the better was an easy choice for both parties.
“We reached out to the community, youth football programs and all of the elementary schools to see about this,” McCartney said. “There were going to be athletes and coaches from both schools (here) and we wanted them to check it out. This is the first one, and we’ve had a great turnout from both the community and our kids.”
The camp took place this week and focused on teaching the fundamentals of the game and working drills specific for each position on offense and defense. Each drill was ran by coaches from both Boulder and Fairview and players from the schools were out giving guidance, assisting in drills and teaching.
For the players, they know the impact they have with the campers during the final practice Wednesday, from the encouragement given during drills to running plays on the field with them.
“We put aside our rivalry for this camp,” Boulder’s Hale Chargois said. “We do most of the year except for the week we are playing against each other. This has been a good camp working together to get the kids trained up. I feel they’ve been doing a lot better since they first got here. I’ve seen major improvement from the first day to now.”
The camp has also built the anticipation up for the rivalry game that will kick off the season. Inside a shed next to Recht Field, coaches from Boulder have a countdown leading up to the scheduled kickoff time on Aug. 29. And both teams, while happy to work together this week for the kids, have been working all summer to prepare for the opening game of the fall.
For this week, though, it was about the future rivalry games between both schools and the next generation of athletes that will take part in it.
“We’re trying to get more kids interested in football. We want them to come up and play high school football,” Fairview’s Ian Gerding said. “It’s really important for us do to that. Some of the freshman we have here could be playing with some of these kids when they enter their freshman year. We want to build on it. It’s a lot of fun for us.”
As for the rivalry game this fall, Fairview will look to repeat what they did last year in a 42-7 win over Boulder to open the 2018 season.