This summer, BoCoPreps.com will take an early look at each area football team ahead of the fall season and in this installment, we look at the Frederick Golden Eagles.
Frederick football wasn’t the same after Travis Peeples first took over the program. The Golden Eagles won’t be the same after he left, either.
In just five years with Frederick, Peeples turned a one-win team into a consistently victorious program before walking away with a 35-16 record, four winning seasons and three Class 3A playoff berths. The then-Warriors ended 2021 in the second round of the playoffs before falling to eventual state champion Fort Morgan.
An excpetional coach with a deep pedigree stepped up to fill his shoes this year.
Matt Loyd made the move over from 5A Ralston Valley, where he helmed the program since its inception in 2000. He brings with him 31 years of coaching experience, including 28 as a head coach, and over 200 wins between his time with the Mustangs and, before that, Golden.
According to Maxpreps’ records, he accrued a 159-52 record from 2004 to 2021 in the state’s highest classification. Now that he’s made the move down a couple of classifications, he and his large coaching staff with have plenty of returning talent to rely on as the boys learn an entirely new system of play.
Two, in particular, stand out.
Senior Gabe Maes. Maes has split his time between the offensive and defensive line as a starter since he first walked onto a high school field. Loyd believes his versatility could land him anywhere on the O-line, as he excels at pulling for trap plays or leading on sweep plays. “He is very aggressive and plays with a never-give-up attitude and effort.” Loyd said. “His teammates know he is a force on the line, that other teams will have to deal with.”
Star in the making
Senior Cruz Zamudio. Opposing defenses often struggled to contain a speedy Zamudio last year, as only one other teammate was able to outpace the running back during his junior season. He amassed nearly all of his 1,113 yards on the run. Loyd will rely on him to step up even more in his final year at Frederick after the exit of Parker Ayres (1,362 all-purpose yards). “He can run, catch, block and really understands football from an X’s and O’s standpoint,” Loyd said. “He will be one of the leaders of the team on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
Solidifying a presence
Loyd lauded the Golden Eagles for their ability to adapt to a new style of play on every side of the ball. The boys have embraced the new coaching staff and its system with an open mind, and a team camp at Black Hills State University exemplified their growth throughout the summer, even as they continue to improve each day.