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UPDATED CAPTION LONGMONT, CO - SEPTEMBER 2:Niwot High School's Chad Volf (No.8) runs the ball in the game against Severance High School at Everly-Montgomery Field in Longmont on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
UPDATED CAPTION LONGMONT, CO – SEPTEMBER 2:Niwot High School’s Chad Volf (No.8) runs the ball in the game against Severance High School at Everly-Montgomery Field in Longmont on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

This summer, will take an early look at each area football team ahead of the fall season and in this installment, we look at the Niwot Cougars.

Football is a game of inches, and success can sometimes follow a similar pattern.

Two seasons back, Niwot only managed one win in a seven-game slate. Last year, the Cougars added four more victories to that total, finishing fourth in the Class 3A North Central 3 League.

It was the first time in 13 years the Cougars had won so many games. Though the squad will be young this year, the boys will look to build upon that momentum as they enter a new year with many new faces.

They’ll have a few familiar faces to lean on in the meantime.

The stalwart

Junior Chad Volf. Volf stepped up from his usual strong safety role to start at quarterback for the Cougars in 2021 and will take over the position full-time in 2022. With only two seniors gracing the Niwot roster this season, head coach Nik Blume expects Volf to play all 48 minutes on both sides of the ball. “Chad’s determination, attention to detail, and commitment to offseason training have him in a position to lead in a big way. He has great vision, a great first step, and in-depth knowledge of the playbook on both sides of the ball,” Blume said. “His leadership skills grow every day and he now leads the way for sophomore QB Weston Domich and younger brother and incoming freshman QB Wyatt Volf. With an offensive line led by his fellow juniors, many of whom started as sophomores as well, Chad will have to hold us together as a group.”

Star in the making

Sophomore Jesus Rosas. Although Rosas spent most of his time on junior varsity as a freshman, he moonlit as a varsity linebacker on special teams from time to time. His talent at the JV shone through in the final two games of the season last year, during which he exploded as a ball carrier to score six touchdowns. Now, he’ll step up to the varsity level to carry on that momentum. “Jesus’ commitment to the off-season weight room program has paid off, boasting a 490 lb. squat to go with a 250 lb. bench press,” Blume said. “With solid vision, an explosive first step and much-added strength, Jesus is expected to carry the load in our running game this fall.”

Solidifying a presence

As the team’s success continues to grow, so does the players’ commitment to the offseason workouts. Other than Volf and Rosas, Blume will look to junior center Nico Kemp and junior tackles Garrett Eker and Gavin Burrage to carry the water for the younger boys. “We saw an average of 30 players a session this summer for weights and speed, which is almost twice what we saw last summer,” Blume said. “Our youth camp this summer saw doubled attendance and with the installation of a new turf field allowing us to host Niwot’s first-ever varsity game on campus this fall, the energy around here is high.”

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