Football in the St. Vrain Valley will look a bit different this year, with quarterbacks new and old stepping up to helm two programs that have enjoyed a good amount of success over the past few years.
Skyline, which hasn’t seen a losing season since 2015, struggled to find any consistency in 2021 after the early exit of junior quarterback Kaiden Box. He came back later to push through the injury, which left him playing a bit scared.
This year, after rehabbing himself back to full health and putting in the extra work in the weight room, he’s ready to lead the team to the postseason once more. The Falcons spent the summer reacquainting themselves with their leading man.
“It was a lot of camps, just going around and balling out. We did a lot of 7-on-7 this summer as well, which I think was really good for just getting my receivers some confidence not only in me but in our playbook,” Box said. “Having a few more varsity games under my belt just really helps with all the confidence and everything. These first few scrimmages as well have been really huge.”
Ridding themselves of the revolving door of quarterbacks should only aid the Falcons when they step onto the field for their season-opening home game against Denver South on Thursday night. Head coach Mike Silva looks forward to seeing what Box can make of his final high school season.
“This is kind of a clean slate,” Silva said. “He had a great offseason. He put on some weight, got some new strength in both arm strength and just general strength. He’s been exciting to watch in all the preseason stuff and now game one’s here. We’re excited to see what he’s going to bring come Thursday.”
Across town, Longmont’s program will take that “clean slate” to a different level. The Trojans bid farewell to three-year starting quarterback Keegan Patterson last fall, leaving the door open for a new face to fill his role in the pocket.
Head coach Doug Johnson awarded this year’s starting position to sophomore Kolby Holmes, who spent his freshman season with junior varsity.
“He did a great job last year, but what he’s really done is really locked in on being a leader, on learning our system better and just doing those types of things,” Johnson said. “He runs great. He’s throwing the ball well. I think he can be a great quarterback for us. He’s in there because he can do a bunch of things. I like his arm and I like the way he moves and I love his toughness.”
Holmes spent much of the summer in the weight room and throwing with his teammates outside of practice to better acquaint himself with the speed of the varsity game. Seniors like Noah Atherton have mentored him as he prepares to step into the spotlight.
Patterson, of course, prepared him by teaching him how to read defenses.
“He was a big inspiration to me last year and he was a phenomenal leader,” Holmes said. “He’s obviously a great player, led on the field and off the field. He was definitely a big, influential figure in my development.”
Holmes is excited to show the high school football world what he can do, and he won’t have to wait much longer. The Trojans kick off their season on Friday night at Broomfield.