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Football: Broomfield savors final week ahead of state title game

Broomfield's Cole LaCrue celebrates a touchdown against Erie during a Class 4A State Football semifinal game in Broomfield on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
Broomfield’s Cole LaCrue celebrates a touchdown against Erie during a Class 4A State Football semifinal game in Broomfield on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
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The ride home from football practice can be one of those routines that slip by without a second thought. But for Broomfield brothers Cole and Ty LaCrue, it can feel like everything.

“Whether we are having a bad or a good day — with our rides, we always seem to have a smile and are just enjoying every second,” star quarterback Cole said.

Cherished because the good times can often feel like a blur when you’re a high school sports star.

BROOMFIELD ??

This fall for instance, the attention grew around Cole with each passing week and eye-catching stat line.

The clamoring for his football services only got louder from Week 1 — from colleges, then their fans — before he ultimately picked the University of Wisconsin on live TV in early November.

Then it was more interviews, more social media messages received (“we need ya over here asap”, one Wisconsin fan’s tweet read.) But mostly, the focus was football. And that never seemed to waver.

Last weekend, Elizabeth Kennedy Stadium was filled to the brim as Cole led the Eagles from behind with four second-half rushing TDs to beat Erie in the Class 4A state semifinals. Sophomore lineman Ty, a starter since his freshman year, helped to create running lanes on each.

“It’s been awesome having him block for me these past two years,” Cole said.

One more game to go.

Ahead of Saturday’s Class 4A championship against Loveland, the Eagles are doing what they can to prepare in hopes of bringing the school its first football title since 1984. Practice, game film, etc.

Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard said that his senior class would continue to set the tone this week.

“They’re hungry and they’re focused,” he said.

It’s all business. And it isn’t.

The Eagles say it’s more than that.

Off the football field, the team will have their weekly team dinner Thursday. Senior Canon Juarez said those are always filled with lots of laughter and “just enjoying each other’s presence.”

Junior lineman Landen Davidson said sometimes after a long, hard practice some players will even come together to bond over video games.

Though this week at least, it probably won’t include senior defensive end Garrett Keeler.

The defensive standout, who had a touchdown-saving tackle a play before Gio Toledo sealed last weekend’s win with a fumble recovery on the goal line, said a lot of players are spending their down time watching even more game film. He personally is also watching movies like “The Waterboy” and “Remember the Titans”.

“I don’t want to get my mind off of football,” he assured.

Erie's Ronin Ward, left, tries to get past Broomfield's Garrett Keeler, right, during a Class 4A State Football semifinal game in Broomfield on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
Erie’s Ronin Ward, left, tries to get past Broomfield’s Garrett Keeler, right, during a Class 4A State Football semifinal game in Broomfield on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

But whatever Broomfield does on or off the field, they agree the focus is sharing the experience with their teammates.

“Something that sets us apart and elevates our team chemistry on the field is that off the field we bond,” Juarez said. “We are all close friends. That in itself goes further than just football.”

Perhaps even into the 20-minute drive home in Cole LaCrue’s Volkswagen Tiguan or brother Ty’s recent 16th birthday present, a Discovery Sport.

As part of their week ahead of the championship game, the brothers are happy to get a few more car rides from practice together to chat about football, school and food. All of it before Cole heads to Madison in January.

“Those car rides are really where me and Cole started to get close with each other,” Ty said.

And some of that has come in the form of rocking out to old jams liked by their late father Joe, who died of complications from the coronavirus in late 2020.

Songs they’re currently dipping into, Cole said, include Aerosmith’s “Dream on” and Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”.

Fitting enough.

Kickoff for the 4A title game at Empower Field at Mile High is scheduled for 11 a.m. The game will be broadcast on Altitude Sports and will be streamed on the NFHS Network.