The Rifle, Coal Ridge and Grand Valley football teams will open their seasons on Friday.
Rifle, ranked No. 3 in the Denver Post's Class 3A preseason poll, will be at Coal Ridge. The Bears ran the table on their 10-game regular season schedule last year and reached the 3A quarterfinals, where they lost to eventual state champion Windsor.
The Bears return senior Ryan Moeller, who led all classifications in rushing yards with 2,469, along with 22 touchdowns. They've also lost just four starters on offense and defense from a team that claimed the 3A Western Slope League championship and finished the season 11-1 a year ago.
Kickoff against Coal Ridge is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
For Grand Valley, the Cardinals will try to return to the postseason for the first time in four seasons, after compiling a 4-6 overall record a year ago.
Six all-conference players return to the Cardinals' roster this season, along with 20 players who have starting experience. Among those are junior quarterback Tyler Scott, who threw for 1,537 yards in his sophomore season.
Kickoff for Grand Valley's season opener at Meeker will be 7 p.m. Friday at Starbuck Stadium. For complete team previews, see today's and Friday's editions of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.
Grand Valley High School's softball team dropped its season opener 15-1 to Eagle Valley on Aug. 21.
The Cardinals will try to rebound with a home game against Aspen at 4 p.m. on Sept. 4. The Rifle Bears will begin their season with a 4A Western Slope League road game against Delta at 4 p.m. today.