Demons aim to continue their winning ways | PostIndependent.com

Demons aim to continue their winning ways

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Mike Mills doesn’t want to see the streak come to an end.

The senior has never missed the playoffs as a member of the Glenwood Springs High School football team, and he doesn’t expect 2011 to be any different.

“We don’t want to be the first team not to make the playoffs in how ever many years,” the defensive back said. “We have a lot to live up to, but I think we can do it. We’ve just got to have faith and keep working hard.”

Mills and the 2011 Demons do have plenty to live up to. The program’s been in the postseason every season since 2007, a time frame rich with lofty feats. A state title in 2008, a state runner-up finish in 2010 and three 3A Western Slope League titles are foremost among the list of accolades.

The Demons will have to overcome a big graduation hit to preserve their postseason streak, but it’s not like the cupboard is bare.

The nucleus of the 2011 squad saw substantial playing time during a surprise playoff run in 2010, one that took Glenwood all the way to the state title game against Elizabeth.

Returning are veteran players like Mills, secondary mates Levi Fetterhoff and Jake Bair, wide receiver/defensive back Cam Avery, linebacker Rigo Garcia and linemen Michael Brunk, Connor Denney and Brian Ochoa. All are seniors.

A strong junior class features wide receiver/defensive back Auston Tribble. Both Tribble and Avery chipped in with some big catches during the 2010 playoffs and were go-to receivers during the regular season.

Eighth-year Demons head coach Rocky Whitworth said that Henry Hill, who contributed as a freshman at receiver last season, will take over as the Demons’ primary running back.

Garrett Lowe, another sophomore, will contribute at linebacker.

And then there’s the quarterback position, where Glenwood boasts two strong-armed passers who’d be no-brainers to start for a number of teams on the Western Slope.

Senior Jon Forristall and sophomore Travis Lundin have been battling since the start of spring ball for the right to be the Demons’ next starting quarterback, a spot held in recent years by the likes of Luke Jacob and Dakota Stonehouse.

“Both Jon and Travis have played really well so far,” Whitworth said. “I’d say Jon is moving a little bit further ahead as a senior.”

As such, Whitworth said Forristall will get the starting nod in tonight’s season opener at Basalt.

Glenwood enters that opener with a giant target on its back. The Demons are currently second in Class 3A behind Vista Ridge in the Denver Post’s media poll, which is voted on by media members throughout the state.

Along with that target comes a difficult schedule. After Basalt, which qualified for the 2A playoffs last season, comes a home date with 4A Montrose on Sept. 9 and a road trip to face 5A Fruita Monument on Sept. 15.

League play will feature a pair of early tests. Rival Palisade, ranked sixth in 3A, visits Glenwood on Sept. 23 and then a vastly improved Battle Mountain team comes to town on Sept. 30.

“It’s a storm surge to start the season, so to speak,” Whitworth said. “It’s Fruita and Montrose, and then Palisade and Battle Mountain. Those are probably two of the top teams in the league.”

In fact, few 3A WSL teams will be a cakewalk. The league is as deep as it’s been in some time.

And the Demons hope to be in the mix when all is said and done.

“It would be my expectation that this team really evolves because of the youth,” Whitworth said. “They’ll evolve throughout the season. If we stay healthy, then I’m hoping to improve as the season goes on.”

Brunk, a co-captain alongside Mills, thinks that’s well within the realm of possibility.

“We’ve been to the playoffs every year since I was a freshman,” he said. “It’s a tradition. We have to take it one game at a time.”

jcaspersen@postindependent.com


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