It’s like 2008 all over again |

It’s like 2008 all over again

Kelley Cox Post Independent

Olathe High School football coach Ryan Corn is a superstitious guy. He follows routines to a tee as to not disrupt the order of the universe.

“I’m probably one of the most superstitious coaches out there,” Corn admitted. “It doesn’t take much for me to believe in a lot of things that way.”

The superstitious guy that he is, Corn hopes there’s more than coincidence at play in the path the 2010 playoffs have taken.

Things worked out well for Corn’s Pirates and a fellow Western Slope team back on Nov. 29, 2008, and an eerily similar scenario is taking shape in 2010.

Olathe won the 2008 Class 2A state title back on that fateful day, leading off an afternoon of football at Legacy Stadium in Aurora by topping Erie in a 21-20 overtime thriller. Glenwood followed by claiming the 2008 Class 3A title with a 23-14 triumph over Fort Morgan.

Guess what? It’s 2010 and both Western Slope teams are back in their respective title games. Corn’s Pirates will face Brush at 11 a.m. today in Aurora. The Demons follow with a 2:30 p.m. game against Elizabeth.

Just like in 2008, Corn hopes to treat the legions of Slope football fans who make the haul over the mountains to a couple of titles.

“You know, I think the excitement of playing in the state game is huge,” the seventh-year coach said. “For the Western Slope, especially, I know, when we went over to play [in 2008], we had a ton of fans not only watching us but they watched Glenwood, too. It’s kind of that camaraderie of having two teams on this side of the mountain, so let’s go watch.”

Solidarity is a big thing on the Slope, Corn said.

“You know, more than anything, it’s an ‘us vs. them’ mentality,” he explained. “I grew up on the Eastern Slope, in Florence, in southern Colorado. Living here on the Western Slope – I went to college in Gunnison [at Western State] – it almost feels like there’s a chip on your shoulder. We’re not treated the same.”

Glenwood Springs senior lineman Blaze Barham agrees.

“You know, the Denver Post rankings has us way low to Denver teams,” he said. “On the Western Slope, we work hard for what we deserve. We work hard to get it. When one of us gets it, the rest of us root along. It’s kind of a Western Slope pride thing.”

Barham vividly recalls the scene in Aurora back on Nov. 29, 2008.

“The stands were completely full,” he said. “It was like a home game. Our stands were full and it was crazy. I expect the same. Maybe even more.”

Barham also hopes for the same result, though he and his teammates don’t plan on leaving it up to fate.

“It’s going to be up to us,” he said. “We’re not going to let any superstitions keep us from doing what we do.”

Still, the parallels between 2008 and 2010 are hard to ignore, especially for a superstitious fellow like Corn.

“I’m very darn superstitious,” he admitted. “Us and Glenwood also playing on the same day, the same type of scenario. It’s an interesting setup, at least in my mind. It’s just one of those things.”

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