No. 16 Glenwood Springs football rise to playoff challenge against No. 1 Green Mountain
Under the Friday night lights, the No. 16 Glenwood Springs Demons football team have clawed their way into the state playoffs, setting the stage for a David versus Goliath matchup against the top-seeded Green Mountain in Saturday’s first round of the 3A state playoffs.
The Demons’ journey to the playoffs has been anything but ordinary, marked by a season of trials that tested the team’s resilience and unity.
The year kicked off with an unexpected merger when Roaring Fork High School, unable to field a varsity team due to a lack of players, sent six of its athletes and head coach Eric Bullock to join forces with the Demons. The integration brought new dynamics to the team, with Bullock taking on the role of wide receivers coach before stepping up as interim head coach following the departure of Hunter Holmes.
The Demons hit the ground running with a promising 3-0 start this season, only to face a mid-season slump that saw them go 2-5 in their last seven games. Despite the rollercoaster ride, the team’s spirit remained unshaken, encapsulated by the words of junior captain Mason Markovich, who revealed the team’s surprise and determination.
“I think we were all a little surprised to see that we made it on Sunday,” Markovich said. “Coach Bullock has been preaching to us all week about staying mentally focused. We have the talent to keep up with any team in the playoffs.”
Bullock echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the slate-wiping nature of the playoffs.
“It’s a new season,” Bullock said. “We are back to 0-0. We just need to make sure that we capitalize on the opportunities that are given to us come Saturday.”
The Demons’ resolve is further steeled by the seniors, for whom the impending game may mark the end of their high school football journey. Senior captain Jake Croissant spoke to the mournfulness of the moment.
“I think it’s in the back of all of us seniors’ minds,” Croissant said. “This could be our last time to represent Glenwood Springs High, and we want to represent this school in the best possible way that we can.”
As Glenwood Springs prepares to take on the formidable challenge posed by Green Mountain, another Garfield County team, the No. 3 Rifle Bears also gear up for their playoff game against No. 6 University High School at home. The Bears will host the Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Demon faithful will look to travel in support of their team Saturday. The game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Green Mountain High School.
Both teams carry the pride and expectations of their community as they step onto the field this Saturday, ready to prove that in high school football, anything is possible when the whistle blows.
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