Playoff-tested Glenwood Springs Demons charged up for 2010 |

Playoff-tested Glenwood Springs Demons charged up for 2010

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent file

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – As cliche as the “take one game at a time” mantra has grown in the sports world, it’s served Glenwood Springs football mighty well in recent seasons.

That philosophy surfaced at the beginning of a Tuesday practice.

“We haven’t won a game yet, but let’s win today,” head coach Rocky Whitworth spouted in his customary oratorical tone. “Win today’s practice. Work on the little things.”

In recent seasons, that approach has had its merits. The Demons won the Class 3A state title in 2008 and, despite graduating some 20 seniors, followed up by making the playoffs for a third straight season in 2009.

There’s no reason to think Glenwood won’t hang around in the playoff chase in 2010.

Led by senior captains Luke Jacob, the team’s starting quarterback, and Nick Ciani, a linebacker with a nose for big plays, the Demons are a playoff-seasoned bunch.

“There were more question marks last year,” Ciani said. “We were defending state champs, you know? This year, we have our own identity. We know what we can do, and we’re looking forward to it.”

That identity took form in the midst of last fall’s 7-5 campaign, one that saw Glenwood defeat Elizabeth in the first round of the playoffs. The Demons’ surprising run came to an end with a loss to eventual state champion Valor Christian in the state quarterfinals.

Jacob, who last year topped 1,000 yards in both the passing and rushing departments, feels there’s enough talent in place for a similar season.

“I think we’re every bit as good as last year,” Jacob said, “if not a little better.”

Returning alongside Ciani and Jacob are players like senior linebackers Chad Montover, Chris Ayala and Willy Pelland, senior offensive tackle Blaze Barham, junior center Michael Brunk, junior receiver Cam Avery and junior nose guard Brian Ochoa.

A handful of newcomers will also contribute immediately.

Senior Drew Halsch, an all-everything lacrosse player, is out for football this fall and, according to Whitworth, is presently “leading the charge at running back.”

Senior J.D. Weeden is shifting from soccer to football this year and will contribute at receiver. Senior offensive tackle Collin Thornton and sophomore defensive end have also shown promise.

Tonight’s 7 p.m. opener against visiting Basalt offers the community its first glimpse at this year’s incarnation of the Demons. From there, Glenwood will quickly learn what it’s made of. The team travels to Montrose on Sept. 10, hosts Fruita Monument on Sept. 17 and then travels to Palisade on Sept. 23.

“The schedule is very strong,” Whitworth said. “We have Fruita, Montrose and Palisade all in a row. That’s a 5A team, a 4A team and then maybe one of the best 3A teams out there. If we can stay healthy and compete there, then we’ll have a chance to have a successful season later on.”

One thing’s certain. The Demons will approach it all one game at a time.

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