Roaring Fork seniors hope their last season is a winning one |

Roaring Fork seniors hope their last season is a winning one

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

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Roaring Fork’s five football seniors have been through a lot together. Playing in a program that’s always challenged in the numbers department, pretty much all five were thrown to the varsity wolves at a young age.

Needless to say, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. With those choppy waters in the rear view, the quintet hopes to pen a compelling final chapter to their high school careers this fall.

“We’re sort of seasoned out here,” Jake Strack-Loertscher said with a smile. “We’ve been through thick and thin – mostly thin. But this is our last year. We’ve got to go out with a bang. I know nobody on this team is going to lay down.”

There’s reason to believe Roaring Fork has a shot at something special in 2010. After a 1-7 start to 2009, the Rams closed out the season with back-to-back wins. Further, outside of frontrunners Olathe and Aspen, parity reigns in the 2A Western Slope League.

“We’ll be fighting with everybody,” Strack-Loertscher predicted.

The five seniors – Strack-Loertscher, Zach Browning, Jayson Denton, Luke Leone and Jacob Hiltner – will guide the roster of roughly 30 Rams as team leaders.

Strack-Loertscher, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound offensive tackle and linebacker, is one of the league’s top players on both sides of the ball.

Denton will compete with junior Clay Gross for the starting quarterback spot and will also play tight end and linebacker. Browning, a state-level 400-meter runner in track and field, will get the bulk of the carries at halfback and will shadow receivers at cornerback.

Leone (5-11, 175) plays fullback and defensive line, while Hiltner is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound offensive and defensive lineman.

Younger guys with key roles include Gross, who plays outside linebacker on defense, junior receiver Trenton Reeds, 6-foot-6 sophomore nose tackle/tight end Trae Moxley and junior free safety/center Felipe Gomez.

“We should be pretty strong,” Strack-Loertscher said. “We’ve got a lot of guys coming back. You know, there’s a lot of leadership out here. This team is definitely one of the hardest-working teams I’ve been on in my four years here. Everybody’s willing to give it their all.”

“We’re looking to turn it around,” Denton chimed in.

Losing only two seniors from last year’s team, experience is on the Rams’ side in their quest to do just that.

“”With everybody gaining experience when we played last year, we should be better,” Roaring Fork head coach Greg Holley said. “I could tell, when we scrimmaged Rifle [last month], everybody was a little bit better and more knowledgeable. Everybody, you know, has one more year under their belts.”

Time will tell if that experience translates into a winning season, one that sends those senior Rams out with a bang.

Date Opponent Time

Sept. 3 vs. Hotchkiss 7 p.m.

Sept. 10 vs. Battle Mountain 7 p.m.

Sept. 17 at Palisade 7 p.m.

Sept. 24 at Coal Ridge* 7 p.m.

Oct. 1 vs. Basalt* 7 p.m.

Oct. 8 at Olathe* 7 p.m.

Oct. 15 vs. Gunnison* 7 p.m.

Oct. 22 at Cedaredge* 7 p.m.

Oct. 29 vs. Grand Valley* 7 p.m.

Nov. 5 at Aspen* 7 p.m.

* – 2A Western Slope League game

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