New Coal Ridge football coach excited about season
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
CARBONDALE — Trorie Rickart might have come close to using up the data on his wireless phone plan thanks to all of the well wishes he received earlier this month.
“Right after I accepted the job, my phone was just flooded with texts and voicemails telling me congratulations,” said Rickart, who earlier this month was named the new head football coach at Coal Ridge High School. “The kids seem really excited about the coming season, and so am I.”
Rickart, 41, has been an assistant coach at three separate high schools but had never run a high school program until now. He replaces Kyle Sager, who left the school to move with his family back to Arizona.
The Titans compiled an overall record of 9-18 during Sager’s three-year tenure as head coach, which included a win by forfeit against Grand Valley during Coal Ridge’s 2013 season. Rickart is familiar with Coal Ridge as a whole, serving as an assistant coach from 2005 to 2008.
Rickart, however, has helped coach for teams that have seen a lot of success. He was an assistant coach for Rocky Whitworth at Glenwood Springs during Whitworth’s first year with the program, and he was also an assistant coach for Bill Mondt at Eaton when the Reds won consecutive Class 3A state championships in 2001 and 2002.
In between his last gig at Coal Ridge and this one, however, he served as the head football coach at Riverside Middle School in New Castle. That, he said, helps make the transition into the coming season much easier.
“I know a lot of the kids really well already,” Rickart said. “Some of the guys who are on the team now I’ve known since they were in seventh grade, and I know that we have a good group of kids who are in place on the team this year.”
The coach also spoke of retention when it came to kids, especially with New Castle and Silt students who opt to attend high school in Glenwood or Rifle because of the success those prep football programs have seen in recent years. Both teams went to the 3A state playoffs last year, with Rifle reaching the classification’s state title game.
Coal Ridge hasn’t made a postseason appearance since the 2010 season, when it lost to Kent Denver in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
“We need to do what we can to keep these kids here,” he said.
Rickart, who was the offensive coordinator during his first stint at Coal Ridge, plans to implement a more balanced offense as opposed to the pistol-type, shotgun-only style that Coal Ridge ran in 2014. That means more time taking snaps from under center for the team’s quarterback and, possibly, more passing plays that are meant to generate yardage after the catch.
Defensively, Rickart said the Titans plan to use a 3-5 formation with an emphasis on putting pressure on opposing teams at the line of scrimmage. The coach feels that the personnel Coal Ridge has will not only allow that pressure, but give the Titans the ability to drop players into the secondary to assist with pass coverage when needed.
If things go as planned, Richart believes the Titans can compete for the Class 2A Western Slope League North’s one and only automatic playoff berth. Last year’s playoff berth went to Moffat County after the Bulldogs defeated Roaring Fork in Carbondale in the final game of the regular season.
“The thing that we’re trying to accomplish is consistency and confidence,” Rickart said. “Once we get there, I don’t see a reason why we can’t compete for a postseason spot.”
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