Demons’ title is a sterling accomplishment
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
It’s a moment I remember well.
Minutes after Glenwood Springs wrapped up a 35-14 win over Conifer in the Demons’ second game of the year, I spoke with running back Michael Hudson about his team’s win and he didn’t seem all that thrilled.
Yeah, the Demons had issues with penalties and may not have been as sharp as he would have liked, but they had just soundly beaten a top-10 team.
No pedestrian feat.
Here’s what he told me back on that late-August night: “We have to get rid of the mental errors. We’ve got to be perfect to make it where we want to go. We’ve got to practice.”
Hudson and the Demons made it where they wanted to go on Saturday, winning the Class 3A state title with a 23-14 win over Fort Morgan.
A relentless pursuit of perfection ended in, well, a perfect 14-0 season.
It all started well before that Conifer game, in the room of Glenwood Springs Athletic Director Craig Denney. There, the Demons revisited a painful moment in their past ” a 28-27 overtime loss to 15th-seeded Sterling in the first round of last year’s state playoffs. It was a game the Demons led by two touchdowns at halftime.
“They met up in my room to watch film,” Denney recalled. “The coaches had ’em watch the Sterling film. Boy, it was mean. It was a mean thing to do, in some ways, to open up all those old wounds. But those wounds are what all those kids experienced together. And they didn’t want to feel that again.”
Hudson remembers that day well.
“Coach Whitworth was sitting in front of us and he asked, ‘What’s the one thing we’ve got to do this year?’ Keenan Hartert stood up and said, ‘We have to win a state championship.'”
Since then, it’s been all about perfection for the Demons.
As the Demons shredded opponent after opponent in 2008, I often thought back to Hudson’s early-season words.
Sure, Hudson could have been satisfied with a win that night, but he wanted more. His words paid service to the Demons’ broader goal ” that quest for perfection, that quest for a state title.
Perfection is never being satisfied or complacent with a win. It’s about dissecting every play ” the good and the bad ” and striving to run it flawlessly.
It’s a recipe that’s served Glenwood so well in 2008.
It’s one that’s defined the culture in the Demons’ locker room.
They expect to not only win, but to win by executing a near-perfect game plan.
They didn’t do that against Sterling, and it cost them a chance at a championship.
That wasn’t going to happen again.
“That Sterling game is always at the back of our minds,” Demon senior Bennett Nicola said. “That taught us a big lesson, to give 100 percent every play, every game, no matter how big an underdog the other team was.”
A summer spent in the weight room and at camps, practices spent endlessly perfecting plays and embracing never-grow-complacent mentality is the form that 100 percent took.
The pursuit of perfection got the Demons precisely what they wanted.
With the 2008 season done, Glenwood is the last of 40 Class 3A teams standing.
Jeff Caspersen: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.