Glenwood battles Steamboat for 3A title
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado ” There’s no denying it.
Beating Steamboat Springs tonight and polishing off a second consecutive 10-0 regular season and 3A Western Slope League title would be the ultimate of accomplishments for the Glenwood Springs football program.
The context says it all.
Before last season, after all, the Demons, currently ranked No. 1 in the state by RockyPreps, hadn’t as much as tasted the playoffs since 2004 and had made just that one postseason appearance in 16 years. They also hadn’t won a league title since the original George Bush occupied the Oval Office.
Landing a second league championship banner in as many seasons would be a big deal.
“It’d be a great accomplishment for this team,” Glenwood senior quarterback Dakota Stonehouse said. “We need to finish off league strong and get ready for the playoffs. Steamboat’s a good team.”
Naturally, though, the Demons want a little more than just a league title, although that’s not something they’re focusing on right now.
“You know, a (league) title’s always one of those important steps we have in the goal-setting process,” Glenwood Springs head coach Rocky Whitworth said, adding that his team is “staying in the present” and, at this time, concerning itself only with Steamboat Springs.
Staying in the present ” approaching the season in weekly increments ” is precisely what the Demons have made a point to do in 2008. And it’s an approach that, they hope, will serve them well once the playoffs begin next week.
First, though, they have Steamboat Springs to contend with. Just as their coach stressed.
The Sailors, ranked fourth in 3A, counter the Demons’ 9-0 overall and 7-0 league records with 8-1 and 6-1 ledgers.
Like Glenwood, Steamboat runs a balanced offense. Junior quarterback Austin Hinder’s thrown for more than 1,200 yards and rushed for more than 500. Backs Fraser Egan and Joe Dover have each also chewed up more than 500 yards on the ground.
On the flip side, Stonehouse has racked up just over 1,600 yards in the air, while back Michael Hudson passed the 1,000-yard plateau in rushing yards last week against Moffat County.
“We have a very similar approach,” Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said, “kind of have that spread option look.”
Both teams also have athletic defenses that thrive on speed.
The biggest difference between the teams, Finch said, is that Glenwood just has a more veteran flair.
“Probably the biggest difference is that Glenwood is all seniors,” he noted. “Steamboat is all juniors, with a few critical seniors. We’re kind of where they were last year.”
The Demons have 20-some seniors lacing up on their latest roster. And they’re seniors playing for last year’s 11 seniors, players who helped alter the atmosphere of Glenwood football for the better.
“After last year, after what those seniors did for this team, we want to give something back,” Stonehouse said. “They had great leadership. They showed us how to play the game. They taught us how to be tough and win football games.”
The Demons hope to draw on that knowledge and muscle their way past Steamboat tonight.
“It’s a game that’s been on our board for a while,” Whitworth said. “It’s a game of great importance for both teams. … Our goal is to go up there and play the best we can and be competitive. (Steamboat’s) a complete football team.”
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