Great expectations in Glenwood |

Great expectations in Glenwood

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

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Tyler Thulson doesn’t hesitate when predicting his team’s 2009 fate.

It’s a no-brainer in his eyes. Despite losing some 20 seniors from last year’s 3A state championship team, the Demons piece together a winning season.

“Like everyone on the team last year had such great chemistry, we’re the same,” the senior said. “We’ve been playing together since we were little. We have a solid team this year. Some games in league will be tough. I don’t think any games will be blowouts, but I think we can win most of them.”

Thulson will play a large role in the Demons’ fate, holding down a spot alongside Nick Ciani in a backfield occupied last year by Michael Hudson.

Junior quarterback Luke Jacob will step into Dakota Stonehouse’s old job as quarterback in head coach Rocky Whitworth’s spread attack.

Elsewhere on the offensive side of the ball, players like seniors Josh Galvan and Trey Fox and junior Willy Pelland will front a talented receiving corps and the Demons will work in several new linemen after losing nearly the entire unit from last season to graduation.

On defense, Ciani will lead a group of linebackers that’s been one of the best around in recent years. The junior logged big minutes as a sophomore in last season’s run at a state title.

Junior Chad Montover, a player the coaching staff is high on, figures to be a welcome addition to the linebacking bunch.

At least one Demon thinks defense is the team’s strongest suit.

“Our defense is looking fantastic right now,” said senior Josh Galvan, who plays in the secondary. “With our offense, we’re adding new plays, so we’re getting used to that, but our defense is still where it’s at. Our skill level is just where it was at last year.

“Everyone’s fast and strong. Our linebackers, they’re learning how to read and everything. We’re not worried about any of that.”

The Demons will be working in a number of new faces on both sides of the ball. In many cases, youngsters will be called upon the shoulder the load.

“We know a lot of guys left, but I know a lot of guys are going to step up,” Galvan said. “These kids are just as skilled. Their names might be different, but they’re right there with them.”

That’s the kind of confidence a team needs to rebound from such a graduation hit. It’s the type of confidence that’ll help the 2009 Demons deflect the pressure that’ll come with comparisons to that wildly successful 2008 team.

Whitworth doesn’t think his players will have any problem there.

“I hope that every player on the team works on his game and worries about himself,” Whitworth said. “There’s always that last-year syndrome, but once we’re in practice, once we’re in a game, they tend not to remember and build their own kind of destiny, their own reputation here.”

Galvan agrees.

“It’s funny. … No one really feels pressured,” he said. “Everyone wants to go out there and make their own name, because we know those players last year were the best. They were the greatest players ever, but right now we’re real good, too. So no one’s really worried.”

Looks like it’s not just Thulson who’s thinking big.

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