Vidakovich column: Honoring the state champions
It’s hard to believe that almost 40 years have passed since I stood along the sidelines on a snowy and cold December afternoon in 1978 to watch Coach Don Miller and his beloved Demons get the first state football championship in school history.
With weather better suited to the abominable snowman than a sporting contest, Miller stood on the sidelines in his trademark t-shirt and directed Glenwood to a lopsided victory over the Valley Vikings. Community members showed up in droves to help plow and shovel the field the afternoon before the big game. It was a much simpler time in Glenwood Springs. You knew everyone at the games, and things always had a Mayberry feel to them.
I miss those days.
I’m partial to that ’78 team for a good reason. It was my senior year at GSHS, and though I never played football, I rarely missed a chance to stand on my spot near the south end zone to watch that talent-packed team do business.
They finished the season with a 13-1 record, the only blemish coming in a hiccup at Steamboat Springs that may have been the best tonic to relieve some swelling in Demon heads that had grown a bit too big for their hat size. Glenwood was not to lose another game in giving Coach Miller his first of two state championships.
Three things I will never forget about that magical season: 1) Watching Scotty Bolitho play quarterback. Simply the best ever; 2) The home game against the big rival Rams of Roaring Fork. I have never, to this day, seen a bigger crowd in Glenwood Springs at a football game. Both bleachers were packed, and people were standing 8-10 deep along the fence that bordered the sidelines. Two great teams going at it with the Demons coming out on top in a classic showdown. Had he been there, Dick Enberg would have said, “Oh my!”; 3) Senior lineman Chris Massaro’s punt block against Valley in the very same south end zone near where I was standing. Massaro, who is now the athletics director at Middle Tennessee State University, pounced on the football for the score, looked my way, and held the ball high into the air. The Demons had the game all but wrapped up by that point, so I headed home to get out of the big freeze, and listened to the closing moments on KGLN radio and the immortal voices of Gene Curtis and Frank Milner.
My goodness, has it really been 40 years?
The Demon state championship football teams of 1978, 1980, and 2008 will be honored at Friday night’s Glenwood homecoming game against Eagle Valley.
The celebration of champions will begin on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. with the homecoming parade which will start on Coach Miller Drive. There will be a flatbed trailer reserved for all players from the state title teams to gather on and ride together.
At 4 p.m. in the high school cafeteria, the GSHS student council will sponsor a meet and greet where Demon football players and families of past and present can get together and share memories prior to the game.
Halftime of the football game will feature all past players in attendance taking the field as the honored alumni for the evening.
The 1978 team captured the state championship by defeating the Valley Vikings in Glenwood. In 1980, the Demons were also at home to defeat the Fountain-Fort Carson Trojans. Both teams were coached by Don Miller.
The undefeated 2008 team, coached by Rocky Whitworth, was on the road in Denver to defeat the Fort Morgan Mustangs.
Any questions about Friday’s championship alumni gathering can be directed to GSHS language arts teacher and student council sponsor Lisa Hartert at 379-8230.
The Homecoming game time is 7 p.m. at Stubler Memorial Field.
Mike Vidakovich is a sport correspondent and sometimes columnist for the Post Independent.
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