QB Townsley taking his new role in stride
CARBONDALE — Finding out this past spring that he was the most likely candidate to be Glenwood Springs High School’s starting quarterback didn’t take Jake Townsley by surprise at all.
“Actually, to be perfectly honest, we all kind of knew that he was going to leave,” said Townsley, a junior-to-be at Glenwood as he spoke of last season’s starting QB, Dante Sparaco. “And actually, I’m real excited. This year is going to be a lot of fun.”
The highly publicized Sparaco, who moved to the Denver area and will attend Pomona High in the fall, started 10 of the Demons’ 11 games last season to help Glenwood reach the 3A state playoffs. His departure, however, opens the door for Townsley, who at 6-feet, 170 pounds will take snaps for the Demons this coming season.
Townsley had a chance to take a few snaps and work on a few things Tuesday with the rest of his Glenwood teammates, who took part in weekly 7-on-7 workouts at Roaring Fork High School with Basalt, Roaring Fork, Coal Ridge and Grand Valley. He’ll also be one of the more than 25 upperclassmen who will be on this year’s roster when the season opens on Sept. 4 against Erie at Stubler Memorial Field in Glenwood.
Glenwood, however, lost 18 seniors to graduation from a team that not only made the playoffs, but finished in a three-way tie for second place in the tough Class 3A Western Slope League. That means the Demons will have a lot of holes to fill from last season’s starting spots.
That doesn’t seem to bother Glenwood, though, especially since the group of players who are left have plenty of experience playing together.
“There’s a lot of seniors who we lost from last year, so everyone who’s left is basically [people who have] been playing together since the third and fourth grade. That’s another thing that’s going to make this season super fun.”
Townsley also took a few snaps as a starter last season. During the Demons’ 29-7 home victory over Summit on Oct. 17, 2014 — a game that coach Rocky Whitworth at the time said Sparaco was held out of for “internal reasons” — Townsley finished 5-for-16 passing for 41 yards with a pair of interceptions in wet and cold conditions. That was also a game where the Demons spent much of it running the ball, with senior tailback Luke Prosence finishing with 253 of Glenwood’s 363 rushing yards.
But with the familiar faces come some new faces for the Demons this year. Townsley admitted that the summer’s 7-on-7 drills that last through July will help build the team chemistry some. There may also be a wait for that as well — many of Glenwood’s football players are taking part in basketball camps this month and won’t be able to do football stuff until July.
There’s at least one guy, however, that Townsley already knows pretty well. That guy is Matt Townsley, a senior who likely will start at either right offensive tackle or guard.
“Oh yeah,” the quarterback said, smiling. “I’d better be nice to him.”
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It was a statement game featuring the two best boys basketball teams in the 4A Western Slope League on Saturday afternoon at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in Glenwood Springs. And, just like in the old western shootouts, it was the Glenwood Demons who had spoken the loudest when all the dust had settled with a key 58-44 win over the Steamboat Springs Sailors.