Rifle gridders kick off season in Utah | PostIndependent.com

Rifle gridders kick off season in Utah

Rifle had a dream season last year, going undefeated in conference. However, the dream quickly ended with an early exit in the postseason.

Beginning Saturday the Bears will try to make amends, as the squad takes on Grand County in Moab, Utah, to kick off the 2002 campaign.

“The kids have been talking about (the early playoff exit), and one of the goals is not to take anybody lightly,” Rifle head coach Darrel Gorham said. “Last year that loss kind of hurt them a little bit. It was a hard one to take.”

While Gorham and his players know virtually nothing about the Moab team, there are plenty of players back this season who remember last year’s playoffs.

Rifle returns seven seniors on each side of the ball, according to Gorham, including three all-conference players. Ryan Gilbert (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and Tony Allen (6-3, 235) anchor the defensive line and also will see time on the offensive line. Anthony Alfini, also an all-conference selection, should make an impact at inside linebacker.

Offensively, senior Jason Enewold, who caught passes as a wide receiver last season, will step behind center as the signal-caller this year. Junior Troy Weiss joins Enewold in the backfield at tailback and speedster Mike Birdsley will play slot back.

“We’re expecting some explosiveness out of those guys,” Gorham said.

The game against Grand Valley, Utah, begins at 7 p.m. Saturday evening.

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