Category Archives: 5A Football Colorado

Warriors wallop on Senior Day

5A football had 3 games on tap and only one that had RPI implications. However, today was about seeing the young sophomores playing varsity football for Smoky Hill and Arapahoe, a team someone had as a top 10 nearly 3 months ago in one of many media pre season polls. Obviously they missed the mark so we had to see what all the hype was about as both teams entering today had a combine 3 wins. Smoky Hill (1-8) at Arapahoe (2-7). After about an hour of pre game festivities celebrating 25 seniors the ball game kicked off at 1pm at LPS stadium in a windy contest of 65 mile an hour winds. At stake was pride in aMt. Massive conference match up and perhaps a glimpse of the future 2 years for both teams.

For nearly 2 minutes it appeared that it was going to be a tight contest as both teams were a little sluggish. However, on the first warriors possession they went with a tight end to the boundary with #8 Jake Groth for a 50 yard TD pass from #10 Kevin Lukasiewicz for a score to go up 6-0. The PAT kick failed by #2 Nate RaPue perhaps because of the wind. These would prove to be the only points needed as AHS scored 28 points in the first quarter and 7 in Q2 to lead 35-0 at halftime.

At the break we figured to see the warriors clear the benches in the second half after nearly 25 seniors saw playing time and a host of players lined up on the sidelines that are the future. That was not the case until a few minutes left in the 4th quarter when some of the talents from the JV (8-3) squad adorned the field on an 11 yard TD run and a victory formation final play to run out the clock. Meanwhile Smoky Hill played a host of youngsters and will be better as some of their players will have much needed varsity reps under their belt come next season to compete.

Arapahoe 52, Smoky Hill 0

At LPS Stadium

Arapahoe (3-7, 2-3) Mt. Massive 28 7 10 7—52

Smoky Hill (1-9, 0-5) Mt. Massive 0 0 0 0—0

First quarter

Arapahoe —Lukasiewicz 50 yard pass to Groth (RaPue  kick failed). 10:10 Arapahoe — Thomas rip 6 TD 30 yard return 9:01 (Hollingsworth 2 point conversion) Arapahoe —9 yard pass to Myers (RaPue  kick) 2:22 Arapahoe —Phelan 9 yard TD run (RaPue  kick) :41.

Second quarter

Arapahoe —Lukasiewicz 29 yard pass to Groth (RaPue  kick). 5:53

Third quarter

Arapahoe — Rapue 41 yard FG 8:21. Arapahoe — 65 yard punt return (RaPue  kick).

Fourth quarter

Arapahoe —  Des Spencer 11 yard TD run (Rapue kick).

While the game was one sided there are a few players that we will have an eye on heading into August 2018. The next 9 months will be about getting bigger, faster and stronger but we have earmarked a half a dozen players on each team to look for in September 2018.

2 year FB cycle, more of the same?

Many of you are reading this article because you are hoping that the new two year cycle for football has been released. However the honest truth is we are nowhere near brilliance. The fact remains is we have to fix the trending wrong way of years past as much of the discussion is more of the same. Waterfall should be renamed mudslide this year as there have been some discussions but let’s just say there are too many cooks in the kitchen. The major issues are going to reside with the current classification of 5A and then trickle down to the current other six classifications. It’s blatantly obvious that 5A is lopsided with several powerful teams at the top and the rest struggling to win a handful of games. Only 5 different teams have been crowned state champion in the past decade, Valor Christian, Cherry Creek, Columbine, Mullen and Grandview and a whopping 9 in the past 23 years.
Current RPI data as of 8:12:14 AM Monday October 23, 2017 suggests the same power 5 teams will again dominate the 5A post season lineups.

Class 5A

Last updated: 10/23/2017 8:12:14 AM

Rank Team RPI Record WP OWP OOWP
1 Valor Christian 0.807 8-0-0 1.000 0.768 0.577
2 Columbine 0.696 7-1-0 0.875 0.625 0.535
3 Eaglecrest 0.680 8-0-0 1.000 0.411 0.603
4 Highlands Ranch 0.659 6-2-0 0.750 0.625 0.572
5 Grandview 0.638 6-2-0 0.750 0.607 0.516
6 Fairview 0.634 7-1-0 0.875 0.411 0.609
7 Regis Jesuit 0.632 7-1-0 0.875 0.446 0.545
8 Cherry Creek 0.630 6-2-0 0.750 0.589 0.510
9 Pomona 0.628 6-2-0 0.750 0.560 0.548
10 Lakewood 0.620 6-2-0 0.750 0.554 0.523
11 Chaparral 0.609 6-2-0 0.750 0.500 0.560
12 Arvada West 0.592 6-2-0 0.750 0.464 0.547
13 Ralston Valley 0.592 5-3-0 0.625 0.577 0.566
14 Fountain-Fort Carson 0.554 4-4-0 0.500 0.628 0.524
15 JK Mullen 0.545 3-5-0 0.375 0.732 0.519
16 Bear Creek 0.531 4-4-0 0.500 0.571 0.518
17 Cherokee Trail 0.529 4-4-0 0.500 0.607 0.457
18 Legend 0.529 4-4-0 0.500 0.556 0.530
19 Far Northeast Warriors 0.523 6-2-0 0.717 0.357 0.479
20 Poudre 0.522 5-3-0 0.625 0.413 0.532
21 ThunderRidge 0.513 3-5-0 0.375 0.699 0.439
22 Horizon 0.508 4-4-0 0.500 0.549 0.459
23 Doherty 0.495 5-3-0 0.625 0.321 0.561
24 Northglenn 0.493 5-3-0 0.625 0.352 0.505
25 Legacy 0.490 4-4-0 0.500 0.482 0.488
26 Overland 0.487 5-3-0 0.625 0.304 0.557
27 Rocky Mountain 0.487 3-5-0 0.375 0.607 0.473
28 Rock Canyon 0.468 4-4-0 0.500 0.375 0.561
29 Mountain Range 0.453 4-4-0 0.500 0.375 0.500
30 Mountain Vista 0.442 3-5-0 0.375 0.464 0.508
31 Boulder 0.441 2-6-0 0.250 0.607 0.478
32 Douglas County 0.398 2-6-0 0.250 0.521 0.435
33 Arapahoe 0.392 2-6-0 0.250 0.500 0.442
34 Denver East 0.392 2-6-0 0.250 0.495 0.449
35 Smoky Hill 0.382 1-7-0 0.125 0.607 0.431
36 Rangeview 0.382 1-7-0 0.125 0.607 0.431
37 Castle View 0.372 1-7-0 0.125 0.518 0.522
38 Westminster 0.343 1-7-0 0.125 0.464 0.487
39 Fossil Ridge 0.329 1-7-0 0.125 0.393 0.539
40 Prairie View 0.312 0-8-0 0.000 0.549 0.423
41 Hinkley 0.298 1-7-0 0.125 0.339 0.496
42 Aurora Central 0.285 1-7-0 0.125 0.339 0.446

So what can be done to improve title hopes for neighborhood teams that have not had a chance in nearly 25 years?
Glad you asked!

Modify the playing field!

No coach says they coach loosing football so why not tweak the RPI if it will be used in the new mudslide 2 year cycle. RPI = (0.700 × WP) + (0.200 × OWP) + (0.100 × OOWP) Obviously a team could control their own destiny by winning then again why use RPI if 42 teams are going to be set up to fail if new changes will be much of the same. There was a time when no one wanted Valor Christian (VC) to play in 5A and now many do not want them or Cherry Creek(CC) in their conference because of their ability to navigate the rules of CHSAA to benefit their programs.
It appears to be the clear sentiment in 2017 for the next 2 year cycle that no one wants CC or VC in its division and is evident when Highlands Ranch (HR), a neighborhood school about 1.3 miles across the street was outscored in 2016 43-7 and 48-7 in 2017 and was ranked as high as #3 in RPI. This is a team that made the playoffs in 2016 and lost to Columbine in round one 21-17. Currently HR appears to be a 2017 playoff team based on RPI. However, HR is like many teams that may have one more year left before an entire new squad replaces their current winning ways so year 2 of the mudslide might be brutal on their performance in 2019. Eaglecrest and Mullen might be the two teams in this next cycle that will be force to play younger athletes and suffer some heavy losses in a rebuilding process. Many may recall Arapahoe and Westminster who faired well 3 years ago and now are suffering miserably in this current cycle as are about 20 other teams in 5A.

NOTE: VC has outscored local opponents in 2016 with 458 and gave up 181 points. In 2017 with two games left VC has 227 points for and 63 points against. So basically an average local score will be 38-10 when playing VC and most likely a running clock in the 4th quarter. Only Pomona (14) and CC (21) have scored double digits on VC. Poudre and Fountain Fort Carson (FFC) are next on the schedule before the playoffs in November. The only bright spot is VC has to travel to FFC in their final game, in what most likely is a win or go home for FFC. However, the algorithm may be in favor of FFC just like 2016 and they limp into the playoffs based on strength of schedule (SOS). So now you understand the reticence to play or have VC in your division if the ultimate goal is 5-0 in conference matchups unless you were a team that manipulated your schedule 2 years ago like CC, Mullen, Pomona, RJ and VC. Conversely, Having the power 6, CC, Grandview, Mullen, Pomona, RJ and VC, teams on your schedule benefits RPI in non league.

So why not have these power 6, CC, Grandview, Mullen, Pomona, RJ and VC teams play one another in a home and away format with the top 2 playing one another in a state title. This would allow them to beat up on one another and allow the remaining 36 teams to finally have a chance at a state title.

As of today based on OWP here are the Top 6 teams:
Valor Christian
Fountain-Fort Carson
Highlands Ranch
All 6 teams are in 2 Conferences, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Cameron
Based on RECORD on wins and losses:
Valor Christian
Regis Jesuit
Highlands Ranch
Arvada West
Cherry Creek
Far Northeast Warriors
As you can see the teams from the old Centennial and Jeffco leagues are the same teams dominating 5A play. Only the Far Northeast Warriors #19 are not in the Top 16 and they close out the season with Fossil Ridge and Cherry Creek so (SOS) will be interesting but 2 wins are the goal to guarantee FNE a 5-0 conference title.

A host of teams are 5-3.
Ralston Valley will face Eaglecrest this week and the winner most likely wins the Mt. Wilson league. As for the other teams it seems their fate was sealed after a loss in league play and NOT a favorable RPI based on SOS.

In a nut shell all the data points to going old school and base post season on wins and losses in addition to playing regional community teams. The student body, teachers and parents will not have to travel vast distances to root for their team colors. Also a sense of pride by beating the neighborhood team is more important to players and schools. Here is what most are saying:

  • “Yes its been a tough season but at least we beat Heritage, AHS student”
  • “We may have lost one game out of state but the season was successful when we beat Columbine! – Chatfield Student
  • “Not the season record we anticipated but beating Regis was awesome! I hope we can play them in the playoffs if we qualify.” – Mullen student
  • “We beat Creek and that is all that mattered but the loss to Mullen hurt the most and I hope we get them again in the playoffs. – RJ Dad
  • “Skyline has had the toughest schedule in 4A and we hope to avenge our only loss to Monarch as long as RPI lets us in.” Skyline Parent

Again it is not rocket science and the masses have spoken that local teams should play one another and math should not be part of the process. A simple win and losses should determine polls, rankings and playoff seedings not the failed system of 2016 called RPI.

Make it simple and regionalize games based on wins and losses!

No one cares about enrollment numbers so do away with it and allow teams to choose to play in a division up or down or whatever will make football FUN again and put butts in seats. After all the goal is to sell tickets to competitive game so all the sports prosper with the revenue generated.
Until we hear about a new official 2 year cycle we will refer to all proposals as “The Mudslide” since the waterfall failed miserably!
As always we will see you on the fields as we know football! We are your source for content 24/7 and 365 about Colorado High School Football.

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Heading into Week 5 5A with Updated standings

Yes we are aware RPI will be in version 2.0 on Tuesday but following in tradition of posting 5A first here is how we fell 5A should look based on watching all the teams below.

  1. Valor
  2. Pomona
  3. Eaglecrest
  4. Regis Jesuit
  5. JK Mullen
  6. Cherry Creek
  7. Columbine
  8. Fairview
  9. Grandview
  10. Highlands Ranch/Poudre (TIE)

Legacy 3-1
Regis 3-1
Bear Creek 1-3
Douglas County 1-3
Aurora Central 0-4
Westminster 0-4
Fairview 4-0
Columbine 3-1
Northglenn 3-1
Mountain Range 2-2
ThunderRidge 2-2
Mullen 2-3
Cherry Creek 3-1
Horizon 2-2
Far Northeast 2-2
Denver East 1-3
Fossil Ridge 0-4
Prairie View 0-4
Pomona 3-1
Rock Canyon 3-1
Chaparral 2-2
Cherokee Trail 2-2
Mountain Vista 2-2
Hinkley 1-3
Valor Christian 4-0
Lakewood 4-0
Poudre 4-1
Highlands Ranch 3-1
Fountain Fort Carson 2-2
Legend 2-2
Doherty 3-1
Grandview 2-2
Overland 2-2
Boulder 1-3
Arapahoe 1-3
Smoky Hill 1-4
Eaglecrest 4-0
Arvada West 3-1
Rocky Mountain 2-2
Castle View 1-3
Ralston Valley 1-3
Rangeview 0-5

Game of the week #Zeroweek

The 2017 Season is under way as Thursday saw 5 teams play. 2 teams are 1-0 and 3 are 0-1. Multiple scrimmages transpired and will continue on Friday. However, tonight is the biggest night of high school football as 5 – 5A games,  5 – 4A games, 8 – 3A games, 11 – 2A games, 2 – 1A games and 4 8-man games get underway. We will update all scores on the website and encourage you to bookmark

In February when we saw the preliminary schedules we choose the #GOTW (Game Of The Week) because it could be a preview of the State Title in 2017. Also because the coaches updated HUDL and MaxPreps prior to August 15th. This allowed us to research and be prepared for each of the 11 Friday night games. Zero week and weeks 1-10.

Game of the Week on Friday night could feature 4 division one athletes all graduating in 2018.

Last year in the season’s first game, the Pomona Panthers defeated Mullen 28-21 in their zero week football game. Pomona quarterback Ryan Marquez was again a standout while fans were introduced to teammate Billy Pospisil.  As for Mullen they introduced quarterback Dominic DePizzol that will take the reigns for the 2017 Mustangs.

Uriah Vigil was the hero catching a TD from Ryan Marquez with 26.6 ticks on the clock. The story line tonight is will he or won’t he play. #21 Max Borghi a Pomona Football athlete and Washington State verbal commit. 

Adrian Jackson a safety and linebacker is verbally committed to Oregon and two offensive players Florian McCann III, lineman and back A’Jon Vivens an athlete have verbal commitments to Colorado State.  So the fact remains JK Mullen will line up 3 division one athletes all graduating in 2018 and possibly a 4th in #21 Max Borghi a Pomona Football athlete that will be a game time decision.

The Pomona (Arvada, CO) varsity football team has a neutral non-conference game vs. Mullen (Denver, CO) on Friday, August 25 @ 7pm at the NAAC.

Over / Under

Mark your calendars 5A #copreps

High School football has become about 5 warm up games based on RPI. The season is all about league play and going 5-0 down the stretch to make the playoffs. Here are the games that most likely will determine who wins the conference.

5A Mt. Massive

Arapahoe 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Boulder 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Doherty 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Grandview 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Overland 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Smoky Hill 0-0 0.000 0 0 0

10/27/2017 Grandview vs. Doherty
10/27/2017 Grandview vs. Arapahoe

5A Mt. Evans

Chaparral 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Cherokee Trail 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Hinkley 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Mountain Vista 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Pomona 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Rock Canyon 0-0 0.000 0 0 0

10/26/17 Pomona vs. Chaparral
11/3/17 Cherokee Trail vs. Pomona

5A Mt. Elbert

Cherry Creek 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Denver East 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Far Northeast Warriors 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Fossil Ridge 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Horizon 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Prairie View 0-0 0.000 0 0 0

5A Mt. Cameron

Columbine 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Fairview 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Mountain Range 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Mullen 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Northglenn 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
ThunderRidge 0-0 0.000 0 0 0

10/12/17 Mullen vs. Columbine

5A Mt. Lincoln

Fountain-Fort Carson 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Highlands Ranch 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Lakewood 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Legend 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Poudre 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Valor Christian 0-0 0.000 0 0 0

10/20/17 Highlands Ranch  vs. Valor Christian

5A Mt. Antero

Aurora Central 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Bear Creek 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Douglas County 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Legacy 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Regis Jesuit 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Westminster 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
10/6/17 Legacy  vs. Regis Jesuit

5A Mt. Wilson

Arvada West 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Castle View 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Eaglecrest 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Ralston Valley 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Rangeview 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
Rocky Mountain 0-0 0.000 0 0 0
11/3/17 Arvada West vs. Eaglecrest


5A PRESEASON FOOTBALL RANKINGS 2017 version 5.0 07/02/17

The Voluntary, wink-wink, summer sessions for most high school programs began May 30, 2017 and will conclude on Friday August 4th. In this time span numerous athletes took in quality reps in the weight room and performed speed and agility drills to get better. Meanwhile the sexy boys, QBs and WRs got in much needed 7on7 work as they tried to tune up their game. While I am not a fan of 7on7 because there is no hitting or pressure on the QB, I do see value on both sides of the ball like EDDs (Every Day Drills) during Fall practices. The summer is a time to have fun and we saw a lot of that as “HOG WARS” was very thrilling this year as the BIG BOYS upfront got after it. Some teams got better as they saw the competition early and were motivated when they got back to their gyms and coaches so they can prove their value come September. All the hard work provided dividends as everyone got a little better. So our version 5.0 of 5A football in Colorado headed into zero week is as follows: 

  1.  Pomona
  2. Grandview
  3. Highlands Ranch
  4. Valor
  5. Columbine
  6. JK Mullen
  7. Cherry Creek
  8. Fairview
  9. Legend
  10. Doherty/Regis Jesuit (TIE)

@303gonzo talks football 365 days a year and nearly 24 hours a day and has THE PULSE on Colorado high school football. Often there are tidbits of information shared that will remain silent or in confidence. So a lot of hard work goes into covering the local athletes and teams in Colorado all for FREE. That is correct there is NO Subscription based fee or empty promises just plain FACTS. However, we will have fun running Fan Polls, talking to coaches and parents but the main goal is to cover the kids to men or women over their 4 years in high school. This includes recruiting and signing day which is a proud moment for any parent to know post secondary education is happening.
So for those of you thirsting for more information on the Top 10 here we go. Pomona at #1 is primarily because they are hungry. Two back to back appearances versus Valor and they came up empty both times and have a nucleus to succeed. They have a QB in Ryan Marquez that wants to win and prove he is a top tier 5A player. Ryan is a team player as he took reps at DB early on in camp and will do what is necessary for his team along with Max Borghi that appears to be ready for a home zero week game versus JK Mullen on August 25, 2017, Our #GOTW (Game of The Week). Pomona has some weapons on offense and 3 talented wide receivers. Search #GWL or #GonzoWatchList or follow us on game night for more details. On defense they have some chippy guys that have the desire to get it done like DB Santos Maguina who has camped at a few colleges and was honored at the All Poly camp in Utah. Pomona has a system in place that provides players with an opportunity to succeed and this appears to be their year.

Grandview whom has the best chance to go 10-0 moved down to 2 because they are rebuilding at RB and QB and have to fine tune to gain the top spot. Gunner Gentry will garner the attention but it is the Wolves defense that has 8 returning starters and some great talents.  Grandview is again loaded in a talent rich attendance area so they will have depth and the ability to go far, as long as the players buy in and make a serious run on day one without overlooking weekly opponents. (Eaglecrest last year) At minimum going 5-0 down the stretch will get them into the playoffs.

The Highlands Ranch Falcons at 3 might shock some but ask Columbine last year. HR on a controversial call lost the momentum that almost saw an upset in 5A. The game was full of penalties and ultimately the referees garnered way to much attention as the clock hit 0:00. Unfortunately Ray Robinson will miss the entire season with an injury but he has a talented squad that will compete in 2017 and 2018. There will be some household names on Friday nights and will be identified on on August 26, 2017, Our Saturday #GOTW (Game of The Week).

The Falcons have a solid nucleus on the offensive line and we will see how speedster Dominic Bettini will do in his 3rd year as a varsity player as he has been electric and a game changer on special teams, slot, RB and defense. The Ranch has suffered for a decade but has some dudes which is tough when Valor is across the street and both teams share middle school attendance areas. Circle 10/20/17 on the calendar as the Mt. Lincoln conference title may be on the line as HR will host Valor in a grudge match in neighborhood versus the privileged game.

Valor Christian at 4 has many saying, “what, what” but come on now where is the beef? Just because they have been in it to win it for a long time there is no reason to give VC a number 1 spot based on past performance. 303gonzo makes you earn it! The offense lost a key coach to neighboring Rock Canyon and lost arguably the best center in 5A the past 4 seasons plus few dudes playing next level including a QB. We are hearing the current QBs are in a 50/50 challenge and well until that gets rectified the offense will use the first 5 games as preseason to figure things out because conference play is about going 5-0 is the only guarantee for success if you create your own destiny. On defense the front 5 are gone and it all starts upfront so all eyes will be on game 6 when there will be some obvious changes to the roster and depth chart.

The Rebels at 5 is simple, The Process! These dudes just buy into the way things need to be done in order to be successful. Columbine is one constant that plays in arguably the toughest 5A conference and knows there is no free lunch week to week. Yes they lost some talent to graduation but the 2018 class is strong and they work together as a team. They will have some stars on Friday nights but it will be a host of different guys on any given night because they breed the team mantra of success by all in the program.

Many thought JK Mullen would have secured a state title by now based on the last 4 years. So 6 is appropriate based on a 2018 class that is on a mission to get it done. They have 8 guys on each side of the ball that can get it done. However, the Mustangs are in search of a Stallion to run the rock and gain much needed yards on the ground in a pass happy offense. On defense its about replacing 2 division one DBs to complement a very healthy front 7. Zero week will tell the tale as Mullen travels to Pomona to start the season. The Mustangs will be featured on National TV before league play in arguably the toughest 5A conference Mt. Cameron.


At 7 it is Cherry Creek. All the hype is over in Greenwood Village and now its about rolling up the sleeves and getting to work. The offensive line is big which will contribute to success at QB and WR Dimitri Stanley. However on defense the guy to watch is “DUSTY” Dustin Johnson on Friday, Sep 1 when Regis Jesuit takes on Cherry Creek. 

8 is Fairview that always seems to compete and we know there will be a quality QB that puts up some numbers. If the Broncos 7on7 tournament was any indication of how well the Knights will be, look out! Mariano Kemp is a force at 5’10” and 235lbs complemented on defense by SS EthanVillarreal. Fairview will play both Columbine and Mullen down the stretch so it should be competitive season.

9 has a team no one talks about in Legend. A team nestled in Parker, a city  that has 4A Ponderosa making all the noise. The Titans have some players and looked good early at the CSU Rams team camp. If you followed303gonzo you have a good indication of the talents we spoke of and will continue to do so during the season. Legend is one of those teams that has been building for a few years and has some quality players ready to make noise.

10 is a tie as both RJ and Doherty have to fill in some holes and stay healthy. Doherty was snubbed in last seasons debacle of RPI but knows 10-0 is the goal and probably has sights on Grandview as they Wolves are the toughest team in the conference. Doherty has depth and is often overlooked in a talent rich Colorado Springs area. Meanwhile RJ will look to get it together and compete. Always dominate but coming off a season that had a stellar defense. The offensive line will be a juggling act but the Raiders will have go to slot receiver Cade Mendenhall that will provide some serious spark in crucial moments. RJ has some ponies in the back field so as long as the line is strong so will be the run game.

All in all 5A is anyones games this season but the RPI will dictate playoff berths. The seedings will be based on revenues not match ups as waterfall continues to weaken the gate monies.

As always I am sure some people will disagree and some may agree. So feel free to comment or respond. Remember this a project of passion and FREE content. I know others troll the twitter account @303Gonzo for their paid subscriptions and articles. However many hours traveling to fields, watching film and talking to athletes went into evaluating and ranking.

See you on the fields.

Here is the Fan Poll Results

Lots of effort goes into identifying athletes to be featured on the #GWL #GonzoWatchList It is apparent others are trolling the @303Gonzo twitter account to sell you goods and services. Unless you reach out to @303Gonzo we do not endorse any one outfit or organization. We might make recommendations but never will sell your information. This is website dedicated to high school football families and A project of passion with FREE content. In addition we will provide player information to our network of coaches. So feel free to fill out the following:


#B18horns are heating up!! 🔥

are heating up!! 🔥 seems to be the mantra in #FOCO and in Denver, Colorado at JK Mullen. On June 13, 2017 The Mustangs saw its first commitment in A’Jon Vivens:

On July 21, 2017 the second Mullen Mustang and 11th Colorado athlete decided to join his teammate Vivens.

It appears the Rams of Fort Collins have struck Gold in Mullen. This will be the second year @CoachBobo_CSU @CoachMEnglish have secured talents from the Navy and Gold. The class of 2017 featured Christian Cumber, Marcus McElroy Jr. and Tanner Clem. On August 5th many will enter the new stadium in Fort Collins and will see the locker rooms with some local talents names and one thing for sure is the Mullen Mustangs will be represented.

It will be interesting to see if the Rams continue to recruit Colorado as there are some top tier players still undecided. One thing for sure is Colorado does not lack depth in 2019 and we are keeping a close eye on that group as they fast track the upcoming recruiting cycle. An early signing period of December 20-22, 2017 has propelled the efforts of the class of 2019. Most recently the #GWL (#GonzoWatchList) QB Ty Evans committed to Arkansas.

For more in depth coverage of local talents please follow @303Gonzo #GWL ( #GonzoWatchList )

Click here to see LOCAL ATHLETES COMMITTED 07/15/2017

Flo makes it 11 Colorado athletes committed to play next level.

Max Borghi lights a firecracker

We have often talked to RB  of Pomona HS and one thing soon became very apparent, the correct fit. The verbal commit for CU Boulder has made a decision to go out of state.

#JoinTheHunt is his new motto as Borghi will be a Washington State University football player. Just check out this video:

Will you early and roll or wait until August
Early enroll
Look for a December 20, 2017 signing day and January enrollment for the talented athlete.

5A Preseason Football Rankings 2017

2017 5A Preseason Football Rankings 

2017 @303Gonzo 6/12/2017

The summer sessions began May 30, 2017 as many high school (HS) teams got in the required days before attending and competing in college team camps. Fort Collins and Pueblo seemed to be the early winners. However, UNC in Greeley will host a camp in later June while CSU-Pueblo will continue more weekly camps until July 22. Regardless this is the time many HS coaching staffs get to know new players and evaluate those in the program since freshmen year. For some teams they have 11 weeks to get the sand out as zero week happens on August 24-26, 2017. Week 1 will begin on a Thursday August 31 and complete on September 2nd, 2017. 

As teams try to get better for 2017 the fact is RPI had a major impact on the 2016 playoff selection, a year many want to forget but will have to deal with again in 2017. The 2 year cycle called “Water Fall” was more like a mudslide that allowed sub .500 teams entrance into the 16 team format down from 32 in previous seasons. Many administrators thought eliminating 2 dominating conferences would make 5A more competitive. Unfortunately all it did was create more confusion, travel and lower attendance than ever before. In addition to more Blowouts in what is termed “Mercy Rule” games has athletes rethinking playing the sport in 2017. The fact remains certain programs are allowed to finesse the rules in their attendance area and the association turns the other cheek and wipes their hands of the imbalances. Hopefully in July when the new administration takes over they can make positive impacts or form an immediate committee so neighborhood teams can compete in 2018 when the new 2 year cycle begins. 6A and geography should be a high priority and a possible “Private School” conference so it allows public schools that follow the rules to compete.

As the summer weights and daily speed camps attempt to get teams better, one thing for sure is this season will be more competitive but most likely the same final 8 playoff teams will be in the mix come week 11 of the 2017 season. Many of these teams took their lumps by playing younger players early as Freshmen or Sophomores and now they will have double digit reps and Varsity game time under their helmets. More programs are realizing playing the BEST 11 is more important than playing graduating Seniors as a reward for 4 years of service. The sport of football participation is dwindling but the talent is getting better and is most notable on NLI SigningDay. 2018 has some talent but the best class is the 2019 graduates who truly love the sport of football.

  1. The most noticeable change will be moving off the number 1 and 2 teams from the past 2 seasons of Valor and Pomona. Both quality programs that seems to have the process down and will compete in 2017 but others in 5A have grown organically and have developed players at a younger age to compete in 2017 and 2018.

So here is the 2017 @303Gonzo 6/12/2017 5A Colorado Football 5A Pre season Top 10*

  1. Grandview
  2. Pomona
  3. HR
  4. Columbine
  5. Valor
  6. CC
  7. Mullen
  8. Legend /RJ/Eaglecrest/Doherty/Fairview (TIE)

Grandview was my last season favorite to go 10-0 and came close. A loss to rival Eaglecrest after an out of state contest was the only blemish on the season until a loaded Valor team beat GV in the playoffs. Grandview has a great attendance area and a solid competitive balance with feeder youth teams that want to be Wolves. The defense is solid and as they retool on offense with a new QB and RB they will be the team to beat in 2017.

Pomona is not second fiddle but to replace some seriously talented 2017 graduates is tough but they are a work in progress. The Panthers will rely on a Senior QB that has a group of talent at WR but their key is when or if their stud RB will return. It is always hard to loose a playmaker and contributor but the community will rally and these tough dudes will compete in a very aggressive schedule that kicks off in zero week versus JK Mullen.

Highlands Ranch located blocks away from Valor has all the keys to compete this season and may be built for a next season title run but could shock us all in 5A. The 2018 graduates are the building blocks but one of the HR defensive players suffered a recent injury and HR will have to juggle the roster by zero week against Smoky Hill. HR has one of the best 2019 graduate classes and has depth to compete. Expect this Falcons team to put up some points as their coaches are dialed in and ready to compete after taking their lumps for 3 years. Last game that haunts the team and staff is a playoff match up versus Columbine in a controversial last second drive that denied progress for the offense and potential playoff win for HR.

Columbine is a perennial contender and has a head coach that was expected to retire after 2016. However after 2 consecutive successful freshmen squads the Rebels are building success once again. CHS also suffers from multiple schools in the attendance area that includes a couple private schools that often snag players. If this was Texas or Oklahoma and large enrollments like CCHS then Columbine would be in State title games every year. Look for them to replace a talented graduate QB with a youngster and continue to develop some big bubbas upfront and on the edge. Columbine will compete again as they have fire in their bellies and an investment that will provide a reward that may be down the road as this season is a rebuild based on talented and developing youth.

Valor is probably the casual fans number one. However, the question remains on defense and the front 5 graduating. The Eagles have a great process in place and do spend heavily on coaches to develop players. The question remains have they hit a barrier as the numbers in little league are dwindling and some top talents were not lured away from home attendance area public schools. Valor will still compete but have to replace an offensive center and hope the linemen stay healthy and focussed. Make note their line coach moved over to Rock Canyon and the one year he was not on staff VC lost to CCHS. Coincidence ? Either way the depth is not as strong in years past and if basketball on turf happens a few hungry area teams may best them on Friday nights. Remember VC was 1-3 and had GAC been healthy it could have easily been 0-4. At the end of the day games 1-5 seem like preseason games for the Eagles and the last 5 matter the most. VC will continue to develop a talented 2019 class and a few youngsters while hoping the 2018 guys can instill team success they have learned over the past 3 that includes 2 rings. Both Legend and Highlands Ranch are in conference games and both reaching for the brass ring. Based on the format a 5-0 conference team gets an automatic playoff berth so keep an eye on games week 6 and 8. Valor does a great job developing athletes but CC almost beat them in the playoffs with a motley crew.

Cherry Creek has the largest attendance area and often garners some all star little leaguers each year statewide. There has been a lot of hype in recent years and well father time may have caught up. Meanwhile they will be big upfront and shear numbers will help at depth as there will be some holes to replace. Skill seems to be the strength but them are young. Varsity reps from 2019 players is the teams biggest difference maker with a couple of 2018 graduates. Playing in a lay up conference does not help them down the playoff stretch but the first half of the season will determine how healthy the program will be down the stretch.

Mullen is interesting as they return 8 guys on each side of the ball and need to replace skill. Once again a 2019 athlete will be at QB with some talented 2018 dudes upfront and catching balls. This is a team that may shock everyone and almost parallel HR. So it will be interesting to see how the Mustangs compete in arguably the toughest conference that includes Columbine and Fairview. Mullen has bitten the bullet for 5 straight years playing and developing athletes so it will be no shocker to see who surprises us on Friday nights. This may be the most complete team outside Grandview.

Team 8-12 have some talents and a majority will rely on the play of the QBs. All play in tough conferences and are made up of local area talents. However, the injury bug and depth have not proven well in spring or early summer sessions. Legend seems to be the most improved out of this group but will have to knock off VC to be considered a contender. RJ has some adjusting to do as the graduates on defense made the team so valuable last season. I would expect 2-way play and a lot of running as RJ has some stallions in the back field. Meanwhile Eaglecrest enjoyed success last season but lacks depth as does Fairview and Doherty is the wild card as the Springs team always is competitive.

All in all 5A is anyones games this season but the RPI will dictate playoff berths. The seedings will be based on revenues not match ups as waterfall continues to weaken the gate monies.

As always I am sure some people will disagree and some may agree. So feel free to comment or respond. Remember this a project of passion and FREE content. I know others troll the twitter account @303Gonzo for their paid subscriptions and articles. However many hours traveling to fields, watching film and talking to athletes went into evaluating and ranking.

See you on the fields.

Game on 5A Colorado matchups

Rankings, wild card points, RPI will not matter this weekend as it is win or go home in the final 16. However these teams got in and now all is in the rearview mirror and time to move forward. For the most part the home teams (in Bold) are the odds on favorites to win. But statistics and win/loss records mean absolutely zero the next 4 weeks. It is the coaches and athletes doing what they can to prepare and pursue to become state champions. As always you can bookmark and view all the classification brackets here In 5A Colorado these are the matchups.
Mascot photo for Pomona high school.Pomona (9-1) versusMascot photo for Bear Creek high school.
Bear Creek
  • North Area Athletic Complex Friday 11/11/16 @7:00p

    Pomona is favored to meet Columbine in round two. Bear Creek would have to be a cinderella team to move forward. BC has an uphill battle as they sneaked its way into the playoffs due to a heavy regular season strength of schedule.

Mascot photo for Highlands Ranch high school.Highlands Ranch (7-3, 4-0 Home) versus 
Columbine (Mascot photo for Columbine high school.8-2)
  • Shea Stadium Friday 11/11/16 @

Columbine is favored to meet Pomona in round two. The Falcons are at home and will build on this playoff game. HR faced and lost to Valor in league play. They are young and hungry and may surprise the Rebels if Columbine is looking ahead to Pomona and avenge last years one point loss to advance to State and face Valor, the defending champions.
Mascot photo for Regis Jesuit high school.Mascot photo for Fairview high school.Regis Jesuit (9-1) versus
Fairview (8-2)
  • Regis Jesuit Friday  @ 7:00p
Regis only lost to JK Mullen 17-0 in Non conference play and Fairview had a massive 23-0 halftime lead in conference play to the Mustangs only to loose 37-30. So this might be a game of interest. Two teams that have a lot to prove and have similar offenses. The Raiders have a stellar defense but the Knights have a potent offense. This could be a basketball score shootout.
Mascot photo for Eaglecrest high school.Eaglecrest(10-0) versus Mascot photo for Chaparral high school.
Chaparral (7-3)
  • Legacy Stadium Friday 11/11/16 @ 7:00p

Eaglecrest is the 10-0 team no one gave respect to during the 2016 season even after a 36-29 victory over Grandview. Also they were the bubble team in last years playoff due to a few forfeits by HRHS that catapulted another team in what they thought was their spot. However, all they do is win so perhaps they can continue to do so in the next 4 weeks. Chaparral has been that team that has been sporadic and needs to put 4 quarters of football together to compete. Moments of brilliance all season but a reality check in conference play versus Pomona may have them digging in deep to win one week at a time.

One of the above 8 teams will face one of the below 8 for state in December at Mile High Stadium.

  •  @ Valor Friday 11/11/16 @ 7:00p

Valor is the heavy favorite to repeat as state champions as they arguably played the best Non Conference schedule that included 2 out of state teams. It provided them with the #1 RPI but they take on a hungry CT that surprised the Eagles in the 2012 state game. CT almost won in 2012 despite a few controversial referee calls. Final was 9-0 Valor.

Mascot photo for Grandview high school.Grandview (9-1)Mascot photo for Legacy high school.
  •  Stutler Bowl Friday 11/11/16 @ 7:30p

A great match up as Grandview was shocked by Eaglecrest and suffered its only loss of the season 36-29. The Wolves have depth and were our preseason favorite. But a Valor 3 seed and not Regis makes it tough looking forward to round 2. Also note the game is at the Stutler Bowl and not Legacy, interesting! Legacy received a lot of attention after the bus crash when returning from an out of state contest. Legacy had a solid season. However, if you look to the Regis game they ran out of gas in the second half. So 4 quarters is a must for both teams as round 2 is going to test both squads.

  •  @ Stutler Bowl Friday 11/11/16 @ 4:00p

A lot of questions here as both squads had unique schedules and some say not battle tested. Its a Centennial versus Jeffco match up so we shall see. The Bruins lost to Valor 42-26 and Regis 19-7 and RV to Pomona 28-7 and Eaglecrest 38-21 so past performances say it will be a long path to State. Then again it is the playoffs and time to step up so anything is possible if you believe.

Mascot photo for Mullen high school.Mullen Mustangs (8-2)Mascot photo for Fountain-Fort Carson high school. Fountain-Fort Carson (3-7)
  • Game Details @ MullenFriday 11/11/16 @ 7:00p

The team everyone has been talking about for a few years is Mullen. Several Seniors that helped rebuild a depleted program 5 years ago. Many athletes played as freshmen and several as sophomores so this team has leadership and experience. FFC has a former college coach and sneaked into the playoffs this year via RPI. FFC has a lot to prove as they suffered a recent loss to Valor 45-0 and earlier to Pomona 42-0. The Mustangs only lost in state to Pomona in a tight game 28-21 and  49-33 to out of state Orange Lutheran nationally ranked 139th. Mullen arguably had the toughest in-state schedule as no one wanted to play them. Now teams will be forced to in the playoffs. The Mustangs have had some injuries that hampered them all season so look for them to play some younger talents Friday. Note 4 year starting QB Jovan Tafoya will play in his first playoff game. Tafoya was injured last year but remains a leader of the team in addition to his astronomical GPA and AP class schedule.

Game on and Best Wishes to playoff teams!

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