Our new coach is…

Everyone in Colorado is shaken up by the recent developments in namely 5A with the new 2 year cycle but moreover, the dragging of the feet for a new head coach. There have been some recent developments and most likely Monday we will know the next HC at one school while a few others have meetings behind closed doors. For many that know football insider @303Gonzo it was no surprise over a week ago that Matt Pees was a leading candidate at at least 2 5A programs and possibly more. Pees was set to interview this week but landed the ultimate gig, a job with the NFL Titans of Tennessee.

Local athletes rarely have an opportunity to be coached by a rising star that moves up the ladder and goes to the next level. Usually it is the polar opposite of a former next level moving down to coach. One thing for sure is local eyes will be on the Pees family as Matt will be working with his dad Dean in the family business of teaching youngsters to be more competitive, hard working and to love the game. The ultimate goal learned by Green Mountain students will be never stop reaching for the brass ring. Pees and company will be instilling the same core values of living life to the fullest with Mariota and the Titans.

So just like the NFL draft the football committees and administrators are having to cross off one more name off the big board. Option number one or even number two may no longer be available. Once again perhaps the approach of “NEW BLOOD” as stated by many retiring or resigning coaches should be followed. It is apparent both athletes, coaches and parents want change or a better fit. They want an unbiased and hard working head coach that assembles a staff that rolls up the sleeves to develop all levels and have success breed success. It all starts early when 8th graders are allowed to participate in OTAs on May first and continue to work hard each year bonding with teammates in an all for one, one for all mentality. The make up or attitude of a program is determined in the off season.

One thing for sure is the disposition of many will be questioned as more time passes before selecting a new head coach at many programs. The teams that will have success in 2018 have already had 3 months of OTAs. Based on a 10 game regular season this could be the difference of a 7-3 November record versus a 4-6 record with out the hard work, discipline and time in both the weight room and simple reviews of the football playbook. As Super Bowl Sunday comes and goes it usually signals the start of something for many programs. Usually a wake up call to take Zero hour, Breakfast club or Monday night football or even Wednesday night sessions more seriously. Both May 1st and August 6th are rapidly approaching so I understand the frustrations for those programs with out a leader or a direction. Complacency has put programs in there current status of seeking a new HC when it is clear from those that held the position state “NEW BLOOD” is the future. To stay competitive you need to breed a new culture, most likely a winning culture both on and off the field. Best wishes to the “NEW BLOOD” waiting to hear if your achievements merit a much needed appointment to leadership as a head coach.

For those tracking the coaching carousel, here is the latest:
* denotes moving to another local program

SCHOOL CLASS Former Current Hire
Arapahoe 5A Mike Campbell*
Castle View 5A Dustin Pfeiffer
Eaglecrest 5A Mike Schmitt Dustin Delaney
Highlands Ranch 5A David May (interim) John Trahan*
Mullen 5A Tom Thenell
Smoky Hill 5A John Trahan*
Valor Christian 5A Rod Sherman
Aurora Central 4A Jamarr Kerney Austin Able
Liberty 4A Marc Sites Erick Gossage
Thornton 4A Dorian Cagaanan Nick Trombetta*
Centaurus 3A Bob Carskie
Denver North 3A Nick Trombetta*
Evergreen 3A Rob Molholm
Falcon 3A Terry Poirier
Glenwood Springs 3A Rocky Whitworth
Green Mountain 3A Matt Pees (Took NFL Job)
Kennedy 3A Rich Martinez Scot Kinder
Northfield 3A Open Ahmad Lowe
Sand Creek 3A David Ramirez Ricky Lobato
Aspen 2A Karson Pike
Englewood 2A Jay Graves Mike Campbell*
Faith Christian 2A Ralph Nance Vince Siravo
Resurrection Christian 2A Mark Roggy
Riverdale Ridge 2A Open
Prospect Ridge 2A John Roberts Michael Storer
Ellicott 1A Donte’ Stewart
The Pinnacle 1A Marcus Dow
Sanford 8-man Rhett Larsen
Sangre de Cristo 8-man Emmanuel Nwabuonwu
Colorado Deaf & Blind 6-man Darrell Shular

 If you have been a long time follower you will know to attend all local college events for FREE and put your cleats on college campus events. The only paid ones are listed on the cofridaynightlights.com website and will be updated as information becomes available.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

It’s the HCs fault

It is week 5 of the 2018 New Year and 9 days away from the first day of NLI, National Letter of Intent also known as signing day that concludes April 1 for football. In years past the final days of January were extremely crucial to potential D1 prospects. However, in 2017 college coaches ratified the proposed early signing day that took place on December 20-22, 2017. In the past this was exclusively for mid season transfers and Junior college transfers. Nevertheless nearly 75% of the graduating 2018 class inked their names to agreements while the remaining 25% gave strong verbal commitments. So December was a big success for mostly athletes and parents as the stress level deescalated over the holidays and now the final days college coaches can ease their way into the final stretch knowing their future rostered players.

For many 2018 graduating athletes they knew their fates about this time last year. These athletes relied on their sophomore varsity video and academics to get them noticed by college recruiting coaches. For a vast majority these same athletes had a high school head coach or even an assistant coach that gave colleges a reason to come back and recruit their rising juniors. Asking for advice of head coaches has been an age long process. However, the modern day landscape includes tertiary parties sometimes referred to as club coaches, personal trainers or handlers. The later becoming more vocal against the high school head coaches who probably know the kids better than anyone who are not paid to pump sunshine and make D1 promises.

Just like coaches picking players as captains who understand and embrace the opportunity to be a team leader is important, so is selecting a high school head coach. As high schools host open houses this is the time to interview the coaching staffs. Over the course of 4 years these will be the folks that lead your son or daughter and make decisions on the court or field to benefit the team. It will be up to the individual to perform in the class room and on the practice surfaces to make an impact not the tertiary parties being paid to tell you It’s the HCs fault.

One of many programs that openly post and praise colleges for stopping by to evaluate their talents.

These are the coaching staffs that allow their athletes access to college programs. If you have the talent and grades most schools will take note and your high school coaching staff will advocate for you for free! The same can be said of the school councilors as they are often the contact for transcripts and course curriculum. Yes college and universities actually want to know you beyond the field. So the next time you enter the sunshine pump please ask, Why do you criticize my coach? Then mention their unfavorable negative judgment may be hurting me as It is NOT the HCs fault that I am away from our teams OTAs or routine events and they do not know me because I have been paying you to get me recruited and have been away from my team to bond properly. Now it is the 11th hour and I have no D1 offers as promised or the ability to make a commitment to further my post secondary education or next level play.  I am relying on the contacts my high school coach mentioned. Meanwhile my coaches warned me about putting team first instead of me, me, me! Now I know what he meant by be prepared and do the little things that lead to bigger things. Unfortunately I bought into It’s the HCs fault. So lesson learned and I hope others do not make the same mistake and enjoy time with friends or team mates during their 4 years rather than being sold some magic beans and empty promises.

In the end question everything. Especially all the  tertiary  parties trying to expose your bank accounts for some meaningless camp, all star game or hand timed combine event that does very little to help further your development. If you have been a long time follower you will know to attend all local college events for FREE and put your cleats on college campus events. The only paid ones are listed on the cofridaynightlights.com website and will be updated as information becomes available.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote PASSED
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

The Fix is in!?

Another week and another round of interviews for statewide head coaching jobs. However, are they really holding interviews? Some very high profile names have knocked on the 303 doors only to be told NOT to interview or apply. Many suggest this process is normal when an internal candidate wants the position. Perhaps the outgoing coaches knew this and were grooming assistants to take over as “NEW BLOOD” was a common theme in exit statements.

One interesting trend is having interview committees made up of students in addition to parents or faculty. The pressure to select the correct coach is bigger than ever as participation is declining in the only non cut sport in high school, football. Football often subsidies many other sports and is a must have for many programs. So when you see some names resurface you might wonder was The Fix is in?

Again we hear we need “NEW BLOOD” but is it really happening or just a facade to appear as if an interview search is occurring. I guess we will know come December for some high profile clubs and others that will exit the race in November.

Let us hope a true search is happening as some quality assistants deserve a fair handshake and opportunity to prove they deserve to wear the HC hat.

Academia over athletics

Perhaps it was the 80’s and the slogan too cool for school or maybe it was the parents born by baby boomers but somehow we are raising a culture that simply does not value education enough. This pattern may be traced to little league and the popular culture of select teams that bilk parents at a young age for dreams of playing professional sports. The focus in elementary and middle school should be a basic and fundamental way to organize homework and how to time manage studies. However, students are less concerned than they should be with academics at a young age. Parents are trophy hunting and spending endless hours and monies at tournaments because they have heard about scouts offering kids as early as 6th grade. What they fail to realize is the subscription based online content that reported the news  makes money, lots of money to receive or participate in their website. For a small monthly fee your son or daughter can be ranked or maybe be interviewed. The issue is no one really cares but other parents. Again something for parents to talk about when huddled around a late on the weekends at some arbitrary tournament awaiting college coaches to recruit their kids.

Americans until recently had an obsession with televised sports. In the past few years baseball and football games receive plenty of attention. Nowadays the market has taken a downturn in favor of X-games and other obscure sports that will attract impressive ratings to sell advertising. Just think of the Super Bowl in February and how it has become a social event rather than about the sport. Like the Oscars or Golden Globes people are hosting watch party events so they can interact with one another and talk about the commercials or red carpet wardrobes.  What most likely is lost is that report card on the refrigerator or the real trophy in most families homes. Yes the surge in club athletic participation has led to both a decline in high school team participation and graduation. Only 75% of Americans graduate from high school.

Given the modern American cultural environment, it is at least plausible that Americans prioritize athletics over education and in doing so hold themselves back academically. A trend being noticed by the NCAA that is focusing more on high school GPA versus college board exams ACT and SAT. The uptick from a minimum 2.0 to 2.3 has been a massive campaign. However, a student with a 2.8 or 2.9 is being more scrutinized than ever before. In years past an athlete could squeak into a post secondary education. Now more than ever before the college coaches are making comfortable annual salaries and can not afford to gamble on athletes that are not eligible. The risk is not worth a game of chance during the season. College coaches know that habits are hard to break so a high level student will exhibit more discipline and self-control in the classroom which in most instances translates on the court or field of play.

The focus should not be on one goal of athletics over academia. The college coaches that travel to numerous high schools might be kicking the tires on athletes but they un peel the onion during the evaluation period. At first glance it might be the “Eye Test” but eventually after watching game film highlights or a live game the focus will be on the athletes transcripts. Just like those fancy resumes that adorn stats and accolades the real stats are transcripts. Anyone who has submitted an online questionnaire knows that GPA, ACT, SAT and class rank are to be filled out for a statistical study. Obviously the IVY league schools focus on academia and a 3.55 or 3.80 might be the minimum requirement while several others might suggest a 3.30. Regardless of the minimums, it is highly suggested that a 3.0 probably is a must as competition for scholarships and financial aid is a main concern for most average Americans seeking post secondary educations.

As Americans move forward they are seeing a shift from spending thousands of dollars to travel the globe in little league for a dream offer or scholarship. They are now investing in education and private schools. Yes the private schools are offering faith based educations and a college preparatory path. Many aim to promote and maintain academic standards and in addition to sports its particular focus is graduating distinguished scholars that may become artists,  scientists, mathematicians and yes maybe an athlete or coach. Many of these schools are small in enrollment size of 850-900 compared to public school that are North of 2K or even 3K. So high school is like selecting a college, one can choose the large state school or one that is more concentrated on with smaller classrooms to be focused rather than massive and general in teachings.

In conclusion do not be surprised to see a few area high schools move away from the emphasis of athletics. The trend is academia and back to the grassroots of what made these institutions successful. The gun for hire to excel in sports has turned into the the teachers that will put you in a path to succeed in life. An education lasts a lifetime while sports is more of a leisure activity and something to participate in for fun. Again it is not the amount of A’s in the sports league classification rather the numbers of A’s that should be on that report card hanging on the refrigerator. Make  the smart choices in high school so your future 60 years in life is easier to manage and prosper. Also choose friends wisely as success breeds success.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote PASSED
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

2018-19 Football done ?

The ratification of the football committee was as advertised, a rubber stamp formality in a take it and shove it attitude! Behind the scenes NOT everyone was happy or had an opportunity to change what had been decided last year. What is and has been alarming is that many schools do not want to play a handful of teams. In 4A Pine Creek is the Darth Vader while in 5A it is Mullen, Regis and Valor. Many wanted them in their own conference and perhaps add a few other Private schools to move into one classification. So when you exam the 5A conferences it shows how a Mullen wanted to be in the METRO EAST conference after no one wanted Regis in that spot that is absurd. RJ fits best geographically but will get another pass playing in the SOUTH conference that both Castleview and Valor should have been located thus giving way to Arapahoe to be in it geography as the only LPS program a few miles away from Douglas County namely Highlands Ranch schools.

Fairview Arvada West Regis
Horizon Columbine Chaparral
Legacy Lakewood Douglas County
Fossil Ridge Pomona Legend
Poudre Ralston Valley Fountain Fort Carson
Rocky Mountain Mullen Doherty
Valor Christian Cherokee Trail Denver East
Highlands Ranch Cherry Creek Smoky Hill
Mountain Vista Eaglecrest Rangeview
ThunderRidge Grandview Adams City
Rock Canyon Overland Far Northeast
Castle View Arapahoe Westminster
Mountain Range
Prairie View

So Arapahoe will be the only team West of I-25 in their assigned conference but most likely will benefit from RPI as many of the CCSD teams are arguably Top 15 while AHS is struggling and seeking a new head coach. The Warriors finished 3-7 in 2017 and 5-5 in 2016 after being in a layup league the previous two seasons. Meanwhile RJ will be in a competitive conference but honestly Castleview should have been in this league as they are miles away from DC a natural rival. Even Valor would have been a better fit. Mullen is about the only private school that benefited by being in its usual Jeffco division and most likely the best conference headed into 2018. Arapahoe is the anomaly but perhaps a new staff will motivate a talented group of 2019 graduates. Regardless of what happens in non coference RPI will favor teams 12-24 as the next two year cycle added 8 more teams. Yes its a 24 team playoff format in the Juice box 5A league. So basically anyone can get in from the group of 30 while the conference of 10 most likely will have the conference winner unless the algorithm of RPI suggests a second team deserves a shot at the title.
About the only positive is Colorado will follow the national date of August 6th as day one of official practice and the season will start week 1 of 11 weeks August 23-25, 2018. Each team will have a bye week during the 11 week stretch. In addition the top 8 playoff teams will have a round 1 bye as the other 16 teams battle it out for a round 2 contest. Time will tell if RPI will be adjusted but it is clear that 5 or maybe 8 teams will run the table in the next two year cycle in 5A.
Here is a look at the final conferences statewide:

Briggsdale Arickaree/Woodlin Colorado D&B
Fleming Flagler/Hi Plains Deer Trail
North Park Idalia Edison
Peetz Otis Genoa Hugo
Prairie Stratton/Liberty Hanover
Weldon Valley
Cheraw Aguilar Antonito
Cheyenne Wells Branson/Kim Cotopaxi
Eads La Veta Cripple Creek
Granada Manzanola Mountain Valley
Kit Carson Primero Sierra Grande
Fowler Akron Del Norte
Holly Byers Dove Creek
Las Animas Caliche Mancos
McClave Dayspring Christian Norwood
Springfield Haxtun Sanford
Hoehne Merino Sangre De Cristo
Wiley Sedgwick County Sargent
Calhan Gilpin County Belleview Christian
Custer County Hayden Elbert
Pikes Peak Christian Plateau Valley Front Range Christian
Kiowa Rangely Justice
Simla Soroco Rocky Mountain Lutheran
Swink West Grand South Park
Miami Yoder Vail Christian
Dolores Huerta – Independent
Holyoke Jefferson Crowley County
Wray Sheridan Rocky Ford
Yuma Platte Canyon Peyton
Burlington Clear Creek Ellicott
Wiggins Manual John Mall
Limon Lake County Trinidad
Olathe Dolores Florence
Paonia Ignacio Buena Vista
Hotchkiss Center Colorado Springs Christian
Cedaredge Monte Vista St Mary’s
Grand Valley Centauri Rye
Cornerstone Christian
Estes Park
Weld Central Academy Arvada
Fort Lupton Eaton Bennett
Valley Prospect Ridge D’Evelyn
Sterling Resurrection Christian Faith Christian
Brush University Middle Park
Platte Valley Berthoud Denver West
Alameda Elizabeth Delta
Machebeuf Classical Academy Rifle
Kent Denver Manitou Springs Moffat County
Ridgeview Academy Lamar Coal Ridge
Englewood La Junta Aspen
Riverdale Ridge Woodland Park Basalt
Montezuma Cortez
Pagosa Springs
George Washington Mead Roosevelt
Evergreen Holy Family Erie
Conifer Frederick Fort Morgan
Kennedy Denver North Northridge
Lincoln Skyview Thompson Valley
Green Mountain Northfield Niwot
Discovery Canyon Mitchell Pueblo Centennial
Palmer Ridge Sand Creek Pueblo East
Lewis Palmer Falcon Pueblo South
Lutheran Harrison Pueblo County
Littleton Sierra Pueblo Central
Thomas Jefferson Canon City Durango
Battle Mountain
Eagle Valley
Glenwood Springs
Steamboat Springs
Windsor Monarch Dakota Ridge
Broomfield Loveland Wheat Ridge
Greeley West Silver Creek Golden
Longmont Skyline Chatfield
Mountain View Fort Collins Bear Creek
Brighton Greeley Central Grand Junction
Ponderosa Centaurus Pine Creek
Denver South Vista Peak Vista Ridge
Aurora Central Hinkley Mesa Ridge
Heritage Thornton Cheyenne Mountain
Gateway Standley Lake Palmer
Montrose Fruita Monument Grand Junction Central
Pueblo West
Air Academy

Therefore this is why in our way too early poll we had the rankings as follows:

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote PASSED
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

Highlands Ranch*New HC & Conference

Highlands Ranch* playing up to 5A arguably has put together one of the toughest schedules in 5A. As of today Thursday January 25th the 5A landscape has been changed for the next 2 year cycle. Dates have not been published but take a look of what should be finalized soon once zero week has been clarified. August 6, 2018 will be the first day of practice statewide and August 23-25 opening week of the regular season.
Highlands Ranch* with new head coach and staff members will have arguably the toughest schedule in 5A. Six of the 10 games are with playoff teams in the 16 team format. In 2018 and 2019 24 teams will make the playoffs in 5A.
NON Conference
Week 1 Eaglecrest*
Week 2 Grandview
Week 3 Regis
Week 4 Columbine
Week 5 Pomona
Valor Christian*
Mountain Vista
Rock Canyon
Castle View*
*New Head Coaches
A bye week will occur so basically it will be an 11 week season. However, the top 8 teams will have an additional bye week as the lower 16 teams will have a playoff in week 12 or round one of the post season. The infamous RPI is still under discussion but will again rely heavily on the opponents wins. So again you have to win your own games and hope the opponents win all of their games to have a better computer model algorithm.
Therefore this is why in our way too early poll we had the rankings as follows:

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote PASSED
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.


On November 4, 2017 I wrote “I GUARANTEE 7 VICTORIES*IN 2018!” and well that immediately caused a stir but who knew in addition to a few teams I cited that needed a new culture, both Mullen and Valor would be vacant. Also 2 top tier programs in Eaglecrest and Highlands Ranch would be replacing head coaches but they recently found their next head coach and are currently filling out staff members. In addition Arapahoe, Castleview and SmokyHill are all seeking new HCs. Meanwhile 5A is being revamped in the new proposal scheduled to be discussed and voted on this Thursday January 25th. More than half the coaches are not excited about this new alignment but none are willing to hang up the whistle over it but that might change as we gain more insight as to the 20 new coaches to be hired statewide. Many have hinted 5A is overrated and the lower classifications are attractive because of the hometown small school charm. Meanwhile OTAs is the off season as we deemed the process and they are not happening without the new coaches in place and players and parents are worried. The process is what needs to happen year round NOT mid August until the last week of October otherwise that is why November ends many teams seasons. So for every month that goes by that is potentially one less win based on a ten game schedule. Especially if the players did not participate in a winter sport and became unmotivated during a 3 month slowdown from football. Some might be awaiting the spring sports next month and once again complications trying to juggle a new coach with an existing spring coach to get some football work in and gain access to the 2018 team.

So many have sent an IM or DM asking, "Will we see you in a  HC uniform this season?"

Currently that answer is ambiguous as some phone interviews have transpired and some positions still remain open until months end. The main issue is I would change the culture BIG TIME! As I mentioned to one AD and will another this week, How about scheduling all our games on Saturday nights. This is 2 fold in my thinking process. The first being the ability to develop the lower levels by having JV play on Thursday at 4pm and Freshmen on Friday at 4pm and allowing all of them to participate in team meal Fridays and dress on Saturdays. Everyone would be able to recover on Sundays and work 4 hard days. The second is to allow parents to enjoy a Thursday or Friday off knowing they did not have to rush to games after work or compete with other events on Saturdays. Thus Saturday nights lights would be a nice way to end a busy week and keep the kids off the streets or head to a game with their coaches to scout other teams. YES Scout other teams as a team as that is how you get better. Some learn via film, others on the field and others in person. So Saturdays work!
Many parents continue to ask about recruiting and there is no easy solution other than to prepare over time and be the best product on the field. So if the @303Gonzo squad was the team of the week every Saturday it would allow everyone to view top talents that will be game ready to play next level on Saturdays. Yes we would focus heavily on the Varsity team and emulate the same process as colleges that play on Saturdays. So why not get these guys next level ready being coached and head into the playoffs on a FRIDAY night so that way college coaches that ofter watch games in November on Fridays because most colleges play on Saturdays and the coaches could watch our team. In addition this allows players to attend recruiting events that usually happen on Saturdays late in the season as we now have an early signing period in late December.
Thinking outside the box is a must for many programs hiring coaches especially at the 4A and 5A classifications. The lower levels are accustomed to playing on Saturdays. Old school coaches are habitual and that is why we are seeing a decline in participation. Repeated playbooks and the way things were done 5, 10 or 20 years ago does not work in this modern millennial generation. They have been raised on i-phones, i-pads, Apps and now drones. So the eye in the sky truly does not lie! Both Regis and Highlands Ranch use drones to film practices in football as does Monarch in Rugby. Something many programs should invest in as they are behind the times. Also there is some great software out there that help during the game that I have used or beta tested but it takes someone with a passion and desire to win to make sure these are being used properly. So while many programs will be handicapped, I still believe that 7 wins are obtainable but a hiring would have to happen by next Friday the 2nd for a February 5th Monday night football meeting and OTAs for 90 minutes to get to know the players.

Being a head coach will not be necessary because a few that I spoke with would welcome @303Gonzo because of the developmental aspect in the weight room, summer program and film work during the season not to mention a recruiting Colorado event that will be in its 6th year in 2018. All of this can happen if the price is right and it is a good fit! Shoot I might even be better off being a consultant for a handful of teams. You never know. So you can see why the answer is ambiguous as there is a lot to consider before adorning a hat and a headset on the sidelines trying to mold boys into men and create a winning culture in a incapacitated community.

So now it is up to the community to buy into the Gonzo Saturday night tailgate package as success breeds success! If you trust the process you will see a dramatic change from old school to new school and it is a one shot deal. If hired as a head coach it could be a one and done or an extension for 2019. By guaranteeing 7 VICTORIES in 2018 was a way to let administrators know I was not messing around. To underwrite the district wages was to put up collateral for what will benefit the community long term. Anyone would be a fool not to gamble up to $7K for less than one year of service as the season officially ends December 2nd, 2018. So the time is now as we are 9 days away from “I GUARANTEE 7 VICTORIES*IN 2018!

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week not called week one.

Coaches should be worried

The revolving door in Colorado for head football coaches was alarming when 18% of 5A football schools had a vacancy in recent days. The coaching carousel has not hit the numbers as in previous seasons but the urgency to fill them is on a slow pace. Many athletic directors are aware that the next hire will define their programs especially with a new 2 year cycle to be ratified on January 25, 2018. For the most part it is a rubber stamp but there are at least 5 schools that are vehemently heated about the conferences namely what has been deemed the “Developmental Conference.” There has been NO empathy from the other 30 schools not in the conference of ten only a sigh of relief they are not in it. Regardless of what happens this Thursday in the CHSAA meetings one thing for sure is Coaches should be worried!

Coaches will be more than ever scrutinized by everyone in the community. If you are a normal parent you are sending your children to the attendance school. However, the pressure at the middle school to play club sports is increasing while playing for your local team colors is dwindling. If your survey parents they are being brain washed to think club sports is more important for recruiting their children. Maybe even believe the hype of trainers to patronize their gym because they are more successful than your high school coaches resources. Perhaps there is a happy medium but currently it is one sided and the pay to be noticed continues while coaches struggle to build team bonding while athletes are at xyz camp or abc trainer because they are being filled with hype at the daily sunshine pump. The people filling are doing it for a reason, MONEY! Lots of MONEY! These are they same people working against the high school coaches and making comments like, “Your coach doesn’t know what it is like to play at a high level” or “You have to train with me to be D1 or you will get nowhere.” Everyone should question if these statements are true but also realize this is at minimum an annual $6,000 dollar question. On average in Colorado families are shelling out $6K to play a club sport or train with a guru. Ofcourse all financed at $495 a month for a 12 month period just like the scandalous gym memberships everyone complains about 2-3 months into the cycle. These sordid activities continue to happen daily as these entities have to make MONEY to pay the bills and earn an income. Meanwhile a top head coach statewide is lucky to make the maximum stipend of $7,000 for the season that pays for a season that is mid August until the first week in November. Roughly 14 weeks if you do not count the off season that has become extremely important in recent years as programs are suffering with participation numbers and games played during the season.

The easy way for parents that run the booster clubs is to do their homework and work with the ADs to make sure athletes are interested in the high school the students are attending. In addition know if the head coach and his staff are genuinely interested in being a part of the community which might include rolling up the sleeves during the 9 month off season. This might include adding a zero hour weight room, speed and agility or football elective class. However, it takes dedication to open that door to the classroom at 6am Monday through Saturday and prepare a plan for success. The days of rolling out the ball in PE or reading a newspaper in the back of the weight room class is over. The modern day players or athletes need more motivation and daily input that should be a free benefit from their high school. However, complacency has occurred and the smugness era is over! 

The reality is if a head coach does not do his job he will be replaced. If not by a club or trainer by the booster club via the AD or the administration namely the principal. Sports has become such a fabric of daily activities that it often molds who we are as a person or community. If you are in a small town or rural area you will see this first hand. It is unfortunate that Denver metropolitan does not do a better job in the media focussing on these such communities. Instead many outlets are selling their souls for advertising dollars and clicks. The investigative reporting is not being done. Instead relying on relationships or a paid advertiser to supply top positional athletes because they are part of their paying clientele that is paying the media outlet and authors bills rather his salary.

Yes do the research and un peel the onion. The readership or viewership audience is getting duped by dependents relying on financial support to validate their services. So now more than ever before Coaches should be worried. Worried for their jobs and perturbed that the chips are being stacked against you by a few challenging your efforts.

The media has a purpose when they do their job. However, in recent years they have relied on Social media and other influences to write or tell their stories. Social media has a benefit if used properly but in some instances more often than not, it is for chest thumping, hype and to bash your school coaches efforts. For many in this new generation it is about the sunshine pump and parents that are willing to pay for these promoted services. In reality the next level coaches DO NOT CARE!

"We don not care what is associated behind your name! It is about character or how you treat your parents when we visit you. It is how you interact with team mates and coaches." - College recruiting coach 1-20-2018

The above reference was when a player asked about how important post season awards were or being on some subscription based service that has a monthly fee. The following was how important it is to have a relationship with your high school administrators, coaches and counsellors.

What is important to us is seeing you in person and talking to your coaches NOT some 3rd person trainer. However, if you play club sports we will watch your film or tournament for athleticism but we know you pay to play so of course the trainers and coaches are going to build you up. That is their job and why you pay them. We might visit a gym on the way to a high school but it is not our primary focus just a courtesy to players in the same way they email us about games they will be playing. We still rely on you high school coaches, teachers and school counsellors. So you might want to save a few bucks and visit us on campus rather than pay some arbitrary service that promises you next level opportunities.

At the end of the day Coaches should be worried or at least threatened by outside entities that browbeat you on a daily basis. The sport of football is headed in the wrong direction but can be resuscitated. Collaborating with area teams will be a start. In time high school football might be a community sport similar to little league where zip codes determine the club not the high school. Yes 3 or 4 area teams might merge into one because of participation numbers and the threat of club sports. A Florida club named IMG has gained popularity and it will just be a matter of time before entrepreneurs figure out a way to make money funding club football statewide and nationally. They have had success with 7 on 7 so tackle football is on the horizon as long as 10 cities decide to field teams similar to IMG. The focus has shifted from leisure to professional.
Meanwhile in Colorado we await to hear the next head coach at traditional powerhouse teams like Mullen and Valor that are seeking a facelift. Athletics is important to their dichotomy but the emphasis on religious values and college preparatory education is a primary concern. The focus as the head into vetting their next selection or face of their football program has more importance than in the past. Again Coaches should be worried about their own in house issues and not so much on exterior. If you have your house in order Coaches should NOT be worried.
Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
August 6, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week not called week one.

You are live with Gonzo

In 2015 the radio airwaves were never the same from 10pm to midnight if you were addicted to high school football in Colorado!

For many years I feed local media outlets content without garnering credit but was pleased the kids got attention and their 15 seconds of fame.

So after the usual coffee shop talk and occasional round table discussions at a local eatery a mother sitting at an adjacent table said, “Y’all should do a radio show. We come here every week hoping to overhear your insights. It would be nice if we could interact with you. Even submit ideas for discussion.” Of course we were flattered and I said that takes a lot of time and effort to talk on air for 2 or 3 hours. Her response was, “maybe but we are so tired of hearing about the Denver Broncos and there is no coverage after our games and the subscription website is far from the truth.” So on that night the dynamics of “You are live with Gonzo” began as the next few days were pitching a radio show to local outlets which was a task. Had we been more forward thinking it would have been a podcast as it has become today. The FM guys liked the idea but said we would rather play our national feed after 9pm until 8am and probably still do plat the same boring and have the same low ratings.


But we were excited when an AM station got wind of our idea and within a few days in late June of covering 7 on 7 football the format wast pitched and the show would go live during zero week and be a smash hit for 4 weeks only to be thrust into the limelight and eventually move over to FM and an app. The show was well received and in our move to FM we were able to go live at a remote location and invite guests to appear and go on air.

The Friday night lights got a little better as Wingstop was the location from 9:30pm to midnight as we took center stage after games and our fans could join us. The beauty was not many places cater to the youth after 8pm and we were a hit as we went live recapping highlights of the games all of us covered on Thursday and Fridays. We even previewed Saturday games and fill time spouting out scores of all the action statewide so we could get the athletes in a seat to put them live on the air or juggle the phone lines to cue up the next series of topics and events. Fridays were about the kids and their accomplishments on the night. It was an opportunity for people attending one game to hear about3-4 on a Thursday night to 5 or 6 on a Friday night plus all the callers recanting their night of action. Again this show was about the kids and their families which is different than interviewing a coach. Yes we value coaches but it is often the excitement of the kids we captured and continue to do so on a regular basis. Our approach continues to be about the 11 on each side of the ball not just the skill positional players like many report on because they view online statistics and rarely attend games. So Fridays wold never be the same moving forward as technology propelled us to ditch the radio for podcasts and periscope. In the early goings a rival to periscope was limited to android and eventually gave way to periscope that was purchased by twitter. Twitter had been our best social media platform followed by facebook for parents to instant message and kids to DM.

The ability to be mobile allowed us to go LIVE seconds after games and capture the excitement and joys of players on the field. Also we were again blessed Wingstop chose to support the LIVE coverage and post game #POTG (Player Of The Game) award. Click to see the 2017 Live recaps of nightly recipients. Every week there was a new star born but also some familiar faces from seasons past. If you were a regular of the show you knew about #GWL THE (GonzoWatchList) a feature of players that shined more than once over a period of time and games. Also they may have been Freshmen or JV players we caught on Fridays or Saturdays prior to Varsity games. Yes we watched several Freshmen games at 4pm on Fridays prior to Varsity Friday night lights. Even a few 10am games on Saturday prior to 1pm Varsity games. So when we state “WE KNOW #copreps Football” it goes without saying we watch a lot of football.

In addition to viewing live games there were a handful on streaming outlets and broadcast TV. So just like a coach post game watching HUDL, Gonzo would watch a plethora of games to stay abreast of the night and the players that stood out. Therefore Knowing the landscape of football statewide is tough and you need good partners that do it for the correct reasons. So as we reflect on the last few years of success we want to Thank the many in our network that rolled up the sleeves to watch a handful of games all because they believed in helping kids and did it on their dime. No one was paid or uploaded content for clicks or sold memberships, subscriptions or anything to open your wallets. It was for the love of the game and Friday night addictions to good old Colorado high school football.

So when you see a rant on twitter or questioning of another article, list or game recap you will know its being argued by someone that knows his facts and not jaded to sell periodicals or training or online content. The passion and enthusiasm is to give people an honest and quality assessment and not play favoritism to a small group of athletes because they sponsor your content. That is unfair preferential treatment and why we do what we do. Again there are 7 classifications in Colorado and until there is more focus on statewide activities or players and not just a handful of teams  by other media outlets it would be safe to say we do our best with our collaborating team members to state, “WE KNOW #copreps Football!” We challenge others to collaborate to make the coverage better and not biased!


We are hoping to schedule or pre book dates for game of the week once the proposal in January is ratified and game schedules are released. The season is scheduled to do away with zero week in favor of 11 straight weeks with a bye. Until then all we can say is we will be hitting the fields Thursday, Friday and Saturday until the season concludes in December and Championship Saturday.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
August 6, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week not called week one.

Not enough A’s

Not enough A’s sounds ambiguous when you are talking with parents of athletes. On the collegiate level it most likely means your student did not obtain the necessary grades needed for admissions. Thus affecting your GPA and perhaps your college board exams if you were not a good student.

Conversely, Not enough A’s  is what naive parents say when jockeying their athletes to area high school programs. In Colorado the big dog classification is 5A. It should be noted all 7 classifications are based on enrollment and it it easy for a school to play up but a challenge to play down. With this all being said, 5A is not what it once was or currently is moving forward. The pinnacle of Colorado is said to have been 1990-1993 when the 6A classification existed and it was a powerful league that featured many DPS schools. These are some of the same schools in the upcoming proposal that are being forced into a developmental conference. So the landscape has changed as the state has expanded or sprawled outward and many more schools exist.

So when statements are made that I am not going to a 3A or 4A school because 5A is better is fairly false. The competition is not necessarily better or the coaching is at a higher level, it is just that these schools because of enrollment are forced to play in that classification. In my humble opinion the better weekly competition was at the lower levels and 5A has been overrated because the same teams are winning and in the process development at the lower levels have suffered tremendously statewide. So we have favored the winning teams and the few media that cover sports over sensationalize the winning programs to the point everyone thinks those are the best programs. So yes there are 4-5 teams in 5A that have numbers and depth and another 3-4 that have athletes if they reamain healthy can compete. However, it is the additional 30+ teams that have no shot unless they play like competition and eventually build a winning culture and retain attendance area kids. Thus when you have over 100 kids in your program it is tough to get the necessary game reps and you have to wait until your senior season to play. On the other hand at some schools that have 35 Varsity players it becomes much easier to get reps over the course of time because of limited participation. The later is true of many lower classifications. Rosters are thin meaning you get more playing time and in some instances are in a better position to succeed by playing iron man football by playing both ways.

Playing two ways is what is a must for many to survive and we have seen that recently in 5A. Defensive backs become wide receivers, linebackers to the offensive line and quarterbacks to safety. So when it is all said and done a college coach might pass on 5A knowing he can see a two way player and might be able to develop then at the next level versus a one dimensional guy at 5A. So again Not enough A’s is an argument many can have but I do know the lower level coaches have a lot of passion and desire to succeed. Some coaches feel handicapped when competing in the same attendance area  but more often than not they try a little harder than most 5A coaches. 5A has been spoiled by television and gate revenues that they can hire additional coaches or have the fancy tools like sideline video, drones or apps. Whereas, some are like me with a big chief tablet and crayons doing it old school. Not really but you get the jest. Everyone does something a little different so my advice to parents is to interview your coaches, teacher and school principal. If you like them you will enjoy the 4 year ride. After all the goal is to graduate high school to obtain a college education. Somewhere along the path we emphasized athletics rather than A’s in the classroom. So the next time you say or hear Not enough A’s it better be on that transcript and not the classification you are playing.

Also if you are tracking @303Gonzo on twitter you will notice a 3A QB just verbally committed to CU and was a national recruit. There are many other success stories. So do your homework and get after it in the classroom and in the weight room and go compete as nothing is given, its earned!

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
January 25, 2018 Football proposal vote
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April
August 6, 2018 proposed start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice