HEADING INTO WEEK 3: 4A

The 4A classification has to be one of the best for weekly Football!
It’s week 3 and here is how we see the polls shake up in 4A:

 

 

 

  1. Ponderosa
  2. Pine Creek
  3. Pueblo South
  4. Chatfield
  5. Fruita Monument
  6. Loveland
  7. Broomfield
  8. Windsor
  9. Monarch
  10. Rampart/Pueblo West (TIE)

Pueblo South (2-0) at Pueblo West (2-0) Game to watch

Heading into week 3: 5A

Pomona played Fountain-Fort Carson and won and will remain #1! Valor traveled and won a close  game to a very talented out of state team and remains #2. In 2 weeks they match up and the debate will be over of whom shall be a definitive #1. However, both must win in week 3 for a story made for TV.  Highlands Ranch was on a bye and because of their opponent in week 4, a talented Regis squad whom squandered a 13 point lead with 62 seconds in the game had the tie breaker for 4. HR has Chaparral and Regis in the next two weeks and will need to post some impressive victories as the rest of 5A kicks into gear during the 5 game pre season period over the next 3 weeks.

Mullen just got beat from #1 and #2 and deserves to be in the discussion of top 5 as they had a last 62 second victory over Regis Jesuit. Separation will occur in week 3 as Grandview hosts Eaglecrest. Meanwhile in week 4 and 5 Creek plays Grandview and Valor.  When the real season begins in week 6 Fairview and Columbine play and both teams play JK Mullen so the test will need to be passed as all 3 are front runners for the conference and the final 5 games count in the modern day RPI world. Lost in all the shuffle is a 3-0 Poudre and Fairview 2-0 that need to win in order to qualify for the dreaded RPI post game 10.

Heading into week 3

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

Spotlight Player: Zach Canales #52 Regis Jesuit Raiders

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AURORA, CO

The JK Mullen Mustangs (0-2) versus the Regis Jesuit Raiders (1-0) is a matchup that the players all know what is on the line this week, Friday September 8, 2017 or week 2 in Colorado. Some might say bragging rights in the parochial school arena but others know its a must win to remain Top 10 in 5A football and one victory closer to the goal of a state title run.

A win on Friday night means their goal to the post season just gets stronger for the Raiders and perhaps a little more respect. Meanwhile the Mustangs, featuring 3 division one commitments, is going for win number one of the season after loosing to Pomona and Valor which either are arguably the #1 ranked 5A football teams in 2017. (See POST WEEK 1 5A POLL SEPTEMBER 2, 2017)

Our Spotlight athlete is Regis Jesuits Zach Canales #52 of RJ vs wk 2 Mullen

http://zachcanales.com/

“We are looked down upon but we will go out and earn the respect we deserve. As a team we are going to maximize our strengths of our team as we play guys 2-ways. They have some big guys up front but I think we are going to be good winning up front. We are going to have to make some key plays in the game. In big games like this its going to be some key plays. As long as we do our job we can beat any team as long as we don’t beat ourselves. So winning STATE is possible,” said Zach Canales, REGIS JESUIT Senior Center, long snapper and LB.

Canales will have his hands full with JK Mullen and NG Aidan Ikaika Keanaaina #76 Friday night. However this is nothing new as last week Canales battled  #99 from Creek and last year a division one player in Malcom Williams.

Williams is a verbal commit to the University of South Carolina. Canales battled this athlete and proved his wealth on a national stage. Also stock in Canales began as regional coaches were attracted to Zach and his high level of football IQ and ability to compete with the best. Heavy interest in Zach landed him visits to TCU, Boise State, Air Force and CSU. CSU has requested he attend their game this Saturday but is contingent on the ACT college boards exam that has many students occupying their Saturday schedule. When asked about his size Canales said, “I might not have the D1 line attributes but maybe fullback or linebacker is where the coaches are projecting me. Wherever they want me to play I will find a contribution to the team.”


Canales also mentioned, “Our season started with Creek week and we started off a little slow. We made some changes and started working as a team. We got a little nervous towards the end of the Creek game but knew we could drive it down the field. Creek is a big rival but so is Mullen and we lost to them last year 17-0. It was nice to get the victory in week one but now its just going to propel us to watch a lot of film and pay attention to how they run their schemes. We are just going to have to execute our plays. Mullen is a really good team but we will be ready Friday.” 
Mullen at Regis 7pm Friday is going to be a tough matchup. However, Canales says” whoever has the drive and conditioned all summer will be the team that wins.”
On Friday night #52 will center the offense for the Regis Raiders. Meanwhile take a lot at his film and see how he plays BIG!

Canales mentioned growing up with players on Eaglecrest and a team to watch but said, “Highlands Ranch is a sleeper team.” Regis will get a crack at HRHS in week 4. As far as completing his senior season Canales said, “One team I always wish we played was Valor. It would be nice to see how we match up and would compete. We have faced all the other top teams. Regis seems to have a well rounded roster and players will will be keeping eyes on but on Friday the center of attention will be the man that touches the ball on every offensive possession, #52 Zachary Canales.

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R+P+I=BS

Athletes, coaches and parents are either feeling happy or sad heading into week 2 football games. The happy folks are 2-0 if playing zero week or 1-0 after week one. Meanwhile there are sad faces on the 0-1 and 0-2 teams but wait, winning does not matter in the mandated world of RPI.

• Football is using the following formula for the fall 2017 season:
RPI = (0.375 × WP) + (0.375 × OWP) + (0.25 × OOWP)

Yes coaches no longer have to teach winning football.

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Your Source for HS FB

The 2016 season taught us wins do not need to transpire as long as your opponents win and their opponents win. Obviously the goal is to be undefeated for the season but anyone who suffered a loss now has to root for the teams you lost to and hope your team runs the table in conference play to go undefeated and claim a playoff berth. Conceivably a team can loose the first 5 to be 0-5 and then win the final conference games to be 5-0 down the stretch to be 5-5 and gain a playoff berth. In essence the first 5 games of the season are exhibition games for weeks 6-10 and preparation for the playoffs. So a prosperous season might end up 8-5 with a state title. Savvy coaching staffs were aware in 2015 and loaded up their schedule to face heavy weights and out of state games that manipulate the RPI in their favor. The unfortunate issue is the teams now on alert could not change their 2 year cycle and will repeat the 2016 season of opponents unless they played out of state teams and were able to gain traction. We talked about the evils of RPI on the day the final numbers were released and re-released due to errors in calculations and once again will be dealing with it in 2017.  

So in the flapdoodle world of RPI just support your athletes, hope for some wins and have FUN! The inanity of RPI will drive you crazy week to week. The RPI standings will be published for the first time on September 19, 2017 and updated once per week. If you are a casual fan check back in week 6 and hope you team goes 5-0 down the stretch in what we deem, ” last chance football in the RPI era.”

Stay Tuned; www.cofridaynightlights.com

See you on the fields. www.cofridaynightlights.com 

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3A: heading into week 2 poll

Lots of movement and change heading into week two. Competitive football is what 3A is all about. PR showed they are legit! Meanwhile HF is 2-0 as is Durango. Seeing lots of improvement at this level and as weeks go on the talent levels will increase making it harder to rank each squad but we will.

  1. Palmer Ridge
  2. Longmont
  3. Holy Family
  4. Pueblo East
  5. Fort Morgan
  6. Mead
  7. Silver Creek
  8. Erie
  9. Berthoud
  10. Discovery Canyon/Durango (TIE)

4A: heading into week 2 poll

It’s week 2 and here is how we see the polls shake up in 4A:

  1. Ponderosa
  2. Pine Creek
  3. Pueblo South
  4. Chatfield
  5. Broomfield
  6. Loveland
  7. Windsor
  8. Monarch
  9. Fruita Monument
  10. Rampart
    The 4A classification has to be one of the best for weekly Football! Each week we have competitive games and in non conference play the 4A teams schedule 5A teams and well beat them in some instances. Boulder over Denver South was a shocker to some but lets face it a coaching change hurts many teams and their ability to continue traditions. Pueblo South continues to rise but  Fruita Monument is impressing me the most after a nail bitter in zero week. Defense seems to be the key in 4A. We will know more post week 2 how offenses challenge the opposition now that games are in full swing statewide and film is available to scheme. Some great match ups on the horizon.

Post Week 1 5A Poll September 2, 2017

Week 1 football started on Thursday August 31 and many played meaningful games on Friday September 1st. Pomona had the week off and will remain #1 in the @303Gonzo poll. Meanwhile Valor took advantage of penalties on Mullen to roll and we saw a talented athletes in Luke McCaffrey and Noah Kuzma again in week 1. HR continues to put up numbers from a roster that has lots of talents to gain victory #2. Then the biggest mover is Regis who has injuries on offense that seemed to get healthy but the defense and running game seemed to be the difference on Friday night. Columbine took care of business to get win number 2 while Grandview struggled Thursday but did get victory. Creek struggled and EC won but the surprise was Poudre. The team from the North has impressed and JT Erickson seems to have the team believing and winning as they are 2-0. A tie for 10 as 3 teams won games, 2 close and one by a basketball score but Mullen just got beat from #1 and #2 and deserves to be in the discussion. Separation will occur in week 2 as RJ hosts Mullen, Doherty plays Creek, Grandview at Legacy and Pomona plays Fountain-Fort Carson. 
Heading into week 2

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

Beyond the roster

It’s a whole new ball game! The next two-year RPI cycle of 2018-20 could decide the fate of football in Colorado. The newest commissioner, Rhonda Blanford-Green, will have to change the climate and renew positive feelings to long standing programs suffering in older neighborhoods. We will see how well connected she is to the community and Aurora Central High School where she graduated in 1981. In 36 years the landscape of Colorado has changed dramatically and the preponderance of private schools that take a toll on local area attendance numbers. While the suburbs have added schools based on growth, unfortunately it did not anticipate a slow down in participation in sports because of the private sectors namely club sports and outside trainers moving away from playing for a letter jacket. The goal has turned into playing for State Titles and paying to play. Lost in the shuffle is playing for school colors and pride. Everyone wants the ring and the glory plus an opportunity to play next level. In most instances the playing field is not equal as the resources financially and available manpower is greater at some schools. In the past it has been booster clubs, alumni or donations that helped keep programs afloat. Now the harsh reality will be retaining athletes to participate in sports that has become a full time job that includes training outside the school.

Some of the issues could be resolved by offering school credits for participating in sports, say 5 credits per semester since many underclassmen go 5 days a week plus a Saturday game. PE credits could be exhausted or elective credits towards graduation. Some school districts allow it for working a job and well lets face it, athletics is a job if you want a winning program. The process is something we discussed in the past and needs to be implemented in many local schools. However, the first hurdle moving into 2018 will be the adjustment to classifications and possible realignment without worries of enrollment numbers. It seems retarded that a school can play up but not down. In an age where it is documented a group of schools continue to dominate the metro area we somehow continue to punish schools without resources in addition to athletes.

The argument about recruiting athletes is a sore one but needs to be addressed by simply inverting non conference game to back end schedules. If some athletic directors under the direction of their coaches want to play the game then lets manipulate the schedule to benefit the less fortunate. Zero week through week 5 can be the conference games that hopefully have rival teams attached so fans will attend in warmer weather.  After all who really wants to freeze their ass of in late September or November when the home school has a loosing record and its cold outside. Conversely, the Evil and crappy RPI could have a winning team out because of some lame algorithm. (Last season a 9-1 and 8-2 team did not qualify and a 3-7 made the playoffs in addition to several other mishaps) Plus school spirit is high when it is a new year in August and homework is less pressing on a Thursday night. Especially since we can not seem to get more Friday nights scheduled and God forbid we talk about a 1pm Saturday game that only parents attend. So in essence we have most likely eliminated 2/3rds of the revenue from Friday nights and school spirit that build school pride because of #RPI and lack of coaching winning football that should mean something. Not some arbitrary computer calculation that needs board members to reconcile because of errors in data that are not openly shared with the community and athletes in its entirety. 

In addition move up the football season to July 31st or the last Monday of July to get the necessary practice or participation time in for the school year without interfering with the actual school session. Getting an adequate amount of guys to practice every day has proven difficult. The 9-practice minimum is difficult prior to zero week or even week one as parents try to juggle vacations and holidays and time with their children. Speaking of holidays, how nice would it be to end the season the week prior to Thanksgiving? Yes being able to share moments with family on a 4-9 day holiday week for many and the ability to transition into winter sports. The grandparents probably would kick in a few bucks for those hideous plastic cards everyone seems to be selling these days to see them during the traditional turkey festivities. Figuring out a solution should not be that difficult if more research was done at a rapid pace. The decline in football is because many schools have gone to a 2 tier system and do not develop the younger teams. A better approach might be to host 4pm Freshmen games prior to Varsity 6 or 7pm Friday night games. Buses can be used to shuttle kids back and forth or parents could stay to see what the future might be like if they stick it out all 4 years. Plus the concessions stands might actually be busy and help fundraise to build the future programs. The biggest advantage might be NO Saturday commitment so kids can recover from a long week and parents could spend quality family time together or attend an event not related to athletics. Football in many communities is the big draw but the organization currently ruling the roost might have sold out to the media to bring in revenue. All 7 classifications do not gain equal exposure or are featured on over the air television or radio broadcasts. Plus the All Colorado Selections are somewhat biased because a panel does not openly discuss lower levels and coaches often do not advocate for their players. The collaboration process needs to be widened otherwise athletes will continue to say, “The process is so political and unless my family puts a banner in centerfield or advertises in the program. I will have no shot. Now it’s about all these former athletes kids or some trainer hyping kids. I liked it when pure skill dominated!”

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Gotta love it when kids are brutally honest! For now it goes Beyond the roster. Perceived attitudes need new direction and change is good. We can only hope a better foundation will be built for Colorado sports and its athletes. Football has seen its troubles and the time is now to improve with a new chief in charge.

Our goal to provide engaging content in Colorado, from the individual to the team level, for high school sports fans. Football will enable us to deliver more value to individual schools as this is the largest fan base and crosses over to other sports after the fall season. We hope you enjoy the content as we try to keep it interesting and NON corporate and FREE.

Zero week bumps and bruises & Updated polls

The Colorado high school season kicked off Thursday night in Florida as 4A Chatfield played a solid game but came up short to Braden River 49-32. An impressive way to start off the season and one of 10 teams in 4A to play games this weekend. The team most impressive was Pueblo South whom continues to play well in Denver. PS was a top team during the Broncos 7 on 7.  As we shuffle the deck and head into week one here is how we see the polls shake up:

  1. Ponderosa
  2. Dakota Ridge
  3. Pine Creek
  4. Windsor
  5. Heritage
  6. Pueblo South
  7. Chatfield
  8. Vista Ridge
  9. Broomfield
  10. Loveland

9 teams played in 5A and Poudre has the distinction of having the best defense as they gave up 6 points on paper. However, Highlands Ranch pitched a shutout and the points scored were on a pick 6 by #6 Jarrell Trahan thrown by a talented freshmen QB Jake Rubley. HR also scored the most points of 53 outpacing the 52 Pomona scored shocking 5A foe Mullen 52-32. While the storyline was if Max Borghi would play the answer is NO his replacement Junior wrestler #26 Theorius Robison impressed and help Pomona roll to victory. A scary moment happened late in the Valor game as QB Blake Stenstrom went down on the carpet which appears to be a concussion but NO official word yet. Many scrimmages took place during zero week and lets hope some teams fine tune for week one. Most notable was Horizon and Grandview playing to zeros. So heading into week one some teams need to focus on the little things and play mistake free football.

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

In 3A 8 teams played. Roosevelt was most impressive but the 3-0 OT win by Durango might have been the best defensive match up. In the end we are sticking with our preseason top 10 that remains unchanged heading into week one.

  1. Palmer Ridge
  2. Longmont
  3. Pueblo East
  4. Holy Family
  5. Discovery Canyon
  6. Palisade
  7. Fort Morgan
  8. Mead
  9. Erie
  10. Berthoud

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 of the week #Zeroweek

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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 http://www.cofridaynightlights.com

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
45
Spread
11
Prediction
28-17

@303Gonzo