Luke Graham: Thank God for high school football
At least I have Fridays.
After this weekend of sports, it’s taking everything in my body not to go Terrell Owens on a bottle of pain killers.
My CU Buffs just laid an egg against Baylor. Coming into the game, I thought the Buffs had a shot, but I should have realized saying “had a shot” and Baylor in the same sentence is never a good idea. Right now, it’s tougher to be a Buffs fan than a future hunting partner of Dick Cheney.
Then, my Buffalo Bills got beat like an egg by the Chicago Bears, prompting me to go home and watch the 1990 highlight tape just to see that Buffalo once had a slight resemblance of a football team. Man, do I miss Jim Kelly.
But, at last, there is a ray of hope, and it plays on some Friday nights here in Routt County.
The Steamboat Springs football team improved to 5-1 after a win against Delta, and Hayden improved to 6-0 after downing cross-county rival Soroco.
For Steamboat, it wasn’t the mere fact of the win against Delta that impressed me. I mean, Delta has been the doormat of the Western Slope for two straight seasons. No, it was the way in which the Sailors won. Admittedly, coach Aaron Finch and the Sailors didn’t play their best game. They turned the ball over five times, but still managed to find a way to win. The offense, which has only shown glimmers of what it can be, moved the ball effectively on the ground but struggled in the air. The passing game can and will be a factor. When I was in Laramie, Wyo., watching the Sailors play, the passing game looked dominant, leading to the guy from the Laramie paper asking what D-I school Sailor quarterback Tanner Stillwell was going to play at. Sooner or later, Steamboat’s going to put it all together. When they do, watch out.
In Hayden, I’m not sure if there is a better coach in the state than Shawn Baumgartner. The Tigers were hit hard by graduation last year, losing a good portion of their offensive line and their starting quarterback, who was conference player of the year and an All-State selection.
Apparently it didn’t matter.
With a line that averages 160 pounds, Baumgartner and the Tigers have found a way to get the job done. Two weeks ago against Dolores, it was almost laughable. The Tigers offensive line looked like toothpicks with pads on, compared to the Dolores line that had players all over 220 pounds. Still, the Tigers moved the ball on the ground, wearing down the Bigger Dolores team. With the league up for grabs against Grand Valley this Friday in Hayden, I absolutely recommend getting down to Hayden to watch the job Baumgartner and his staff have done. Besides, the Sailors play in Cortez – a 542 hour drive from Steamboat.
Normally, in a sports year like this, I’d hide the sharp objects and booze on the weekends. But thankfully, the Sailors and Tigers have made this sports season something to smile about.
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After 11 years, Moxie Home Consign and Design owner Michelle Caragol has decided it’s time to close the doors on her west Steamboat Springs business.