Rams bullish as football season starts
Steamboat Springs — One of the moments that sold Dick Dudas came at a team football camp in Greeley at the University of Northern Colorado.
Dudas, head coach of the Soroco High School football team, lined up again and again against opponents in a drill late in the camp. The challenge was for the offense to score on one play from the 2-yard line.
Again and again, the Rams did just that.
Sometimes, it was sophomore running back Jace Logan powering through the middle. Other times it was senior quarterback Isaac Jonas sprinting around the outside.
“The guys were tired and hot, but we got on a roll,” Dudas said. “I was standing behind the offense, and I could hear the college coaches. One said, ‘Wow, these guys aren’t bad.’”
After getting through five of the nine teams at the camp, Soroco deployed in a spread formation for the first time and scored yet again, this time on a jet sweep.
“That same coach goes, ‘Nice play,’” Dudas said.
Dudas is ready to wholeheartedly endorse that coach’s peanut gallery opinions. He thinks his team has the chance to be pretty good.
Soroco kicks off its season Friday with a trip to play at 11 a.m. at Caliche.
The Rams lost to Caliche, then the defending state champs, last year, 30-16, although the team went on to a 3-6 season.
This year Soroco returns a trio of all-league honorable mention selections, including Jonas and Logan in the backfield and Schuyler Carlson on the offensive line.
Those three are a part of a group of 13 lettermen back this season. The team has 30 athletes out for football, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the boys in the school.
“This year, more than anything, we have depth,” Dudas said.
One big change for the team is its schedule.
Soroco’s been stranded with Hayden in a difficult division the last two years — one that required major travel to face league opponents, and one that left little options for out-of-league games.
That changed this year and now the Rams will square off against Hayden, of course, as well as Rangely, West Grand, Gilpin County and Plateau Valley.
That makes for a lot less travel, and, Dudas hopes, a shot at the division championship.
“I like what we’re doing right now, and I think a lot of the guys do too,” he said. “It should be a good year.”
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Jonathan “JC” Norling, who has been the interim leader at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs since September, has been named the permanent vice president and campus dean at the school.