Ready or not, the Sailors prep for Zero Week contest
Steamboat Springs — It’s a privilege to be named a team captain, but the privilege comes with a lot of responsibility. Thankfully for the Steamboat Springs High School football team, the four seniors chosen as captains for the 2015 season are embracing their roles at the head of the ship.
“It’s definitely an honor. It feels really good to know that my teammates feel they can rely on me to lead them,” said senior linebacker/tight end Connor Frasier. “We are all excited to be captains, but we don’t want the attention to be on us. We want it to be on the team, because that’s where true power comes from.”
Frasier joins fellow seniors Joe DeLine, Jake Crouch and Scott Lang as captains this season. If there was any hesitancy about being leaders, none of them showed it during Wednesday’s practice at Gardner Field. Nor could they, with the season breathing down their necks.
“We are out here doing practice just like normal. We are going to be ready,” said Crouch, an offensive tackle and defensive end. “It’s the schedule. We really have no control over it. So we’ll do what we can to get ready, and we’ll go play a game when it comes around.”
Despite having only started practice Aug. 17, the Sailors will play their first game of the season on Friday as part of “Zero Week,” when they face Moffat County High School at 7 p.m. in Craig.
According to the captains, there isn’t a major drawback to playing this soon. Sure, an extra week of practice would be ideal, but considering Moffat County has had the same amount of practice, and both teams get mid-season bye weeks, there isn’t much to dread about playing football in August.
“We believe we are on an equal playing field. We haven’t had as much practice as we’d like to, but neither have they. No one has an advantage over each other,” Lang said.
“You start earlier, but it’s also nice, because you get back into football mode a bit earlier,” DeLine added.
Both Moffat County and SSHS are coming off 4-6 seasons, with Steamboat having won last year’s contest, 28-14. The Sailors have had three consecutive 4-6 seasons, in fact, but return a talented senior class that is hoping to get to .500, if not above.
“It’s going to be tough; we got a tough league. But the possibilities of being successful are certainly there,” said sixth-year head coach Lonn Clementson. “Really, anybody in the senior class needs to be looked at … any one of them can step up. The four captains are certainly leaders. We are looking forward to (senior quarterback) Zach Holm doing some great things throughout the season. We are in a good place.”
Following Friday’s game in Craig and their bye week, the Sailors will travel to Aspen on Sept. 11. Their home opener comes in game three, with Battle Mountain visiting Steamboat on Sept. 18, and Delta coming to town the week after.
From there, SSHS will travel to Grand Junction on Oct. 3, host Palisade on Oct. 9, visit Eagle Valley Oct. 16, host Rifle Oct. 23 and Summit County Oct. 30 for senior night, before wrapping up the regular season Nov. 6 at Glenwood Springs.
“I think everyone is looking forward to having the opportunity to take that extra step, get a .500 season, get a positive season,” Frasier said. “We are all looking forward to the opportunity to work hard and reap the benefits.”
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