Sailors set for home opener
Last year doesn’t mean anything.
That was among the message broadcasting Wednesday from the Steamboat Springs High School football team’s practice.
It was rooted in the team’s looming game against Summit, the 7 p.m. Friday home opener for the Sailors, who are off to an 0-1 start.
A year ago Steamboat walloped the Tigers big — 38-0. It was the first time the Sailors had shut out an opponent since 2012, but not a huge surprise coming against a program that hadn’t won more than two games per season in five years.
Summit opened its season with a gritty win last week, however, knocking off Salida 33-21. Steamboat, meanwhile, lost to another team it beat last year, Battle Mountain.
Now, coach Lonn Clementson said, is not the time for his team to get caught up thinking about that shutout.
Steamboat’s struggles in Friday’s 24-7 loss at Battle Mountain were centered on offense.
The one touchdown came from a long defensive fumble return. Clementson said the team moved the ball in spurts but never could add those spurts up to a scoring drive.
Quarterback Nate Roach completed some nice balls but finished 12 for 30 passing for 100 yards.
That was warp speed compared to the team’s pace rushing, where it had 10 yards on 14 carries.
The thing is, Clementson said, that’s all fixable and despite those first-game struggles, he’s bullish on his offense.
“We were able to move the ball intermittently, but we had a lot of things we needed to work on on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Offense always takes longer to gel. I’m very happy with where we’re going with our offense, and where we’re going with our team.”
Summit will prove a test.
The Tigers scored in all phases against Salida. They had a rushing touchdown from senior Adolfo Vasquez, who led the team with 86 yards on the ground and averaged more than 10 yards per carry.
They had another passing, from the arm of junior quarterback Jake Gillum, who threw just three times.
Finally, they had three touchdowns on defense, two fumble returns and an interception return.
“They’re a totally different team,” Clementson said. “They looked salty, really good, so we know we have our hands full. Anything that’s happened in years past is over. We have to earn anything we want this season.”
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Construction on Sleeping Giant School has moved mostly inside as the roughly 100-person crew continues the push to complete the building by the end of summer.