Steamboat football sets focus on ‘being the standard’ this season |

Steamboat football sets focus on ‘being the standard’ this season

Brady Grove, a junior on the Steamboat Springs football team, stiff arms an opponent during a game against Palisade in 2021. Grove and Sailor football begin the 2022 season on Friday, Aug. 26, against Coal Ridge.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Last year’s 6-4 Sailors football team posted the first winning season for Steamboat Springs since 2009.

The seniors in 2021 gave the team a brand new identity, and coach Jay Hamric said he wants that to continue into this season. 

Missing the playoffs by just one game last year, Hamric added that the Sailors hope to overcome that hump this year, and he thinks the team has the size and talent to get the job done this year.

“We feel like we’re poised in a great position to build off of last year’s success and to have another winning season,” Hamric said. “If all goes our way and we do the right things and keep on performing at a high quality, we’re hoping we can do something beyond October.”

The team is stocked with a large class of seniors nearing 20 players. Along with that comes a ton of newcomers who were formerly single-sport athletes or just had not played football in a long time.

With around 70 athletes in the program, Hamric said the numbers speak volumes about the direction the team wants to go. 

Each year, Hamric likes to have a common phrase for his athletes to rally behind. These sayings help encapsulate the season and show the players what they are fighting for.

“This year’s motto is ‘Be the standard.’ We’ve talked a lot before practices about what that really means and what is the standard,” Hamric said. “It’s just that high-quality integrity on the field and off the field and really defining who we really are and what we want to be in Steamboat football.”

For Hamric and his coaching staff, performing at a high level and making a playoff run is secondary to building a quality program full of integrity and mature young men. He said the coach staff believes high school football can be a driving force in the athletes’ lives, and the coaches are setting high expectations, especially for the five team captains. 

Hamric explained that the excitement for the new football season, both in team huddles and around the classroom, has been extraordinary.

Also, the Sailors’ success last year raised the energy level among the home crowd and helped fuel the team to victory. 

The home opener against Coal Ridge on Friday, Aug. 26, will be a white-out game to honor Sue White, a longtime supporter of Steamboat athletics who died Aug. 4 after a brief illness. 

“We wanted to honor her life and her commitment to Steamboat, so we’re hoping to see a lot of people, not just to watch us pull off a victory, but also to honor Sue,” Hamric said.

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