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Coach Ric Cash thanked the Mountain Vista players for their strong competitive effort in all the three of June 14 Broncos 7-on-7 tournament games they played at Denver All-City Stadium.
The schedule placed Mountain Vista in June 16 pool play with Pine Creek, Monte Vista and Silver Creek. The Golden Eagles lost a tough opening game battle to Pine Creek 34-28, bested Monte Vista 7-0 and lost to pool play winner Silver Creek 35-28 in a game that went to overtime
“We came here to grow as a team and we did that,” the coach told the players after the team's final game of the day. “We finished 1-2 but I believe we are good enough to have won all three games. The important thing is you competed hard and we grew as a team.”
The 7-on-7 event is an all-passing, touch football tournament involving backs, receivers and linebackers and defensive backs. The 7-on-7 games provide coaches an opportunity to work on passing offense with quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and with defense with linebackers, corner backs and safeties. A team earns seven points for a touchdown and three points for an interception.
About 100 team from 1A through 5A schools entered in the Bronco June 14-17 tournament. All 7-on-7 entries were divided into four-team pools for the round-robin play that took up the first three days of the competition. The 25 pool play winners then advanced to the June 17 single-elimination tournament held at the Denver Broncos training facility at Dove Valley to determine the tournament champion.
Cash took time after the tournament to talk about how the Mountain Vista football team is shaping up for the 2017 season.
“We definitely have some holes to fill as we graduated quite a few talented seniors, including four who are going on to play college football,” he said. “That type of loss leaves question marks in the spring and summer about how the young guys step up so we can fill those holes in our lineups. We know we have work to do but I believe the talent and the game plans are there we will need to be a very good football team.”
He said the Golden Eagles held their full-contact camp that concluded in the scrimmage with Fairview that proved to be an eye-opener.
“They have several good kids on the offensive line plus they have a bowling ball of a running back that is hard to bring down,” the coach said. “Overall the camp went well as we grew, learned and our players improved the skills, which are the reason we hold the camp and scrimmage.”
Cash said he had 120 athletes at the camp, which included a number of freshmen, and he expects he will have about 20 more join the team in the fall.
“Fortunately our numbers are remaining consistent. That isn't the case at all schools,” he said. “I think what is happening at other schools is parents' fears of injuries are keeping the 15 to 25 freshmen who have never played football before from coming out for the team. I think where we are doing a good job is retaining a higher number of freshmen out for football who stay with us for all four years.”
Senior leadership is important for the team, and the coach said he has several seniors including Joe Krysa who are expected to be team leaders.
“I am a defensive back,” the senior said. “I did play some running back before high school but switched to defense when I came to Mountain Vista. I like being a cornerback a lot. I guess part of playing cornerback is I like to hit people rather than having people hit me if I was a running back.”
He said he feels he is a better defensive back now than he was at this time last year thanks to what the coaching staff has helped him learn.
“The coaches help me learn stuff I didn't know about the last two seasons,” Krysa said. “I think I have made the biggest improvement at being better reading the plays the other team is running so I can be in position to make a play. I feel I also am better at reading the quarterback on the first and second receivers so I can play better pass defense. I have improved but I am still working to continue to get better in all the skills I need to be a good cornerback.”
He said he feels the Golden Eagles have the talent to be a good team this season and his goal for 2017 is to do all he can to help his team win football games.
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