Week 4 has some great match ups. In 3A Thursday we suggest RPI #10 Palmer Ridge (3-0) @ #11 Discovery Canyon (2-1).
PR has multiple athletes that rival all the hype in 5A and have been a top of our polls since preseason. They have a recipe for success down South. Time to recognize a few of their talents. A hidden gem is A. Roberson II a WR who is making some noise. However, the linemen at PR get the job done. PR a team to watch!
#17 ThunderRidge (1-2)@ #11 Rock Canyon (3-0) in what was part of the series for the battle of Highlands Ranch but ended last year as #3 HRHS is not on either teams schedule. TR beat Mountain Vista last week and we featured a Player of The Game. RC will end the regular season versus MV and perhaps if we are lucky in post season we might see one of these teams match up with #3 HRHS. RC has some big dudes up front and both have solid RBs. This should be entertaining in 5A on a Thursday.
In 4A take your pick on a Thursday;
#2 Fruita Monument (4-0) @ #31 Grand Junction Central (1-2)
#6 Windsor (2-1) @ #14 Greeley West (2-1)
#13 Loveland (3-0) @ #11 Fort Collins (2-1)
Friday is a night to set your DVR as a host of games will be on TV and streaming live. ESPNU will have
#15 JK Mullen (2-2) @ Bothell WA (2-1)
Meanwhile #1 Eaglecrest takes on #19 Cherokee Trail in what could be the best game in 5A on Friday night after all the hype on a few other games. However, Rivalry games still are on the schedule and a 5A vs 4A #21 Chatfield (2-1) and #9 Columbine (3-0) has the neighborhood buzzing. We like #3 Skyview (Thornton, CO) vs. #19 Thomas Jefferson both 3-0 in 3A!
Remember the rankings are all RPI this week not coaches polls.
Saturday is the big daddy and our game of the week! #3 Highlands Ranch (3-0) versus #18 Regis Jesuit (2-1). Granted several A6-2A games are being played and @303Gonzo will attend several.
#3 Highlands Ranch (3-0) has a new coach and an undefeated season on the line and will be tested by #18 Regis Jesuit (2-1). Saturday night at 6pm the temperatures will drop and the pigskin may be a little elusive if 30 degree weather holds true. Both teams have talented RBs so we may see some ground and pound and not the basketball on turf that may have occurred in better conditions. RJ has everything to play for to knock off the #3 RPI team as the loss from JK Mullen still stings. Meanwhile #3 Highlands Ranch will take this game in stride as they have a tough road ahead in arguably the toughest conference this season in Mt.Lincoln.
Highlands Ranch 3-0
Valor Christian 3-0
Fountain-Fort Carson 1-2
Last season it was Mt.Cameron. Eyes will be on Chaparral vs.Legend at 1pm but The Game of The Week is in PRIMETIME Saturday, Sep 23 at 6:00 PM
Please patronize our fine friends at Wingstop at the following locations where you can catch @303Gonzo talking prep football.
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Week 4 is a week many goose egg teams or even 1 win teams need to make adjustments in the period now know as preseason in the RPI era. RPI favors strength of schedule so a team only really needs to focus on conference games and go undefeated starting in week 6 to extend their season. So the development at the JV levels should have been a focus heading into this week. These are the future varsity players that may absolutely need week 4 and 5 varsity play to get some reps so they can contribute in their teams crucial part of the season of weeks 6-10.
Many of the top tier programs have played freshmen and certainly sophomores in the past half decade. Even some programs have players going two ways just like little league. Now that athletes are bigger, stronger and faster it should not be an issue to play both sides of the ball. However, if the off season, May 1 -mid August, was not taken serious then there may be an issue to compete past November. In addition if a coach is not analyzing the roster weekly then it may be time to wake up and play the best 11 regardless of age. Playing seniors because they survived 4 years probably not a recipe for success. Look at the competition and the success of younger coaches that have fresh ideas to play winning football. Week 6-10 is all about winning so it is time to saddle up and play winning football if you want to make some noise past November. The next two weeks are about rivalry games or strength of schedule for some teams which is fun. Unfortunately the reality is a statement needs to be made both by coaching staffs and players. If you are loosing it is time to make adjustments. If you are winning don’t worry just continue doing what you do of preparing for success.At the end of the day go out and compete and have FUN. The wins will come if you work together as a team
INNOVATION is what @303Gonzo is all about to cover Colorado High School football! Game of the Week (#GOTW) has been a staple for @303Gonzo for years and garnered attention in 2015 as the popular radio show “the Prep Show Review ” was an adaptation of the website www.cofridaynightlights.com that features FREE content about Statewide Colorado High School football. Recanting the nights action on a Friday for games played on Thursday and Friday was something no one had accomplished. Also a preview to games on Saturday and games we were attending. Yes you have writers and television outlets that are vertical to one team or district but never multiple games on one night or over the course of a weekend until recently. Sending out camera crews does not mean the game is being covered that is just throwing a wide net to grab highlights to appease advertisers. So ask yourself is their coverage biased because advertising dollars drive matchups and now their own rankings?
The answer isYES! because you have to be educated about 7 classifications and it takes time and research and dedication to accomplish this feat. It is not like covering one NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA team. In high school there are roughly 275 teams. Granted no one can honestly cover them all but we do a pretty good job not being vertical. I guess the beauty about being an independent and surrounding ourselves with free speaking individuals is that well, we tell it like it is and many people appreciate it. The coffee shop talk with moms to round table discussions with coaches and parents is why we know high school football. Knowing the kids is a big part of the process. These guys are brutally honest and will tell you who is overrated and back it up with examples via film or statistics. The days of reading newspapers or hoping a television broadcast caught your game has become so old school. @303Gonzo knew there was a thirst for information now (instant gratification) and created which was our first introduction to live streaming via new technology called Meerkat that soon changed to Periscope as it was more friendly than that of our Facebook page. FB now is in the live streaming arena but only with the older generation. Twitter still is dominating the market but snapchat is on pace to overcome most social mediums that includes Youtube. Unless these platforms are LIVE it is old news so recanting stories on a Saturday or Sunday or even a Monday night via highlights is exhausted information. It is almost as bad as updates on Tuesday that happens statewide for standings, ranking and stories from associations that focus on paid live streaming for their information.
What is embarrassing is when people call, yes people do that, or text and say, “hey I read or saw xyz was a blowout.” My response is were they watching the game or just watching score updates on the computer? Almost as bad as the writers that check stats on a website to report on players and games. You miss out on so many players if you focus on stats. A kid could have such a great play that never hits the stat page that turns a game around. Exactly why on any given Thursday, Friday or Saturday @303Gonzo can be found on the fields or watching streaming events to cover the state. So the statement, “WE KNOW FOOTBALL” is probably true! Name one individual or outlet that cant correctly identify teams and players week in and week out. So when we talk about collaboration to give better representation of the state it goes unanswered. There are a few of us out there making high school football relevant and noteworthy but we do it for passion NOT clicks or to garner attention from advertisers to sell more products. We are fortunate to have a passionate individual down South that covers the classifications that gets little respect and will continue to post on the website www.cofridaynightlights.com that features FREE content. So a Big Thanks to Ant Garcia @MileHigh89 for giving us a complete look into Colorado football. Yes together we are better for you. So when we focus on athletes around the state it is serious not just the handful of guys on some arbitrary list. It is players that did something on game day that caught our attention. So #GWL or #GonzoWatchList is a big deal. If you attend games and are a difference maker we notice just like another coach evaluating the players on the field.
We are fortunate that Wingstop likes what we are doing and has granted a FREE meal for our work identifying a player of the game. Always nice to have an athlete join us for recognition and even better when we can break bread together and chop it up. Over the course of the season check out the website www.cofridaynightlights.com that features the #POTG. We appreciate all you fans providing us with insights and arguing about what teams should move up in the polls we post. However on September 19, 2017 it will not matter as RPI becomes the tell all moving into playoff week. So again rankings for us are educated guesses but we will still be honorary about RPI because it does not represent winning football. Just ask the NCAA and how its ruined college sports namely basketball.
We know others troll @303Gonzo for content and story ideas. Why not just contact him directly and give him a few bucks for contributing to your ratings or using his ideas for personal gains. After all we firmly believe WE KNOW Colorado High School Football and prove it weekly. INNOVATION is what @303Gonzo is all about to cover Colorado High School football because its about the kids and keeping grandma and grandpa in the know when snap chatting the youngsters! LOL Live streaming will simply become a feature of every social product.
Video is an excellent medium for advertising, and the immediacy of live events is an added bonus. So this is why so many are getting into the business of high school sports, MONEY from advertising.
Fairview 3-0 needed to win in order to qualify for the dreaded RPI post game 10 and won the 11am travel game to Fort Collins.Same can be said for Poudre who will find out Monday if they need to continue Fridays game cut short by weather. Grandview lost more than a game against Eaglecrest as last week Wyoming commit WR Gentry was ruled out with a thumb/hand injury until week 6. Highlands Ranch lost its starting Freshmen QB Rubley to a weight room injury for 8 weeks and struggled versus Chaparral. Valor was idle and Pomona handled RV as did Mullen with Westminster. Regis bounced back with a win and will play Highlands Ranch in our Game of the week Saturday. Columbine stepped on the gas and seems to be ready for conference play versus Fairview and Mullen in arguably the toughest conference. So in the last poll that does not use an algorithm like RPI on Tuesday we see week 4 like this.
Highlands Ranch/Poudre/Fairview (TIE)
MT. ANTERO – 5A
Aurora Central 0-3
Bear Creek 0-3
Douglas Count 0-3
Westminster 0-3 MT. CAMERON – 5A
Mountain Range 1-2
ThunderRidge 1-2 MT. ELBERT – 5A
Far Northeast 2-1
Cherry Creek 2-1
Denver East 0-3
Fossil Ridge 0-3
Prairie View 0-3 MT. EVANS – 5A
Rock Canyon 3-0
Cherokee Trail 2-1
Mountain Vista 1-2 MT. LINCOLN – 5A
Highlands Ranch 3-0
Valor Christian 3-0
Fountain Fort Carson 1-2 MT. MASSIVE – 5A
Smoky Hill 1-3 MT. WILSON – 5A
Arvada West 2-1
Rocky Mountain 1-2
Castle View 1-2
Ralston Valley 0-3
For many years I thought people in the media knew high school sports and often suggested trying to work with some of them to produce or create something noteworthy for the kids. I quickly learned covering prep sports was about a paycheck and not a passion to deliver content like college or professional sports. The fact I supplied numerous outlets with content and story ideas went unnoticed until we shook up the world in August 2015. Yes! The Gonzo Sports Network joined forces with his coffee shop talk patron Joe Parker III who became BigShowJoe. Joe was that father that always wanted to see his son succeed from little league to high school and ultimately college. So coffee shop talk was trying to figure out how to get his son noticed in a media arena focussed on ex-players children or other media types kids. NOT the path to success about getting an athlete bigger, faster and stronger and ultimately to college. Nor was it a storyline about probably why the Cherry Creek Bruins won a State Title. Valor most likely should have won another title but the Bruins QB chucked a ball down field and a speedy Joseph Parker IV ran under it and snagged a 50+ yard pass for a Touchdown and ultimately won a championship. What was missing was coverage of this event and the few on hand that did not know who many of the individual players were on each team other than the coaches and families in the stands.
So the combination of Joseph Parker IV signing as an early enrollment to a Division one school and his father talking football, it was the setting of two knuckleheads talking high school prep football every Friday night live on the radio. No collaboration from the BIG TIME media outlets that remain silent until this year, 2017 when they scooped up sponsorship dollars to attempt water cooler conversations and attempt to do rankings and polls influenced upon radio and television ratings. What it means is no one is taking time out of their prescious lives to survey the landscape and actively report on multiple teams. Rather most go to numerous websites and say well this team beat this team and this coach says this player is really good. Yes no film breakdowns or one on one personalizations just going through the motions by outside influences without research. True journalists would put more effort into covering the sport of football if it meant something to them other than a pay check. Covering one team or a few is so vertical and explains why the tabloids that produce lists are so inadequate. It is not a true representation of all the classifications or athletes. Instead the ones in the comfort zone or surrounding area of the reporters residence. So yes over time my co-host has moved onto following his son while @303Gonzo remains passionate about Colorado high school football. Even to the point where he has requested traitorous cooperation with an enemy. Since 2015 many outlets have knocked on the doors to cover Colorado high school football only to find out it was to report on that persons kid or team, NOT the entire region. In addition @303Gonzo via The Gonzo Sports Network has passed on going live 30 minutes prior to games and a studio show because it was NOT about reporting on athletes but more of a community service project to appease stockholders and advertisers.
It is more apparent that Collaboration: Does NOT exist because many media outlets are about clicks and likes and show up to the same games rather than spread out to cover the State of Colorado. So when the (#GOTW) Game of the week is posted in February by @303Gonzo and others flock to cover it the week is occurs don’t be shocked when we flip our coverage to a game no one covers. After all who knows football better than the guys that produce content 24/7 and 365 about Colorado High School Football.
If you are new to high school sports you will soon learn about issues that plague your future. Each school participates in an association that is the umbrella for athletic directors that monitor each of the multiple coaches at the statewide schools. So all classifications are represented but not all are vocal in assuring everyone plays equal. For many years coaches “STACKED” teams to win and it was overlooked by many. However, the increased emphasis on winning has changed the term that many refer to and call recruiting. Whatever you call it, the fact is there is an imbalance in how the games are played off the fields and courts. The easy way is to overlook the situation like many schools have done in previous years. However, the harsh reality is many neighborhood teams are at a massive disadvantage. The hindrance should not be what school has more enrollment, money or power to get what they want because of high profile status in the community or other outside factors.
The emphasis should be on the student athletes. They play the game because they enjoy it not because of the politics or big dollars or the noise called recruiting. High School is supposed to be FUN not work but not to be confused with working hard. Each athlete will work hard in the classroom and on their extra curricular activities but not all the superfluous drama that has increased in years as the separation has occurred from having FUN to winning at all costs. Sometimes those decisions have impacted winning programs that did not know how to manipulate the system. In the past year we have seen an embarrassing system implemented that is called RPI. (SEE: The evils of RPI)
RPI does not address the majority of the statewide schools and favors the privileged. The ignominious RPI allowed many teams to miss out on the opportunity to compete past the regular season in favor of those schools that STACKED their schedules to manipulate the numbers contained in the algorithm used for RPI. RPI has been modified for 2017-18, but the schedule of games remains the same so we assume the same teams in 2016-17 will be in post season. Time will tell but it is puzzling. So to survive high school sports will be a struggle to say the least unless you have a solid athletic director willing to voice opinions of coaches and its student body to others in the association. Also it will take more considerations on how to better sports for the masses in an immediate fashion not 2-4 years down the road. The impact is immediate while the planing is too far down the road and no one really cares once they have moved on from HS. We have often stated cycles should be based on lower tier teams like Freshman and JV because those are the future NOT the graduating Varsity squads. However, there is not much emphasis or development at the lower levels and many wonder why participation is dwindling.
For now we can complain about the absurdity of teams via coaches, athletic directors or parents getting away with murder or as a collective group we can make some noise. The idiocy of decimating high school sports is because many let it happen without a fight. I would encourage letters to your school and the association to make High School sports great again. Revitalize the sport and make it fun again. Be a survivor not a casualty of RPI or those in power manipulating the rules for personal gain. Especially STACKED rosters via recruiting and manipulating addresses in closed attendance areas. So contact your people in your neighborhood because the people in power are overlooking you.
These are the same people deciding who gets on television and many of you continue to ask why are we not seeing many neighborhood teams on the tube. So if you want to Surviving HS sports in Colorado start writing letters, sending emails and making phone calls. Its your four years so make some changes that will benefit others.