Category Archives: Colorado Football


303GONZO.COM 2019 PREPS SPOTLIGHT: Heritage preps reporter & www.Blogtalk “Gonzo” Darrell Gonzales spotlights high school football teams. Team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Colorado and #GonzoWatchList players in the state. Starting July 31, @303Gonzo will unveil the @303Gonzo Top players to eye, leading up to kickoff on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Head Coach –Tyler Knoblock

How they fared in 2018: Overall 8-3-0 League 3-2-0

2019 Regular Season Schedule:

9/6 7:00p Air Academy Game 1

Week 2

9/13 7:00p Arapahoe

9/20 6:00p Thornton @ Littleton Public School Stadium
9/27 7:00p Liberty @ Littleton Public School Stadium
10/3 6:00p Centaurus
10/11 6:00p @ Montrose
10/17 6:00p Aurora Central
10/25 4:00p @ Denver South
10/31 6:00p Gateway
11/8 7:00p @ Ponderosa EchoPark Stadium (Parker, CO)

Biggest storyline: Six potential next level football players from little old Littleton. A coaching staff that has dedicated a half a decade to getting the program on track after moving down from 5A to 4A. The fact they never gave up and won the 2018 rivalry game mesmerized the community and a statement was made that HHS can compete with the big boys of 5A.

Names to watch this season: #3 Terrance Ferguson WR,TE (Jr) 6-5/212, #6 Noah Freng MLB,OLB (Sr), #89 Erik Olsen TE (Jr) 6-5/230, #94 Lucas Williams DE/OLB (Sr) 6-0/220.

Biggest holes to fill: A long snapper along with some special teams players and a couple running backs that paid dividends last season.

Gonzo’s Early Take:  WIN! An Early post season exit in round one 2018 playoffs and a running clock in Q2 that ended 50-0 vs Pine Creek. Definitely should be a Pre-season Top 10 team and arguably 5 or 6! (See @303Gonzo poll August 8th). Knoblock enters his 6th season as the HC and has won the battle of little league in the LPS district if you gander at the roster. In 2014 the Eagles under Knoblocks inaugural season won the rivalry game 23-14 versus Arapahoe and lost the next 3 consecutive games. In 2018 the Eagles knocked off the Warriors under 1st year coach Rodney Sherman so Tyler is 2-3 against the crosstown team and looks to even up his record on September 13th. HHS has to do better than 3-2 in conference otherwise its wait until next year when 4A expands to 24 playoff teams. Another 8 game winning season is within reach but at some point the foes of both Pondo and Montrose have to be won. The culture over 5 years has been built so in year 6 it has to be moving further into the post season as an early exit just doesn’t make sense with all the homegrown talents.

#GONZOWATCHLIST to be featured in August Football magazine. List prepared in February for Spring evaluations. Feel free to follow us all season long:

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5A classless?

In the Fall of 2011 there was a major shift in Colorado high school (HS) football from 4A to 5A by a school named Valor Christian (VC). Soon after the decision, feuding in the 5A class began in the winter as no one wanted to play this powerhouse team after smacking Pine Creek (13-1) in the 2011 4A title game 66-10. The private school that dominated the landscape of football after its rough inaugural (4-6) 2008 season in 3A and won a title in 2009 followed by consecutive 4A titles in 2010 and 2011 was placed in an independent conference. Basically because no one wanted to play the Eagles. As a matter of fact, LITTLETON HS forfeited its varsity game on October 21, 2011 that sent shockwaves on a Friday night.

A few months later a depleted roster at JK Mullen, transfer players after Dave Logan dismissal, The Mustangs  hired a new head coach in alumnus Tom Thenell who stepped up to the challenge and faced the Eagles in a televised ESPN3 matchup. This probably is the pinnacle of high school football as we know it 7 years later. It was a game won by the Mustangs 14-13 that gave the Eagles their first 5A loss on their home turf on national television, the first for VC. Reports were nearly 10,00 fans were in attendance. In addition viewers saw the Mullen defense hold C. Mccaffrey a (Jr) to 51 total yards, 31 rushing and 20 receiving on the night. The lowest total for the season and gave a defensive blueprint for teams to follow. The Mustangs lacked depth and many injuries cost them an opportunity to bookend games with VC after a tough 24-21 Cherokee Trail (CT) loss. CT faced VC in the 2012 title game and lost 9-0.

VC would continue to roll competition on the way to more state titles. Their only snag was in 2014 when a lucky huck and chuck 52 yard pass set up Cherry Creek to eventually win 25-24. A game that media praised rather immortalized Dave Logan for being a great coach and Bronco who only appeared in 4 games in Denver in his final NFL season. Meanwhile Mullen alumnus Ryan Clement a Colorado All-State football selection four years in a row and Denver Post Gold Helmet Award winner that attended the University of Miami became the scapegoat at Mullen for Logans shenanigans at the helm of the Mustangs. Clement is still awaiting an apology and being absolved from his tenure at Mullen as president and CEO. Logan and staff continue to deny any recruiting violations but it is interesting how that roster is built year in and year out for a public school with supposed closed attendance area boundaries and no open enrollment.

Fast forward to the 2018 and 2019 2 year cycle and the same controversy has arisen again. VC was forced to play two out of state contests and add two 4A squads and settle for another neighboring school. Again in 2019 VC had to scrambled to add both Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, NC) on August 30th followed by Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, GA) on September 2nd and continue on with 4A Pine Creek (Colorado Springs, CO), 5A Pomona (Arvada, CO) and add Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, CO) to replace 2018 4A opponent Ponderosa (Parker, CO).
NOTE: Pine Creek will play a 5A schedule in the 2020 and 2021 two year cycle. The only one of four schools that was asked to play up only to be given a berth in a 4A state title game.

Often we referenced football going to a club sport and many have said, No way! Brace yourselves as one CHSAA sanctioned team has imported families and kids to adorn one Aurora roster. A roster that has NOT been updated via MaxPreps but players have attended the team 10 day camp and 7 on 7 events. The 365 transfer sit rule implemented last year on June 1, 2018 has been compromised not only by the Aurora team but many hiring attorneys to get their way. The entitlement generation is getting what they want and as long as you have the money it means you can do what you damn well please. Compromised is the even playing field the football committee strives to accomplish. The new 2 year cycle is bothersome as ADs did not seek the best interests of geography but how they could win in a less challenging league. We saw that in last years conferences and will again for the next three years as the usual suspects load up on little league talent and crush neighborhood school that see their home area kids move out or bus out of the neighborhood. 
Criteria based on enrollment but it is mute when you examine the state champions.
By year
1990 6A Cherry Creek/Montbello 14-0
1990 5A Longmont/Thomas Jefferson 28-14
1991 6A Cherry Creek/Arapahoe 14-0
1991 5A Longmont/Pueblo Centennial 26-0
1992 6A Boulder/Pomona 10-9
1992 5A Pueblo Centennial/Sierra 33-12
1993 5A Eaglecrest/Hinkley 37-29
1993 6A Overland/Northglenn 44-13
1994 5A Cherry Creek/Horizon 47-6
1995 5A Cherry Creek/Overland 32-7
1996 5A Cherry Creek/Arvada West 48-33
1997 5A Arvada West/Bear Creek 21-14
1998 5A Mullen/Cherry Creek 23-14
1999 5A Columbine/Cherry Creek 21-14
2000 5A Columbine/Bear Creek 41-7
2001 5A Chatfield/Fairview 9-3
2002 5A Columbine/Fairview 38-10
2003 5A Ponderosa/Overland 30-12
2004 5A Mullen/Cherry Creek 30-9
2005 5A Douglas County/Mullen 35-13
2006 5A Columbine/Mullen 13-10
2007 5A Grandview/Douglas County 20-14 (OT)
2008 5A Mullen/Cherry Creek 20-16
2009 5A Mullen/Pomona 27-24
2010 5A Mullen/Regis Jesuit 37-6
2011 5A Columbine/Lakewood 41-31
2012 5A Valor Christian/Cherokee Trail 9-0
2013 5A Valor Christian/Fairview 56-16
2014 5A Cherry Creek/Valor Christian 25-24
2015 5A Valor Christian/Pomona 29-26
2016 5A Valor Christian/Pomona 30-14
2017 5A Pomona/Eaglecrest 56-49
2018 5A Valor Christian/Cherry Creek 24-14

So in 2019 expect one of the above teams to win the State Title as 5A has become classless in the fact that the bylaws are manipulated by handlers, trainers, parents and coaches. The win at all costs has become the mantra as the current graduating classes of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 have been entitled. These kids grew up in a generation of technology and hype that allows them to update videos and become overnight sensations if they pay for camps, trainers and attend specific combine camps. They flex their muscles on social media versus the old fashion way in the gym with their teammates. The me, me, me generation has a long way to grow up but as long a parents continue to buy into the hype of 5A or bust via a D1 scholarship, 5A will be classless. The top classification of 5A continues to be a sore eye statewide in Colorado and creates the most drama. Days of having FUN in sports has become a lost art. The goal of getting a good education and an opportunity to go to college based on academia has taken a back seat. The winners are the kids on academic scholarships as very few make it in sports after high school. Many are a one in done as the competition is fierce and entitlement takes a back seat to hard work. So do your homework and whom has given up or been dismissed from football and wonder why did we focus so much on the future rather than the now in high school. Rethink the future and have FUN now and show some class. The future is bright and full of surprises but history often repeats itself.