Thursday, October 17, 2002
Steamboat Springs Soroco coach Gary Heide believes his team has found an identity.
"They play hard on defense, but they have trouble executing on long drives," he said.
Hayden coach Scott Parker believes his team's identity rests on effort and its ability to play as one unit.
Tonight the two rivals square off at 7:30 p.m. at South Routt Stadium in Soroco's homecoming game.
It's Parker's first go-round in a Tigers/Rams contest, but he said his team is ready.
"The kids are pretty fired up to play," he said.
Heide said with the opponent being Hayden in a homecoming game, emotion isn't lacking in the school halls this week either. However, he's looking for more than excitement.
"We want to play our most disciplined game of the year," Heide said. "I don't think there will be any trouble wanting to get out there. It's a team we can hopefully compete against. That's the way I look at it."
An ugly trend has developed in South Routt, Heide said. The offense's inability to score has rested mostly on its execution and discipline at the end of long drives. Soroco has moved the ball, but when it gets deep into an opponent's territory, a turnover or penalty kills the drive.
"We aren't a big-play team," Heide said. "There can't be any mistakes in any of those 10 to 12 play drives. We need to take care of the ball and eliminate mistakes. We can't hurt ourselves. We have to concentrate the whole game."
The Rams haven't been helped by injuries. The loss of key starters such as seniors Josh Iacovetto and Dustin Neelis has forced inexperienced players to step in. Junior C.J. Remick emerged a surprise, however, in the backfield in last week's loss to Rangely.
Soroco (1-6 overall, 0-5 in the league) will look to him again this week as it tries to establish the running game. Parker said Hayden doesn't prepare for certain players. It prepares for certain schemes. While different players have different tendencies, Hayden (3-4, 1-4) is more concerned with the overall picture.
"We definitely have to stop their running game," Parker said.
The Rams will look to do the same to the Tigers.
Actually, Parker sees a lot of similarities between the schools, mostly because of the makeup of the teams. Speed is a strength for both. Size is not, causing both squads to run comparable offenses.
The similarities lead Heide to believe tonight's game will be a good one.
"I definitely feel somewhere in the course of the game there will be an opportunity to go ahead or win the game," Heide said. "We hope we are in the game and can take advantage of any opportunities."