Soroco looks at future football options


Coming Sunday

Read about the unbeaten 1967-68 Soroco Rams, the school's most successful 11-man football team, in Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today.

— If football is a numbers game, Soroco High School just can't quite get the numbers to add up.

At the conclusion of the 2006 season, in which the Rams went winless in the Class 1A Western Slope League, Soroco lost to Rangely with only 18 Soroco players in uniform. The 2007 season ended with another winless league record, and again, a loss to Rangely - this year on Oct. 26. Earlier this year, playing against league runner-up Hayden on Oct. 5, Soroco had only three players available as substitutes to start the game.

"The bottom line is that we can't do what we did this year for next year," Soroco athletics director Andy Johnson said.

On Monday, Johnson will submit a packet of letters to put Soroco's case before the Colorado High School Activities Association's Classification and League Organizing Committee meeting the following week.

"Ultimately our league assignment is up to them," Johnson said of the committee. "They consider things like geographic location, make a recommendation, and, by January, it will be finalized when it becomes an action item at the CHSAA board of control."

Soroco's current enrollment falls exactly at the top end of eligibility for Class 1A eight-man programs, which includes schools enrolling 76 to 125 students).

Because CHSAA takes the average of a school's previous two years of enrollment to determine the following season's classification, Soroco still technically fits the Class 1A 11-man tier - 126 to 275 students - with its two-year average of 137 students.

But Soroco is shrinking and Johnson is looking ahead to the near future, when Soroco will easily fit the lower enrollment tier.

"We only have 21 eighth-graders coming in, and we're graduating more seniors than that," Johnson said. "If things stay the same as they are with the middle school, we'll be in that enrollment range."

Regardless of CHSAA's decision regarding the two-year average, Johnson said Soroco still could join the eight-man classification as an independent. Hopefully it will not come to that - it would mean postseason ineligibility for two seasons - and Soroco can join one of two possible leagues.

The ideal choice for the Rams, in terms of driving distances, would be in the North Conference, Central Division. That division is home to Victory Christian Academy in Lakewood, North Park in Walden, Gilpin County in Black Hawk, Maranatha Christian Center in Arvada, Silver State Christian in Lakewood, Vail Christian in Edwards and Rocky Mountain Lutheran in Northglenn.

But a Soroco slot in the Western Conference, Western Division would help to fill a smaller division in need of additional teams. It features Dove Creek, Norwood, Nucla, Plateau Valley in Collbran and Ridgway.

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail


Mike Coziahr 9 years, 4 months ago

I guess my first thought is that this is unfortunate. I remember a time when Soroco was very competitive in the Gore League. There were always plenty of players on the sidelines to make substitutions. In fact, I remember when all of the teams listed in the Western Conference 8-Man League, Dove Creek, Norwood, Nucla, Plateau Valley and Ridgway being consistent playoff teams in Class A 11-Man football. Hayden crushed all of these teams at one time or another over the years. Is this a normal cycle or are these community's simply shrinking away?


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