Steamboat Springs High School's Alex Wood celebrates a touchdown against Fossil Ridge High School at French Field in Fort Collins on Saturday.


Steamboat Springs High School's Alex Wood celebrates a touchdown against Fossil Ridge High School at French Field in Fort Collins on Saturday.

Success despite a loss

Steamboat football looks back on season


— This year's seniors on the Steamboat Springs High School football team hold a special place in the heart of Sailors coach Aaron Finch.

The group came into the football program as freshmen when Finch took over at the high school four years ago.

Sunday, Finch said he couldn't quite quantify what this senior class meant to him and the program.

"I'm still working on that one a little bit," Finch said. "You don't imagine the negative outcome that you'll never coach that group again. It's one of those things with each individual's personality. This was our first freshmen class. You have strong feelings for each one of them."

Perhaps the best way to look at this senior class, Finch said, is to look at where this year's team has come.

In what Finch called the Sailors "JV game" against Kent Denver to open the season, the Sailors looked like half the team they became. Finch said Steamboat wouldn't have become the team that went on to make the playoffs without the seniors' leadership in helping young players make strides.

"That's a real testament to our seniors," Finch said. "Their leadership, attitude and everything else. It created an environment for the young guys to come in and take some risks."

While Saturday's season-ending loss against Fossil Ridge certainly was a sour note on a solid season, Finch said you can't roll an entire season into one game.

And he knows that next year, Steamboat will take the field with an exciting crop of special playmakers.

The possibilities of lining up Austin Hinder at quarterback, Fraser Egan and Joe Dover in the backfield and Alex Wood anywhere and everywhere make Finch think next year could be special.

Still, Finch said if the younger guys are to be successful next year, they must learn from the 2007 seniors.

"We have a lot of really talented young men coming up," Finch said. "It's a huge opportunity. It's all about how hard they want to work and how good they want to be to each other."

Although Finch still was struggling to get over the loss, two things specifically came out of the game that he was happy about.

After the game, a Fossil Ridge coach came in and expressed how Steamboat was the classiest team the SabreCats had played all year. Finch also expressed how pleased he was the Sailors didn't give up all game.

Those are two things Finch said he likes to base his program on.

"Winning and losing with class is something we preach over and over," Finch said. "They never quit. They never, never, never gave up. I'm really proud to be associated with all these guys - with all of them. The kind of young men they are and the kind of team they are going to be."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail


beentheredonethat 9 years, 4 months ago


every year the same story appears, with a different writer (cheerleader).

bottom line is that these are boys playing with a ball. nothing wrong with that and certainly nothing heroic about it either.

this is not reporting, it is simply inane cheer leading by a small town "reporter" working for a small town paper.


bikegirl 9 years, 4 months ago

beenthere -perhaps playing with a football is all you see,these young men are all about determination and perseverence.There is alot of character building and self reflection that goes along with losing gracefully.these boys are fine young men and we SHOULD all be proud of them!!!!!!!!!!!!


beentheredonethat 9 years, 4 months ago

my beef is with the repetitive reporting in the local news media, not with letting the boys play ball, with fierce determination and perseverance and the character building and self reflection that goes along with losing gracefully.

Just don't bore the rest of us to death with repetitive newspaper articles, year after year.

I wonder how many of these children would be playing if their names were not constantly in the news media.

Are you certain that that is not the major reason they play? If so, then what characteristics would you say they and their little league parents are working to promote?


tiki04 9 years, 4 months ago

these articles might bore you to death beenthere but as a former athlete and student i know that both athletes and parents will finish reading this column with a smile. how else do you report an end to a season? this is just highschool football, kids. being a part of a team, especially as a senior is something special. and we're lucky enough to live in a small town where this recognition is not just appreciated by the players and family, but for the fans and community as well, who has been there to support these players throughout the season. it'll make an athletes day to be mentioned in the paper. but do they play for that reason, i most definitely doubt it. you're not required to read every article, you should be used to it by now cuz it's that time of year. so relax and find something a little more worth while to whine about.


bikegirl 9 years, 4 months ago

beethere-well I can tell you that my son is one of the few whose name is not in the paper,he plays because he loves the game.He knows that after high school he will not play in college,football is a part of his life,not all of it,so for a couple of months,let him be part of team and feel positive about it!


beentheredonethat 9 years, 4 months ago

thank you little league parents for educating me on the necessity of having the newspaper slavishly cover children at play.


Mike Coziahr 9 years, 4 months ago

beenthere, what is your problem? The Pilot is a small town paper covering small town sports. Move to any other small town in America and you'll be reading the same things. High School sporting events are often the center points of community activity during the school year. There is nothing at all wrong with getting your name and picture in the paper when it's attached to something positive and good for your community. Though to answer your question, I don't believe it makes any difference to any of these kids if their name's in in the paper or not.

But then again I would bet that you never participated and spent your days after school with your butt in front of the TV. Been-there-done-that...I doubt it. If you're that bored with whats written in your small town paper by small town reporters...DON"T READ IT!!!


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