Monday, September 10, 2007
Hayden Two weeks and two wins into the season, the Hayden High School football team still has something to prove.
After easily walking over lesser opponents Coal Ridge and the Steamboat Springs junior varsity, Hayden head coach Shawn Baumgartner knows the first two wins mean very little with the Class 1A schedule beginning Friday in West Grand.
"The real season starts this week with the league opening up," Baumgartner said after Saturday's 47-20 win against Steamboat's junior squad. "This team has some capabilities of doing something, we just have to stay grounded and focused. It's one day at time - one week at a time."
But with expectations big - Hayden leaves the weekend ranked in the top 5 of both Denver newspapers - it might be hard not to look ahead.
It's a job Baumgartner has taken upon himself, after finishing 9-2 last season with little expectations on the Tigers' shoulders, to prepare his team each week and not listen to whispers of a big season.
That job starts Friday in Kremmling, where Hayden has struggled in the past.
"It has been a while since we won in Kremmling," Baumgartner said. "We've got to really focus and get that monkey off our back. We've never played tremendously well over there. We're due and have something to prove to ourselves."
Hayden got some good news Saturday with the reemergence of all-state running back Coy Letlow.
Letlow, who struggled in week one with only 49 yards rushing against Coal Ridge, scored three of the first four times he touched the ball Saturday.
"He understands teams are going to key in on him so we have to use those other guys and help him out," Baumgartner said. "He knows he might not get that number of carries again. He's going to run hard on every play so I don't worry about him."
Letlow should expect help in the backfield from Russell Waugh and Jake Walker. Waugh starred in the first game and Walker gained 119 yards on Saturday.
Either way, Baumgartner knows with the league season upon his team, it's time to turn those expectations into results.
"We worked on a lot of execution things this week in practice. We're making sure we're doing some of those things right," Baumgartner said. "Now, we have to go to Kremmling and execute those things."
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