Friday, September 21, 2007
If you go
What: Hayden vs. Paonia football
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Hayden High School, 495 West Jefferson Ave.
Other: The volleyball team plays at 6:30 p.m. today at home against Paonia.
Hayden Maybe the best part of regular-season high school football is that there's always next week.
But for Hayden High School football coach Shawn Baumgartner, it's hard not to look at the previous three weeks and try to figure where a team with so much promise has struggled.
No doubt Hayden (2-1 overall, 0-1 in league play) has had its moments in wins against Coal Ridge and the Steamboat Springs junior varsity team, but after a loss to West Grand, Baumgartner is looking for answers as his team welcomes Paonia (2-1, 0-0) to Hayden for a 7 p.m. league showdown today.
"It's about getting all the little things right," Baumgartner said. "Whether it's a guy missing one block, one guy missing an assignment or a guy running the wrong play. It's the little things we need to take care of."
It's also having that defining game where the team gets it, Baumgartner said.
Last year, that moment happened against West Grand, when an overlooked Hayden team stuck it to the then sixth-ranked Mustangs.
Baumgartner said Paonia could provide that same character-defining game Hayden experienced against West Grand last year.
But it won't be easy.
Although Paonia lost most of its running backs and wide receivers, retooled the offense and is starting a new quarterback, the Eagles return experience to an area where games are won and lost.
"They lost a lot," Baumgartner said. "But on film, they have a really good offensive line. There's no doubt they are going to come out and hit us."
The game may come down to which offense makes the biggest play. Baumgartner said Paonia features three running backs that can break a big play behind the Eagles' offensive line.
"It comes down to execution and big plays," Baumgartner said. "The defense that allows the offense a big play will put their team in a hole. They have the big-play capabilities, but we know we have those same abilities."
Baumgartner said he knows the Tigers are better than they've played, but for some reason, it just hasn't come together.
Against West Grand, Baumgartner picked out several areas where, if plays had gone a little different, the outcome might have been different.
While he won't use that as an excuse, Baumgartner said the bottom line is Hayden has to play better on both sides of the ball.
"We know that it doesn't matter how good you're supposed to be," he said. "It doesn't matter because each week everyone else is going to get better.
"We have to play better than we did. We know we can be better."
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