Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
Find more columns by Luke here.
The Steamboat Springs High School football team has won its past two games by a score of 105 to - gasp! - 26.
Although Battle Mountain and Moffat County certainly can't be considered top-level competition, the scoring discrepancy can't just be thrown to the wayside.
The Sailors are starting to look like the team everyone thought they could be. The offense has been sharp. The defense has been stout. The special teams have been steady. Friday against Moffat County, Steamboat looked as fast as it has all season.
It seems as though the Sailors have the potential for a deep playoff run. Potential is the key word.
Steamboat's next two games are at Buena Vista on Friday and a regular season closer at home against Glenwood Springs. Glenwood most likely will come to Steamboat as the No. 1 team in Class 3A. On Saturday, Glenwood beat Palisade, 29-22, behind the play of fleet-footed quarterback Dakota Stonehouse.
The Sailors can't afford to overlook Buena Vista, a non-league opponent in a smaller classification. It's a game that Steamboat, which already clinched a playoff berth, has to win.
Steamboat plays its best when the name on the other team's jersey isn't that big of a deal. As the old adage goes, what's important isn't whom Steamboat plays - it's how the team plays.
If the Sailors can come out and get through Friday against a team they should beat, they'll show just how far they've come. No one would blame the Sailors if they line up Friday night with an eye on the next week. But from the beginning of the season, Steamboat has worked on becoming a better team each week. The team has to get better in week 9 before it can compete with Glenwood Springs in week 10.
If Steamboat beats Buena Vista and Glenwood, it has a chance to win the Western Slope League, garner a top seed in the playoffs, and become the team to beat in Class 3A.
A loss isn't the end of the world in either scenario, but it could be telling for how successful the Sailors will be come postseason.
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org