Sailors football faces Holy Family for first game

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Steamboat Springs High School football head coach talks about Saturday's game against Holy Family.

Steamboat Springs High School football head coach talks about Saturday's game against Holy Family.

If you go

What: Steamboat football vs. Holy Family

When: 2 p.m. today

Where: Gardner Field

The best thing that can happen for Austin Hinder is to just simply play a football game.

The much-ballyhooed quarterback and University of California-Berkeley commit has heard it all. Depending on which voice is loudest, he's either the best quarterback in the state or the most overrated player in the state.

It doesn't really matter to Hinder who people listen to, because he and the rest of the Steamboat Springs High School football team open the 2009 campaign at 2 p.m. today at Gardner Field against Holy Family.

Hinder said the past year and a half has been full of elite camps, college recruiters and fans questioning his ability.

Finally, though, Hinder gets to be where he's the most comfortable: on the field.

"Once the game starts, you get to block all of that out," Hinder said. "You don't think about any of that stuff. You go out and play and do what you do."

The game offers one of the more intriguing matchups of Zero Week. Holy Family - who went 6-5 last season in Class 2A and lost in the first round of the playoffs - is known as a traditional powerhouse. The team has won multiple state championships in the past 10 years, including one in 2005.

The team doesn't return much as far as specialists go, but both sides of the line return intact.

"I think our kids have taken it on themselves (in) looking at it as a regular season game," Holy Family coach Mike Gabriel said. "They want to win and make a good showing."

Gabriel described Holy Family as running out of the power I-formation on offense and employing a five-man front on defense.

Gabriel and Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said that as with any early game, and maybe more so in a game against two teams who don't know each other well, the team that doesn't make early mental mistakes and protects the ball should have the advantage.

"This is quickly a game that can get out of hand with mistakes if you're not careful," Steamboat coach Aaron Finch said. "That's really the thing you realize can take the game away from you."

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