Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
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Any nonbelievers should jump on the bandwagon now.
The Steamboat Springs High School football team is dangerous. Offensively, there might not be a match in Class 3A, where they arguably have a trio of top-of-the-class players: the best quarterback in Austin Hinder, the best running back in Joe Dover and the best wide receiver in Jack Spady.
Add a plethora of other weapons, and the offense is almost guaranteed to score points.
But tipping points for this team come in so many other areas.
In talking to members of the 1979 Steamboat state championship team - the only Sailors football team to win a state title - the other factors of this year's team became apparent.
There is certainly a science to winning a state championship. But there's also a lot of luck involved.
As 1979 running back and all-around weapon Tom Southall said, the 1979 state championship team was "a perfect storm."
Offense, defense, special teams and a good coaching staff came together, had the right plan and got that little bit of luck.
That's the thing about this year's Sailors. The offense is a given, but it's the other intangibles that make this a team primed for a deep run.
Start with the defense, an unknown, no-name group of try-hard guys. Nothing flashy, just blue-collar kids playing as an 11-man unit.
Each week, they've gotten a little better. The Week 9 defense would laugh at the Week 1 defense.
This defense can turn the tide of games - Friday night against Buena Vista, the Sailors held the Demons to 23 yards in the first half. With the offense playing like it is, get the opposing team off the field and the Sailors are going to score points.
The other big change has come with the coaching staff. Steamboat has made the playoffs for five straight years. That's a testament to the players and the coaches. When people look at this year's team, the maturation of the coaching staff shouldn't go unnoticed.
Defensively, players have been put in the right places, blitzes have come at the right times and all 11 players have bought into the system. Offensively, the mix of run and pass has been good.
When looking at that 1979 state championship team, there are a lot of eerie similarities to this year's team. Eerie enough to think that maybe this year's team has the beginnings of that perfect storm.
On the bandwagon yet?
- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org