Hayden High School football coach Shawn Baumgartner runs through a play in a huddle earlier this summer during a training camp. The Tigers will begin play this season as the No. 7-ranked team in Colorado 8-man football.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden High School football coach Shawn Baumgartner runs through a play in a huddle earlier this summer during a training camp. The Tigers will begin play this season as the No. 7-ranked team in Colorado 8-man football.

Hayden football ranked No. 7 in Denver Post preseason poll

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Denver Post preseason rankings

8-man football

Rank and Team, Points, Previous

1 Dayspring Christian (4), 40, 1

2 Hoehne, 35, 2

3 Akron, 31, N/A

4 Walsh, 29, 5

5 Merino, 24, 9

6 Simla, 20, 6

7 Hayden, 17, N/A

8 Sanford, 11, N/A

9 Norwood, 8, 3

10 Fowler, 5, 8

Others receiving votes: none.

— Hayden’s first 8-man football season hasn’t even started, but when the Tigers kick things off at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 at home against Belleview Christian, they’ll do so with some expectations.

Hayden was No. 7 in Colorado’s 8-man football division in the preseason Denver Post football poll released Monday. The Tigers received 17 points in the poll.

Hayden will have the chance pretty quickly to prove it belongs among the best 8-man programs in the state. Belleview Christian, a school in Westminster, will be playing its very first high school football game against Hayden. The Tigers’ Week 2 opponent, Dayspring Christian, has a bit more experience. Hayden will play host to the defending state champion Eagles on Sept. 7.

Dayspring Christian was ranked No. 1 in the poll, receiving all 40 possible points and four first-place votes. No other 8-man teams from the region or on Hayden’s 2012 schedule were ranked.

The Tigers are playing their first season of 8-man football and are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances in the 11-man Class 1A level.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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