Soroco football set for season opener
Soroco football team hopes to usher in new stars
September 1, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Plenty of questions surround the Soroco High School football team when it started practice last month, and even more will Friday when the Rams take their home field at 7 p.m. to open the season against Nucla.
Will an offense that's been explosive in each of its three years since moving to 8-man football remain that way? How about a defense that's been one of the league's best — will it live up to previous versions? And just who will emerge as the playmakers on this squad, which was lacking proven scorers even before injuries thinned the herd at skill positions?
If Soroco has learned anything in the recent seasons, however, it's that confidence is the first step to answering those questions and any others, and thanks to winning records each of the past three seasons, the Rams have plenty of that.
"One thing they definitely have going for them," coach David Bruner said, pausing as his team worked Thursday through its final dress rehearsal before Friday's opener, "they think they can win now. That's important."
Soroco returns a mix of veteran players and inexperienced underclassmen, and it hopes to have several more tested hands back when the league season begins Sept. 23 at home against Vail Christian.
In the meantime, the Rams hope to succeed with a second-year quarterback and a pack of tough, savvy linemen.
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Junior Nic Paxton will run Soroco's spread offense from the quarterback spot, assisted in that task by a trio of senior offensive linemen: Brandyn Leu, Joey Anderson and Tristan Palyo.
"Last year, I didn't know anything about the varsity level, but this year, I'm feeling stronger, bigger and faster," said Paxton, who said he's been working on looking off receivers and cutting down on interceptions. "I know the game a lot better, so I'm expecting more from myself."
The Rams open their season Friday against Nucla. The last time the two teams met in 2009, Soroco ran away with the game, winning, 50-8. A year ago, they hit the road for a pair of games before returning to Oak Creek for league play, and that's where the squad found mixed results.
That Soroco team started 4-0, but couldn't maintain that momentum through the season, finishing 6-3 with a lopsided loss at Dayspring Christian.
"We're going to play fast and play strong," Anderson said. "They only picked us fourth (in the league.) We're going to do better than that."
— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com