8 proves enough for Soroco football | SteamboatToday.com

8 proves enough for Soroco football

Rams happy after season of progress

— Soroco football coach David Bruner stood before his team Oct. 18, as he had done so many times before.

The Rams had lost, falling at Norwood, 64-42, in their final regular season game of the year, and as it so often has for the oft-beaten Rams, a late-October loss signaled the last game of the season.

Something was different, though, Bruner said. Something was different for Soroco High School all season, its first playing eight-man football.

The Rams finished at 4-4, their most successful campaign in five years. Bruner said that was all the proof needed to show that dropping a division was a rousing success.

“It was a real positive,” he said. “The kids were disappointed after losing that last game, but overall, they knew they had played well, and we had come a long ways from the first (game) of the season.”

Soroco entered the season ineligible for the postseason and will do so again next year. That didn’t deter its preseason of building a winning tradition, however. The Rams got that started with blowout wins against Nucla (57-20), North Park (51-26), and Silver State (72-18).

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At its best, Soroco especially was strong with the football. The team outscored its opponents by an average of 43-32 on the season and averaged 456 yards of offense, 291 on the ground.

Junior quarterback Cody Miles led the way with 719 rushing yards on 102 carries. He also added 1,419 yards through the air, completing better than 50 percent of his 138 pass attempts.

Senior Mike Davis had 603 yards rushing on 119 carries while his classmate Ryan Tibbetts picked up 518 on 78.

Tibbetts also led the team in receiving with 719 yards on 41 catches.

The year’s real lessons may have come on the other side of the ball, Bruner said. Eight-man defense proved more difficult to pick up than the offense.

Miles led the unit with 132 tackles while Davis was second with 116. It was the tackles the team missed that really struck home, however.

“The kids learned how important tackling is. They learned if you miss a tackle outside, that guy is probably going for a touchdown,” he said. “That’s one of the most important things about eight-man football, and we improved in that throughout the season.”

Soroco definitely will play eight-man again next year, and, according to athletic director Andy Johnson, they will continue to do so barring a population surge. If they stick around, they’ll finally get a crack at the playoffs in 2010.

That the end of their season was long ago written in stone did little to temper the excitement in Oak Creek.

“The kids learned how to compete. There was only one game this year we were out of,” Bruner said. “That’s something we can work off of. It really helped build the kids’ self esteem.

“The success really helped the atmosphere around school. Everything, just in the halls, felt different. There was so much positive energy. I truly believe that correlates – if you’re successful one place, it will show up everywhere.”

Season results

Soroco 4-4

Aug. 29 vs. North Park: 51-26 W

Sept. 6 vs. Lgmnt Christian: 28-24 L

Sept. 13 at Faith Baptist: 48-30 W

Sept. 20 vs. Nucla: 57-20 W

Sept. 27 vs. Plateau Valley: 42-30 L

Oct. 4 at Dove Creek: 59-22 L

Oct. 11 at Silver State Baptist: 72-18 W

Oct. 18 at Norwood: 64-42 L