Austin Colbert: Sailors have reason to look ahead | SteamboatToday.com

Austin Colbert: Sailors have reason to look ahead

Austin Colbert

— Friday was my first time attending a Steamboat Springs High School football game, and no, it wasn't the best night for the Sailors. A 27-0 loss to your Highway 40 "rival" isn't the way SSHS wanted to start its season, but it's the hand that was dealt.

However, despite a few slumped shoulders and battered bodies, there seems to be plenty of optimism. As coach Lonn Clementson told me after the game, it's just the beginning of the season.

There were numerous factors going against the Sailors on Friday, the lack of senior captain Connor Frasier, a bruiser in the backfield and leader at linebacker, among the most obvious. With next week's bye to heal, hopefully he will be back on the field against Aspen on Sept. 11.

But looking at the negative isn't going to do anything but frustrate. Clementson said he saw plenty of reason to give praise to the kids, a group that undoubtedly showed up and gave it their best.

Senior Joe DeLine was among the troopers; he played the majority of the snaps on both sides of the ball and continued to grind well into the final minutes. By my count, he finished with 128 yards on 17 carries, his best run a 52-yard scamper on the Sailors' second possession.

On top of that, DeLine also served as the kicker, punter and return man and never seemed to stop trying, as a captain should.

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Give Moffat County credit — the Bulldogs played a good, fundamentally sound game. They made a few mistakes as well, but found a way to overcome them and capitalize on those made by the Sailors.

The score may have been a little lopsided, but the game was much closer than 27-0. The Sailors need to keep their heads high, knowing they will be able to bounce back from this loss. When they meet Aspen in two weeks, I'm sure they'll be much improved.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert