(Gabe Christus/Denver Broncos)
For consecutive 2A football champion Eaton, the view from above is the best. Two title runs, the last capping off a perfect 13-0 season, are good times for a school and city often hard to spot on a map.
But when they answered questions at the Broncos/CHSAA Fall High School Sports Media Day at Mile High’s Empower Field before the season, head coach Zac Lemon and the Eaton players promised it won’t be the reason. for which they will be lost in 2022.
Although the rewards of winning are clearly more favorable than the valleys every team promises they must endure before reaching their true potential, there will be no complacency, junior tight end Tate Smith said.
“I think the day we got our rings is over,” Smith told reporters when asked how long his 2021 title celebration would last. “It was great. But that’s definitely the mentality in all sports. We’re always chasing the next, we always want the next, always hungry. It feels good, you enjoy it while it’s there, but now it’s in the past. Time to get another one.”
No. 3 Eaton bounced back from a 19-16 season-opening loss to No. 1 The Classical Academy with a 41-6 win over No. 7 University on Thursday.
Quarterback Walker Martin had two touchdown passes and a run in the first half to open up a huge lead that the Bulldogs couldn’t overcome. Joey Blaskowski had a catch and rushing TD and Trent Salberg also had a pick-six in the win.
It’s the sort of emergent attribute you’d expect from a title contender. The kind of rebuttal Eaton expects within the program from him.
“I don’t know if there was really a change in the culture (with the two state titles), it’s just the trust that we build as the program grows every year, and every year and every year, and the expectations become known. Lemon said on Media Day.
“And you will see it in the leadership of these guys. We don’t have to do much anymore as a coaching staff just because the attitude is set, the atmosphere is set, the expectations are very clear. These players, these leaders are great at holding younger players accountable while loving them and telling them how we do it.”
The Reds graduated their top two producing running backs Ryan Dirksen and Ethan Florez from 2021, but return top-tier baseball prospects (who are also very good in football) in Martin and Smith.
Martin, committed to Arkansas for baseball, has looked strong at QB for two games, scoring through the air and on the ground. Smith (Oklahoma State baseball) adds a strong presence to the passing game at tight end.
Elsewhere on the team, Ryder True, an all-state baseball player and wrestler, was a key running back last fall and was second on the team in tackles with 112.
Morgan Tribbett, also a state-level fighter, returns his 78 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Eaton is at home against No. 5 Platte Valley on September 10.