Class 3A Western Slope Conference is full of contenders


Glenwood Springs

Head coach: Rocky Whitworth, 9th season

2012 record: 5-5, 5-3 WSC

Assistant coaches: Neil Goluba, defensive coordinator/LB; Joe Luetke, DL; Steve Carter, OL; Eric Nieslanik, DB; Mike West, DB/WR; Randy Whitley, OLB/RB; Paul Gruber, OL; Jamie Hoffmeister, DL

Returning starters: QB Travis Lundin, 5-10, 160, sr.; RB Henry Hill, 5-10, 180, sr.; DB Everett Marr, 5-10, 160, jr.; LB Garrett Lowe, 5-10, 225, sr.; TE Justin Barham, 6-2, 175, sr.; WR Cole Adams, 6-2. 165, sr.; LB Christian Gonzales 5-9, 180, jr.; RB Derrick Chase, 6-0, 175, sr.

Key newcomers: WR/DB Chris Sarabia, 5-10, 170, sr.; QB/LB Dante Sparaco, 6-2, 185, fr.

Base offense: Shotgun spread

Base defense: 3-4

Moffat County

Head coach: Kip Hafey, 12th season

2012 record: 5-5, 3-5 WSC

Assistant coaches: Lance Scranton, offensive coordinator/OL/DL; Derek Duran, QB/DB; Jim Neton, special teams/wide WR/LB; Ken Olinger, OL/LB; Ron Linsacum, RB/DB

Returning starters: WR/LB Joe Camilletti, 6-1, 165, jr.; OL/DL Sheldon Greenwood, 6-0, 220, jr.; WR/LB Brayden Peterson, 5-10, 145, sr.

Key newcomers:  QB/S Matt Hamilton, 6-2, 170, jr.; OL/DL Keith Smith, 5-11, 225, jr.; OL/DL Dylan Villa, 5-11, 200, sr.; WR/DB Shandon Hadley, 5-10, 130, soph.

Base Offense: Spread

Base Defense: 4-4


Eagle Valley

Head coach: John Ramunno, 32nd season

2012 record: 8-4, 5-3 WSC. Lost in Class 3A playoff quarterfinals 16-10 to Conifer.

Assistant coaches: Ralph Carlson, RB/DB; Kylan Kottenstette, QB/LB; Ron Beard, OL/DL; Shawn Matheson, RB/DB; Tom LaFramboise, TE/DL

Returning starters: OT/DT Joe Felix 6-1, 220, sr.; RB/OLB Victor Avila, 5-11, 180, sr.; QB Orin Reichardt, 5-9, 175, sr.; FB/LB Riley Rowles, 6-0, 175, jr.

Base offense: Double wing

Base defense: 4-3


Steamboat Springs

Head Coach: Lonn Clementson, 4th season

2012 record: 4-6, 2-6 WSC

Assistant coaches: David May, offensive coordinator/DL; Jerry Stabile, WR/DB; Mike Appel, RB/DB; Steve Deline, kicking game; Chris Kaminski, long snappers; Scott Burg, OL; Dylan Erhart, TE/OL

Returning starters: MLB Charles Toye; OL/DL Brandon Yeager; OL/DL Cole Sittig; WR/DB Jimmy Weltzheimer.

Base offense: Spread option

Base defense: 30 stack

Four Class 3A Western Slope Conference teams made the playoffs last fall, and three advanced past the first round, with Rifle taking an undefeated record into the state title game before losing to Silver Creek.

The biggest mystery for 2013 in the WSC will be how Rifle and head coach Damon Wells adjust without the dominating play of Ryan Moeller, who rushed for 3,002 yards and scored 50 touchdowns last year.

Even though the Bears lost some key seniors, they had a lot of underclassmen get playing time in 2012, especially on defense, and they should still be one of the top teams.

Virtually every coach points to the traditionally tough Rifle and Palisade teams as the squads to watch in 2013. But most coaches also look at Glenwood Springs, Delta and Eagle Valley to be strong contenders.

Palisade welcomes back Joe Ramunno to the head coaching ranks after a year as an assistant. He’s bringing back the flexbone offense, which is similar to the system that helped Palisade to four straight state titles in the mid-1990s under Ramunno.

The Bulldogs will be tough, physical and athletic, and that means they will again be one of the top teams. They return 1,000-yard rusher Dalton Hannigan.

After missing the playoffs for the past two seasons, Glenwood Springs appears poised to contend this year. The Demons return some talented seniors, including Travis Lundin, a three-year starter at quarterback. Glenwood coach Rocky Whitworth’s shotgun spread offense puts a premium on decision-making by the quarterback, so to have Lundin back in the same system bodes well for the Demons.

Eagle Valley and Delta were surprise contenders in 2012 with both making the playoffs. Eagle Valley lost 17 seniors to graduation, and Delta lost valuable senior leadership, but both teams could still be in the mix late in the season.

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