‘Cats go back to basics, build toward 2010
Fruita Monument High School tried to do something different this season on the football field.
Traditionally a strong running team, the Wildcats implemented an innovative A-11 offense, which revolves more around a quick passing game.
The switch looked like it might work when the Wildcats started out 2-1 and had plenty of confidence heading into Southwestern Conference play.
In the conference opener against Grand Junction, though, the Wildcats lost a 13-0 defensive struggle. Injuries and inconsistency sent the Wildcats into a tailspin, losing their final five games by a combined score of 170-20.
After failing to qualify for the Class 5A playoffs, veteran coach Bill Moore took a look at his team and started planning for the nonqualifier game — and the future.
“Right now we are going back to basics,” Moore said. “We are playing a lot of young kids we think will be players of the future.”
The Wildcats play Westminster at 5 p.m. on Friday at Stocker Stadium to wrap up the season.
Although Fruita Monument didn’t have the season it was looking for, Moore wants to use Friday’s game as a starting point for next season.
“I think we are in a similar situation to that of Junction last year,” Moore said. “We can use this game to catapult us into next season. We are playing a team that we can compete with and have a good chance of beating.”
The Wolves are in the powerful Big 8 Conference, which has four of the top 10 seeds in the Class 5A playoffs.
Westminster is 1-7 and was outscored 402-62 this season.
“I’m thinking this is better for us than even last year when we made the top 32,” Moore said. “This is a good week to focus on what is good for us.”
A return to the running game has helped the Wildcats.
In the I-formation, sophomore running back Devin Dance rushed for 186 yards against Montrose and 157 against Poudre the past two weeks.
Dance, along with sophomore fullback Tyler Church and sophomore quarterback Zach Thorpe, give the Wildcats a young backfield Moore is excited about.
“We are finding some younger players that are finding their niche,” Moore said. “I think that’s a good thing going into our offseason.”