DENVER -- Former Brighton High School football coach Jeff Giger couldn’t have asked for a better result in his new assignment as football coach at Erie High School.
After three years with the Bulldogs, Giger moved up the road to take over the reins of the Tigers. The only thing that could have made it better was a win in the state 4A title game last year. Chatfield won the contest 41-34.
“It’s been a great transition,” Giger said during the Colorado High School Activities Association’s media day Aug. 15 at Empower Field. “The energy, the momentum has been great. It was a change that had to happen, and I’ve loved every minute.”
Most of those responsible for that success return to the Tigers’ fold for 2022. That includes running back Blake Barnett (1234 carries, 1,049 yards and 23 touchdowns). He also threw for more than 2,500 yards and 27 touchdowns.
“We’re a more athletic team,” said Barnett, who starts his junior year at Erie. “I’m focusing more on being a quarterback. A lot of situations I saw last year will pay off. I threw two picks (in the title game), so I’ve been working on why I did that.”
Another quarterback/running back who returns is senior Evan Rearick.
“Our out-of-conference games are going to be tough,” he said. “But we’re worrying about Ponderosa in Week 1. We’ve got to focus on that one.”
Junior Jackson Cowgill, who recorded 46 tackles in 14 games a season ago, said the Tigers are a closer team.
“There’s more commonality. We hang out with each other,” he said. “Teams before last year didn’t do that as much.”
“This has been one of the most fun summers,” he said. “I’ve been a part of it every day. It’s been fun.”
The award for the farthest distance traveled to media day belonged to Montezuma-Cortez High School golfer Thayer Plewe. Travel is a must for his team. Sometimes, it’s same-day travel to and from a tournament.
“It’s a factor for league tournaments. We have to travel 4 ½ hours and do overnight trips,” he said. “We travel so we can compete. Our team does that because our coaches are so supportive of us, and our school is so supportive of us.”
Some of that travel is overnight.
“We call it ‘trunk to tee,’ where you don’t really get a warm-up,” he said. “You just grab the bag and go. Having to travel and seeing the support we get from our community is awesome.”
This year, Montezuma Cortez, which has an enrollment of about 600 students, will host one of the class 3A regional golf tournaments in September.
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