Highlands Ranch boys football was a wild roller coaster ride last season. The team forfeited wins, was involved in a cheating scandal, and beat multiple rivals (ThunderRidge, Vista, and Rock Canyon were all rivals of the ranch last season.) This 2016-2017 season has major changes.
This year the leagues have been switched around so that the teams HR plays are ones never played before such as Valor, Cherry Creek, and Denver East.
“What CHSAA has put into place this year, for all the teams, not just us, they’re doing what they call a waterfall scheduling for conferences,” said Bruce Wright, athletic director. The whole schedule from last season is shifting.
The Denver Post explains that the waterfall proposal is remaking the 5A division teams. There would only be 42 teams and seven leagues. These teams and leagues would be set based on the past two seasons’ average results. The idea is to split up the classes equally and create a variety of teams.
“The Jeffco league and the Centennial league have basically won the state championship every year. Some of the teams that sit at the bottom have fought really hard for this change to give them a better chance,” said Mark Robinson, head coach.
Due to the forfeited wins from last season, HR’s averaged results are lower than they otherwise would be. “They put us down there lower. I think that’s deceptive. I think there’s going to be some teams that are really going to find out just how good we are,” said Wright. According to the CHSAA website, HR is in division 5A and ranked at 24 out of 42 teams.
Because circumstances are changing, how will HR do compared to the past years? Coach Robinson has faith that the boys will carry on in success. “I think we’re going to do just fine,” said Robinson. Although this new system gives certain teams a better chance and breaks up the divisions more equally, there are some cons. “What concerns me is the attendance. It’s hard for players to get anywhere from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins for every game,” said Robinson.
Friday September 2nd is the first varsity game against Cherokee Trail at Legacy Stadium. The first JV game is Saturday September 3rd against Cherokee Trail on the HR field.
Caitlyn Tsukamoto, Editor-In-Chief