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RBC I Rio Blanco County’s two high school football teams were at Grand Valley High School last Saturday for scrimmages against each other, Cedaredge and the hosting Cardinals.
“They went well,” Rangely’s new head coach Paul Fortunato said of the Panthers’ play. “Cedaredge showed up and put a hurt on everybody but we did some good things defensively against Grand Valley and played well against Meeker.”
Fortunato said everyone is “playing hard” and he hopes to turn the program around and earn a few wins this season. The Panthers did not win a game last year and only two wins the year before last.
Patrick Brown, Kody Denny, Nathan Fortunato, Justin Goddard and Demetrius Jamerson are the seniors on the team this year and Coach Fortunato hopes they learn to win.
Fortunato, who played high school ball in Panther green, stated,
“Our juniors and seniors don’t know what it’s like to win.”
“We need to stay positive and kids out.”
Gary Denny, Ryan Torsell and Jack Richen will assist Fortunato with the coaching duties this season.
The Panthers will open the season in Altamont, Utah this Friday, with kickoff schedule for 7 p.m.
The Meeker Cowboys are also rebuilding this year. Seniors Reno Roybal, Aaron Pena, Ethan Overton, Collin Cochran and Charlie Scherbarth will be playing under another new head coach, the third in their high school careers.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” new Cowboys Coach Ron Dupree said after the scrimmages.
“We’ve got some good players but we don’t have them in the right place. It takes a while.”
The Cowboys will open the season in Olathe, a neutral site, where they will play the Ignacio Bobcats, a 2A school from the San Juan Basin league.
“We don’t have any film on them but know they are usually big,” Dupree said of Friday’s competition.
Aaron Zielinske, Obediah Deming and Brandan Aven will assist Dupree this season.