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Huskies football is pumped for 2020

Is this the year? Beats me, but I'm pumped

No pads are allowed yet, but Battle Mountain football is getting after it in practice.
Chris Freud | cfreud@vaildaily.com

See, this happens every year.

Each autumn, I enter high school football with a certain amount of dread regarding Battle Mountain football. You all know the reason why. The Huskies are Sisyphus rolling the big rock up a hill in hell and he/the Huskies are doomed never to get there.

Battle Mountain football coach Jim Schuppler is slightly pleased to be having football in the fall. Surprisingly as well, he likes his team’s chances this year. (Chris Freud | cfreud@vaildaily.com)
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This would be the point in the piece where I declare that Battle Mountain’s defense has been practicing social distancing before it was trendy — apologies to Krum — and be thinking 1-9, or in this seven-game season, 1-6.

And then I go to practice and talk to the eternal optimist — head coach Jim Schuppler — chat with the kids and, most importantly, feel the energy during a workout and I think, “Yeah, this could be the year.” Sisyphus will get the rock up the hill and I apologize to defensive coordinator Jeff Krumlauf … for the umpteenth time.

“I think it comes down to putting in the work,” said Schuppler before Friday’s second official practice. “There are no tricks. There are no secrets to how we get there. Every day these kids put in work like they have over the last four years, we gain a little more confidence toward the end goal, which is flipping it around.”

As some of you may know, I am somewhat of a San Francisco Giants fan, and having seen my team end a 56-year drought and win the World Series thrice makes me believe that all things are possible in sports. Will it be this year? I don’t know. Will the Huskies turn it around under Schuppler? Yes, you bet your bippy.

Does it look ominous starting with Eagle Valley and Palisade, followed by Evergreen, Roosevelt — freaking CHSAA — Summit and Green Mountain? Yep.

Then I’m talking to Jeremiah Vasquez, who’s going to be anchoring the lines on both sides of the ball.

“I’m happy to be with the boys this year. We’re going to knock some heads this year,” said Vasquez, who is a senior; holy cow, I covered his father, Angelo. “We’re a really dominant team. I can wait to get out and play those teams. I can’t wait to play this year.”

It’s probably not a good idea to disagree with a guy his size. And, what’s cool is that he’s not the only big body in camp. Battle Mountain has some size. It isn’t the only determining factor in football, but it sure as heck helps.

Then you see the some of the players wearing Todd Walker T-shirts. T.W., Battle Mountain Class of 2008, remains with Huskies football despite his untimely passing in 2011 and that gets the heart pumping.

Todd Walker, Battle Mountain Class of 2008, who passed away in 2011 is still a presence in Battle Mountain football camp. (Chris Freud | cfreud@vaildaily.com)
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“This year has just been different, said senior Evan Wright, who will be at middle linebacker and guard. “We started early. We got a good group of boys ready. We’ve all got that connection. We practice great. We’ve got a good connection with our coaches. This year, we just have a different intensity.”

Jeremiah Vasquez will be more involved in the blocking part of things when it comes to Battle Mountain’s passing game. (Chris Freud | cfreud@vaildaily.com)
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And now, even though I’m 48 and haven’t played a down of organized football, I’m ready to go. I’m envisioning backflips and wins.

Maybe, this really is the year. We start to find out in two weeks.


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