With an emphasis on family, Eagle Valley football starts season with Rifle | VailDaily.com

With an emphasis on family, Eagle Valley football starts season with Rifle

GYPSUM — Ohona.

It's the Hawaiian world for family, and the theme of the year for Eagle Valley football, under new coach Kevin Kreowski, as the Devils hope to put their 0-10 2017 season in the rear-view mirror as they start 2018 with a nonconference tilt at Rifle on Friday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.

"Family, that is our base," Kreowski said. "We're a family that loves football."

And Kreowski and defensive coordinator Gabe Brown are keeping it in the family with assistant coaches such as Jordon Hudspeth, Glen Lowe III and Tiegan Torbett, all Devils alumni.

Meet the Devils

Coach Kreowski grew up in Aurora Grande, California, and played football at both the high school and college levels. He's served 25 years in the U.S. Border Patrol and coached both football and wrestling wherever he's been stationed.

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"What I'm here to do with our defensive coordinator Gabe Brown is to bring excitement and family back to Eagle Valley football," Kreowski said. "Naturally, nothing's easy in life, and we're coming up against No. 7 (in Class 2A) Rifle. If you're going to do it, bring it big."

Jesse Moser returns as the starting quarterback. His backfield choices include Zach Cossette, Daniel Gallegos and Lisandro Aguilar.

While it's still a work in process, Gabe Tena, Rowan Sokup figure to anchor the offensive line along with Abraham and Brian Garcia and Jason Stricker. Outside, look for Matt Lee Nick Lauder, Matt Turner, Keenan Collett and Adam Vasquez.

Devils fans will be seeing a lot of those same names in different places on defense.

The schedule

Eagle Valley lined up a murderer's row of nonconference teams with an eye toward the rating-percentage index, which emphasizes strength of schedule. While admirable, the Devils paid for it, particularly in 2017.

The Devils had the 16th toughest schedule out of 42 3A football teams, with nonconference foes Kent Denver, Erie, Lutheran, Evergreen and Northridge compiling a combined 32-17 record during the regular season.

The slate is bit more modest this season. As all Eagle Valley fans know, Rifle — even as a 2A school — is a handful. Evergreen (road, Sept. 21) stayed on the schedule, but so did Northridge, coming off a 2-8 campaign (Sept. 15 in Gypsum).

New to the nonconference slate are both Alameda (Sept. 7) and Niwot (Sept. 28). It's not a coincidence that Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley are playing Alameda in back-to-back weeks.

The Devils start the 3A Slope with road games at Glenwood Springs and Summit County. Palisade is in town on Oct. 19, followed by a renewal of the Eagle Valley-Steamboat rivalry on turf up north. The season ends with you-know who coming to Gypsum on Nov. 2.