Saints open with Cowboys |

Saints open with Cowboys

VCFB Mack Cooper DT 10-2-10

The NFL went wildcat crazy – a direct snap from center to a running back, instead of a quarterback – about two or three years ago. Fans were agog at the “new” formation.

Um, no.

Nothing is new in football and Vail Christian has been running some form of it since the Saints started putting on pads in the late 90s. Remember when P.J. Bevan was quarterback and waiting for the shotgun snap? Then-coach Bob Isbell put Robbie Brgoch in motion. The snap went to Brgoch and he’d end up with 25 yards at least.

It’s the beauty of 8-man football – anything goes. Heck, in Tim Pierson’s first game as coach, he had the Saints go for it on 4-and-1 from their own 14-yard line. Quarterback Jonathan Armstead went 86 yards for a touchdown, making Pierson look like a genius.

And with that, Vail Christian opens its 2011 season today at 1 p.m. at Eagle Valley against Plateau Valley.

Thoughts on the Saints:

• Good looking backfield here: With Austin Ellsworth at quarterback and Mack Cooper at running back, there’s some experience. Cole Kynoski, who will also be carrying the ball has worked himself into the lineup, according to coach Pierson.

• Sean Ryan is back at center and will be the anchor of the line. Tyler Purse and Chase Kaynoski are the guards. (So many brothers here with Caynoskis and Purses and Currys and Ellsworths to follow.) Look for Braden Curry at tight end.

• The big question on offense is who’s going to catch the ball? The Saints have two freshmen at wide receiver with Clayton Davis and Ethan Ellsworth.

• As a side note, now what am I going to do at basketball games now that Ethan Ellsworth’s in high school? I can’t talk sports with him now. I might actually have to watch basketball this year. (If Doug Bruce and Sheldon Kuhns are reading this, go Chiefs and down with Hayden.)

• OK, seriously, Austin Ellsworth, Cooper and Ryan have to lead this unit. These three have played and need to show the others the way. Ellsworth threw a ton last year. Just me, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Vail Christian work in Cooper a bunch more to gain some balance.

• The Saints are in a 3-2 base defense. (Please remember that it’s 8-man.) Chase Kaynoski is the nose with Ryan and Max Schramm at the ends. Cooper and Curry are the linebackers and Austin Ellsworth is the safety. Your corners are Mike Lange and Cole Kaynoski.

• OK, memo to opposing teams: Just throw at Ellsworth. Go ahead.

• Coach-speak: “I hope we can give Mack some lanes to run in. We graduated some skilled receivers in Teller (Emmer), Granger (Moch) and James Curry. That’s the biggest obstacle. In the backfield, Cole’s come a long way. Mack is a lot stronger, faster and quicker. Mack’s been running since his freshman year and has really solidified himself.”

• The concern is depth and experience at certain positions. The latter will come as the season progresses. As for the former, no one is allowed to get hurt.

• The Central League appears to belong to West Grand until someone proves otherwise. I can see the Saints going anywhere from second to sixth. Soroco got hit hard by graduation, but still has good numbers in the program. Justice running back Iaian McGhee has graduated, a development cheered by all Saints fans. North Park and Gilpin County figure to bring up the rear, but the latter stomped Rocky Mountain Lutheran, 52-0, in Zero Week, so assuming wins may not be the best idea.

• I want to see the Central League take a game from the Plains League (Merino, Dayspring, Haxtun, etc) in crossovers. If it’s the Saints, that would obviously be outstanding, but I’m not particular.

• And as always, “Allez les Bleus.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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