Tigers look to continue perfect season | VailDaily.com

Tigers look to continue perfect season

Adam Boffey

FARMER’S KORNER – The Summit High School football team has been marching through uncharted territory for the last month. When the Tigers (6-0) defeated Woodland Park 24-21 on Sept. 15, they advanced to 3-0 – their best start in the program’s nearly 20-year history. After piling on three more consecutive victories since then, including a 20-13 Homecoming win over D’Evelyn, the Tigers are really starting to turn some heads.Summit’s quest for a perfect season continues tonight at home against 4-2 Battle Mountain, the Tigers’ biggest nonconference rival. As Summit’s players are fast learning, new-found respect is normally accompanied by higher expectations and greater pressure.”It’s definitely nerve racking,” Summit sophomore Jordan Sitkoski said. “Every week, we know the team we’re playing has the goal of killing our perfect season.”No. 7Although most Tigers players seem to accept the responsibility of sporting a metaphorical bull’s eye on their jerseys each week, their opposition isn’t the only source of pressure. The Denver Post ranked the Tigers No. 7 this week.”High expectations are also coming from the papers, our coaches, our county, fellow students and teammates,” Sitkoski said. “But I think it will help me.”Senior Logan Sharp, who said he’s made his focus this season to play every game like it could be his last, has apparently been successful at blocking out all the surrounding voices.”I’ve never really been one to feel the pressure,” Sharp said. “I don’t really care what the community thinks, it’s what I feel about myself. If we play poorly, I’ll be letting myself down because I’ve gone through all this hard work.”Summit coach Dylan Hollingsworth, who is in his second season at the Tigers’ helm, has a slightly different take on the recent hoopla. “All the pressure I feel at this point is coming from me,” Hollingsworth said. “It doesn’t come from the kids or the coaches and I haven’t felt it from the community. … Although there is talk.”Both Summit and Battle Mountain are fairly unaccustomed to the high expectations that are following them around this season. Just two years ago the Tigers finished 5-5 and the Huskies went 2-8. Summit versus Battle Mountain has always been a geographically-based rivalry, but this year both squads are legitimately competitive.”It’s been interesting to watch them grow along side of us because a couple of years ago we were both down a little bit,” Hollingsworth said. “We’re two mountain towns that have kind of come up together.”The Summit camp is expecting a well-fought battle, in light of both team’s recent turnaround.”We could come out and get blown out or we could come out and blow them out,” said Drew Crangle, one of the Tigers’ leading rushers. “It could go either way. In the end, it’s going to be a matter of who’s more focused.”Friday the 13thAs if tonight’s match-up didn’t hold enough intrigue already, it is after all being played on Friday the 13th.The foreboding connotation associated with the date seems to have a minimal affect on most of the Tigers, however.”I’ve heard about all that superstitious stuff,” senior lineman Hugh Fairfield-Smith said. “I’m trying not to think about it.”Junior Standout Scott Campbell is aware of the date, but appears not to be overly superstitious. “It should be a hell of a game,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, it will be bad news for them and not for us.”If the Tigers are victorious against the Huskies, they will match their win total from last year, which tied a regular-season school record.And if not, all is not lost, provided Summit can respond positively to a blemished record.”Even if we lose, it won’t determine our destiny,” Hollingsworth said. “We have three conference games left, however, that will. … There is a wild-card bid available, but we would probably have to go 9-1 to make the playoffs. Maybe we could make it in as an 8-2 team. … But I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I just want to concentrate on taking care of what needs to be done today.”Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at aboffey@summitdaily.com.Summit County football 2006 (6-0 overall, 3-0 in conference)Date OpponentResultSept. 1 Eagle Valley W 14-12Sept. 9 Skyview W 14-12Sept. 15 Woodland Park W 24-21Sept. 25D Evelyn*W 20-13 Sept. 30Prairie View*W 34-0Oct. 6Jefferson*W 48-0TonightBattle Mountain 7 p.m.Oct. 21at Mountain Range*11 a.m.Oct. 27Rock Canyon* 5:30 p.m. Nov. 4Castle View* 1 p.m. ** Denotes 3A Central Metro Conference games

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