A group of experienced two-way skill position players and a talented move-in quarterback will hold the keys for the Fossil Ridge football team in 2012.
Junior Travis Avila threw for 2,500 yards last season at El Dorado High School in Placentia, Calif., and should fit perfectly with Michael Reyna and the rest of the SaberCats’ receiving corps.
The SaberCats are going to play fast and aggressively on both sides of the ball, but will be depending on a core group of players to contribute on offense and defense, which could result in a lot of fatigue.
Following last season’s struggles, Fossil Ridge is working to compete for the Front Range League championship with the long-term goal of making the Class 5A state playoffs.
Offensive outlook: Due to Fossil Ridge’s depth, it will run a fast-paced spread offense to try and use a variety of talented athletes to its advantage.
Coach Steve Vecchio feels confident about his wide receivers and running backs and wants to stay fairly balanced while getting the ball to as many players as possible.
Fossil Ridge threw for 1,656 yards between three quarterbacks last fall, so the addition of Avila should immediately improve its offensive output.
Defensive outlook: Fossil Ridge will primarily play a 4-2 multiple defense, leaning heavily on the linebackers and defensive backs due to a lack of depth along the line.
Vecchio’s goal for his veteran defense is to play with a lot of enthusiasm and speed.
Impact players: Though the SaberCats don’t boast a ton of depth across both lines, senior lineman Colin Peter plays two ways and should anchor both fronts.
Vecchio calls senior safety/slot receiver Michael Reyna the team’s best leader and is looking for an impact in the passing game.
Junior running back and linebacker Caleb Astor will be looking to improve on his 69 tackles and two sacks from last season in addition to making an impact in the running game.
“Right now, at the skill positions, our two-way guys have some depth, so we’ll be able to get them some rest, but at the line of scrimmage we don’t have enough of them. We’ll probably have eight kids playing both sides of the line of scrimmage all season and that’s tough. We’ve worked them really hard to get them in shape because they’re going to have to be.”
— Steve Vecchio
Fossil Ridge football coach
First up: Fossil Ridge hits the road for its 2012 opener, playing at Westminster on Aug. 31. The Wolves made the playoffs in 2011, but were steamrolled by Chaparral in the first round.
Coach Kerry Dennison is entering his third season at Westminster and is building a program around a strong running game.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at North Stadium.