Football: Aspen underclassmen confident with Arvada next |

Football: Aspen underclassmen confident with Arvada next

Aspen High School football players practice tackling drills Wednesday at the AHS athletic field. The Skiers will play their second game of the season Friday at home against Arvada.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Like the entire Aspen High School football team, freshman Trey Fabrocini’s season got off to a slow start. But as the first game progressed — an eventual 22-14 loss at Middle Park last week — certain things began to click.

“I got used to the whole speed of the game. Halfway through the game, I started doing really good,” Fabrocini said. “I’m coming into this game with a lot more confidence.”

Fabrocini, who started at running back and linebacker against Middle Park, is one of many underclassmen being asked to play a major role for the Skiers this season. Aspen (0-1) will host Arvada (0-0) in its 7 p.m. home opener Friday, a chance for the young team to build off what it began to create last week.

“We watched film and those guys got thrown in trial by fire. That was really our downfall,” first-year coach Karson Pike said of Aspen’s season-opening loss. “When you are young and you got to go right in against those 18-year-olds that have been lifting weights at the high school level for four years, that’s tough.”

Aspen’s problems against Middle Park centered on the first quarter, when it fell into a 16-0 hole. The Skiers hung tough — if not won — over the final three quarters, but the early deficit proved too much for a young team to battle back from.

“I was definitely a little nervous going into it,” said freshman cornerback and receiver Max Ufkes, who Pike said was playing like a senior by the end of the first game. “I didn’t know what quite to expect going from middle school to high school. But once I got out there, I just felt I was really in the zone. It felt real to me.”

Arvada, which didn’t compete in Zero Week, will give the Skiers one of their best chances at an early-season win. With Luke Orvis, a former high school assistant in Oklahoma, taking over as the head coach this season, Arvada has now had three coaches in four seasons.

The Bulldogs went 1-9 last season and is a combined 2-28 since 2013. Arvada moved down to Class 2A from 3A this season.

“Start fast, finish strong. The start fast we are really emphasizing after that first quarter last week,” Pike said of the team’s goals against Arvada. “They all feel they are a better team than what they showed. So now how do we come out ready from snap one? I think the guys have kind of dialed that in.”

The Basalt High School football team, which opened the season with a 48-34 home loss to Rifle on Friday, is off until playing at Grand Valley on Sept. 9.

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