New era, new season for Aspen High football
The Aspen Times
Aspen High School football will kick off a new season and a new era Friday night in Cortez.
The early game, a week before most teams open their regular seasons, also will kick off a new day in Colorado Class 2A football.
The Skiers will take the field for the first time Friday night under new head coach Ryan Triece, a first-year head coach with a long family history in prep football coaching.
In fact, the family is pitching in to help Triece and the Skiers launch the new season.
Triece has been an assistant high school football coach for seven years, including the last two years back in his native Michigan.
The Aspen High School business teacher formerly served as defensive coordinator for veteran coach John Ramunno at Eagle Valley High School, a 30-year veteran of Colorado high school football.
His father Jerry Triece, coached Michigan high school football for more than 30 years, collecting state titles along the way.
He stepped out of retirement to work with son Ryan and the AHS coaching staff in the preseason.
They’ve been prepping the Skiers for Friday night’s 7 p.m. kickoff against the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers.
The Aspen football team split up the long trip to the Four Corners by traveling to Montrose today.
Jerry Triece coached at Marshall High School, where Ryan was a standout player who went on to play at Central Michigan.
While the Triece family will mark a new capter Friday night, so too will a realigned 2A division in Colorado football.
Under the latest configuration, the Western Slope League has been divided into two six-team conferences.
The Skiers will play in the Western Slope North League along with Basalt, Coal Ridge, Roaring Fork, Moffat County (Craig) and Battle Mountain.
Roaring Fork is back up in the 2A ranks this year. Moffat County is down to the 2A ranks due to enrollment.
And 3A Battle Mountain is playing down in classification by request.
The Western Slope South League also will feature six teams.
They are Bayfield, Gunnison, Oathe, Pagosa Springs, Montezuma-Cortez and Alamosa.
The Western Slope South includes remants of the former Intermountain League and Gunnison Valley League.
For playoff purposes, the Western Slope North League will receive one automatic playoff berth as one of six 2A conference champions.
The other 2A leagues will advance their first- and second-place teams to the playoffs, making 11 automatic qualifiers.
The remaining five playoff spots will be filled based on CHSAA wild-card points.
The Skiers, who have made seven consecutive trips to the Class 2A football playoffs, will open the home season Aug. 29 against Grand Valley.
On Sept. 5, Aspen will travel to Steamboat Springs for another nonconference game.
Then, Aspen will host Cedaredge on Sept. 12 before a bye week and then the opening of the conference season on the road in Carbondale against Roaring Fork on Sept. 26.
Aspen will travel to Coal Ridge on Oct. 3 before hosting Battle Mountain on Oct. 10.
Moffat County will visit Aspen on Oct. 17.
The regular-season finale for the Skiers will be the rivalry game at Basalt on Oct. 24.
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