Sports

Why Colorado high school seniors are grateful, after almost punting on fall football because of coronavirus, to be playing in October


You never forget where you were. Ever. You don’t forget the moment life opened the door and the thing you loved most walked back in from the cold.

Jack Baumbach was in ceramics class. Kid happened to be palms deep in the muck when his phone wiggled. Basketball group chat. Best text ever.

Bwoop!

WELL, WE’RE NOT GOING TO SEE YOU GUYS ANYMORE.

Taptaptap. Bwoop!

WHAT?

Taptaptap. Bwoop!

DIDN’T YOU HEAR? FOOTBALL’S BACK. WE’RE GONNA GET TO PLAY.

“I just remember running around and the whole classroom going,’What’s going on?’” recalled Baumbach, a senior linebacker at Ponderosa. “I was jumping up and down. It was like the most amazing feeling because I’d missed it. I almost broke my pot because I was so excited.”

What does it mean to have prep football back on center stage during a Colorado fall? Friday night lights in shorts instead of parkas. The public address announcer’s voice echoing for city blocks, slicing through the autumn air. Full hearts and empty lungs. Grass stains. Seven Nation Army. The warmth of children’s laughter as they stomp up and down cold metal bleachers without a care in the world.

“We’re just stoked to get out on the field on a Friday night and put together a great season,” noted Chase Penry, a senior wideout with Cherry Creek, the defending 5A state champion. “And hopefully repeat and win a state championship.”

“It can go anywhere”

For most, it’s about the trophy, the final destination, no matter how winding and strange the road it took to get there.

For some, it’s about getting more game tape, giving college coaches one last look. For others, it’s one last ride with the guys you grew up with.

For Baumbach, it’s a closing statement. He’s a 3.7 student, National Honors Society member, part of the student council and student advisory group on activities. Oh, and the guy runs his own lawn-mowing business on the side, to which he squeezes in 15-17 hours per week whenever there’s a gap between school and football.

RELATED: Colorado prep football: 60 impact players staying or going in 2020

“You’ve really got to learn how to manage time and arrange stuff,” Baumbach said.

It’s a killer college resume, hands down. The kid’s got a million-dollar head on his shoulders. But as a 5-foot-10, 190-pound linebacker, the football scholarship offers aren’t rolling in from the big boys, who generally prefer bigger bodies to stack in the box.

“I’m keeping (options) open,” said Baumbach, who racked up 4.8 tackles per game and four stops for losses as a junior. “If I don’t get a scholarship or I decide not to play, I’d want to get a degree in engineering.”

If it’s a question of academics, he’s leaning CSU. But he’s also been invited to camp at Mines, which would tick a lot of boxes, too. Everything’s up in the air.

“That’s why I’m happy we’re playing,” Baumbach said. “Because we get more opportunities to be looked at and have better film. And it can go anywhere.”

“Used to playing in the fall”
Andy Cross, The Denver PostCherokee Trail High …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports

      

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