PSN Spotlight: 9-0 Eaglecrest Looks to Finish Regular Season With Perfect Record, Prepares For Arvad
The Eaglecrest Raptors hit the practice field on Monday preparing for their final regular season match-up this Thursday night against Arvada West. The Raptors are off to their best start in school history at 9-0 and hope to cap their regular season with a win over Arvada and become the first Eaglecrest football team to end the regular season undefeated. Ranked #7 in Colorado, the Raptors are the state's only undefeated 5A team and Prep Sports Nation got a chance to catch up with head coach, Mike Schmitt to discuss the success of the Raptors. Eaglescrest ended the 2015/16 campaign at 4-6 and when asked what he felt was the biggest contributor to the team's turnaround and their 9-0 start, "Attitude! The leadership of our seniors, even though we don't have a lot of them, their attitude has been great!"
Coach Schmitt added that the way his older players have allowed their talented younger players to "shine" while still performing at the top of their game has created an attitude of "whatever it takes to get it done." Coach Schmitt also credits his junior and senior players for "policing themselves" and not allowing the team's perfect start to be a distraction. "I really didn't have to do anything. I just set the standard and the direction I want them to take and the boys have gone with it," adding, "that's a credit to them, their leadership and their maturity."
Some of that leadership Coach Schmitt spoke of comes from Sr. Elijah Brockman, Air Force Commit, and Jr. Victor Garnes. Brockman, a 6'2 216lb offensive guard/defensive end, not only demonstrates that leadership on the field, but in the classroom as well. When talking about his standout lineman, Coach Schmitt noted that, "yeah, he's a big guy and he's a high academic kid with a 4.0 grade point average." Garnes has been a factor for the Raptors on both sides of the ball this season as he has ran and caught for a touchdown, as well as returning an interception, kick return and punt return for touchdowns, "not many guys can say they done that. He's a special guy."
Despite their perfect record, the Raptors have faced some tough competition including the state's #2 team, Grandview, who the Raptors defeated in week 3 by a score of 36-29. "That's a great team and we were still young. In the past we've struggled with was our toughness, being able to run the ball and stop the run." Schmitt added, "We focused on that this off season and we've been able to get better at that and it's all kind of carried over as we've gone through the schedule and we've gotten better!"