The 2018 Football Team Chases The Groundbreaking Record


Varsity football players in the S4 weights class. Left to right: Aiden Diller, Josh Luden, Cole Eck, Kyle Pope

Cold bleachers fill with the ecstatic crowd wrapped in warm blankets, and Friday night lights shine on deep blue jerseys. Football season remains a favorite time of year for Air Academy High School, and 2018 is proving to be one of the best seasons for AAHS football in almost a decade with a record of 6-3 in favor of the Kadets.

The team faced “slight setbacks” during their last two games on Friday, Oct. 19 against Pueblo West High School and Friday, Oct. 26 against Rampart High School. The score shifted from 6-1 to 6-3 which created a tie between this and last year’s season for the best score of the decade.

“In order to break the tie, we would have to win our next game and make this season the best in 11 years,” said head football coach Scott Grinde.

However, the losses haven’t discouraged the Kadets; with the season nearing its end, the team is fighting on and their focus is higher than ever as they strive for a shot at making it to playoffs.

“The score really shows that we are a team that can go to playoffs and we can compete in that championship level, yet still want more,” said junior Cole Eck, left guard.

The record-breaking score is not the only thing motivating the AAHS players; the audience also plays a huge role. Senior running back Kyle Pope stated that “the audience at the games pushes me to work harder as they are watching over me and cheering my team on.”

The football team puts in a massive amount of effort to prepare for the challenges the season lays out. Many players spend a majority of their summers at the high school training, along with attending practice every day during the fall season for two and a half hours almost every day.

Even after the end of the season, many players continue training during the off-season. For some team members, football practice runs 365 days a year.

The varsity team consists mostly of upperclassmen with an exception of one sophomore, Are’an Burr. Grinde has trained some of the boys for three to four years and has seen them grow into skilled, strong players.

“I can go on about a lot of the guys and their changes in their attitude, their effort, their physical preparation,” said Grinde.

Many of the senior players graduating are leaving behind legacies for the future players to fulfill. The team is relying on the juniors this year to lead the team next season.

“I hope for the team to do better next year and keep working hard,” said senior left tackle Josh Luden.

In fact, the future leaders are already thinking about the next season. “I hope I can improve my work ethic for next year,” said junior Aiden Diller, right tackle.

Junior backup quarterback Jared Clark also added, “I’m setting the goal of being in the gym over the summer [to train].”

The AAHS Kadets are beyond proud of this year’s successful team, hoping to end with a groundbreaking 7-3 record.

Ultimately, though, “The real measure of success is gonna be in five or ten years when we see what kind of an impact we made on these kids,” concluded Grinde.