COACH: Chris Jones, 6th season
LAST YEAR: The Wizards beat Silver Creek 14-7 in the Class 3A state championship game. The Wizards finished 5-0 in the Class 3A Tri-Valley Conference, 13-1 overall.
KEY PLAYERS: Joe Sanger, sr., 6-0, 185, QB; Lance Cox, sr., 6-0, 185, DB; Alex Baldwin, sr., 6-1, 195, WR; Jordan Porterfield, sr., 5-11, 180, RB; Sean Glenn, sr., 6-3, 260, DE; Chuck Peck, jr., 6-3, 225, DE; Trenton Noller, jr., 6-3, 325 (C); Lucas Watts, sr., 6-1, 210, LB; Sean McAvoy, sr., 5-10, 195, LB; Duncan Goodrich, sr., 6-2, 190, LB; Wil Dressor, jr., 5-11, 180, FB; Andrew Blum, sr., 6-3, 255, OT; Ben Miller, sr., 5-11, 198, OG.
DID YOU KNOW? According to Wizards coach Chris Jones, cornerback Lance Cox’s 13 interceptions not only led the state in 2011, but he was tied with two other players for most interceptions in the nation.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “Every year we do some good goal-setting stuff in the offseason. They talk about things that have been accomplished in the past and how we can improve them. I think they got a pretty solid foundation from what the last five years of guys have left in front for these guys. Every year, some facet of our program gets a little bit better. I think this year we really focused on how well they really pushed themselves in the weight room. We went to a whole different workout which was very high tempo, and kids really excelled. Everybody keeps asking us, ‘Are you ready for 4A football?’ The kids can’t wait. The boys don’t care what the level is. They just want to play football for us, and they’re excited to have that opportunity to play 4A football. They want people to know that Windsor’s got a good football program at any level.”
SEASON OUTLOOK: Jones said the Wizards, normally a triple-option juggernaut, are emphasizing the play-action passing game with standout quarterback Joe Sanger, who completed 57 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and only four interceptions in 2011, leading the way. Sanger also led the team in rushing with 1,318 yards and 17 touchdowns. He’ll have Jordan Porterfield (741 yards, 9 TDs) and Wil Dressor (695 yards, 7 TDs) to hand off to, and Alex Baldwin (15 receptions for 364 yards, 6 TDs) back as his leading receiver. Cox (13 interceptions), Sean Glenn (10.5 sacks) and Lucas Watts (7.5 sacks) should anchor a stellar defense. The Wizards are ranked No. 8 in the Denver Post’s preseason coaches/media poll, but 4A Northern League foes No. 2 Longmont and No. 7 Greeley West are ahead of them in the polls. The Wizards, who are 41-19 under Jones in five seasons, play a tough nonconference schedule opening with No. 5 Wheat Ridge at home on Friday. If they don’t earn one of the top two spots in the league to assure them a playoff berth, the Wizards should qualify for the state playoffs for the fifth straight season with a wildcard berth.
— T.M. Fasano
8/31 7 p.m. (H) WHEAT RIDGE
9/7 7 p.m. (H) FOSSIL RIDGE
9/14 7 p.m. (A) PALMER RIDGE
9/20 7 p.m. (A) THOMPSON VALLEY
9/28 7 p.m. (A) LONGMONT
10/5 7 p.m. (H) GREELEY CENTRAL
10/12 7 p.m. (H) LOVELAND
10/19 7 p.m. (H) MOUNTAIN VIEW
10/25 7 p.m. (A) NIWOT
11/02 7 p.m. (A) GREELEY WEST
COACH: LaVerne Huston, 21st season
LAST YEAR: The Wizards finished 27-2 overall with a 14-0 record in the Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference. They were seeded No. 2 going into the state tournament, but lost to defending champion Cheyenne Mountain in the state semifinals. The Wizards ended up with a 2-2 record at state.
KEY PLAYERS: Angie Pancost, sr., MB/OH; Taylor Pribble, sr., libero; Becca Mikkelson, sr., DS; Rikki Huston, jr., setter/RSH; Miranda Geist, jr., MB/RSH; Hannah Von Allman, jr., OH/RSH; Lexie Spykstra, so., OH/MH.
DID YOU KNOW? LaVerne Huston turned 50 on Aug. 17 and has been a head volleyball coach — University (1 year), Valley (3) and Windsor (21) — for half her life.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “We lost some good kids last year, not only good leaders but good volleyball players. We have a great group of kids back. We’re going to be very competitive. We might be stronger offensively than we were last year. I’d like to think defensively we’re going to be pretty darn good. I’m a defensive-minded coach, so we’re still definitely focusing on defense. Every front-row player can play multiple positions, and that’s probably going to be one of our biggest strengths. Going into the season there is a lot of excitement, their expectations for each other are very high and they’re a very focused team. I think getting a taste of it last year and not being satisfied with the outcome will keep them hungry this year.”
SEASON OUTLOOK: Mead and Berthoud replace Fort Morgan and Sterling in the conference this year. Huston expects Mead to contend for the conference title. She said Mead is big, strong and athletic. Mead and Windsor split over the summer. The Wizards are versatile which will give Huston the opportunity to throw a lot of different lineups at the opposition. The Wizards qualified for the state tournament last year for the first time since 2008, and they have the returning talent and state experience to get there again in 2012.
— T.M. Fasano
8/30 6:30 p.m. (H) MOUNTAIN VIEW
9/4 6:30 p.m. (H) FREDERICK
9/6 6:30 p.m. (A) ROOSEVELT
9/11 6:30 p.m. (H) SKYLINE
9/13 6:30 p.m. (A) Mead
9/15 8:30 a.m. (H) Northern Colorado Tournament/WHS
9/18 6:30 p.m. (H) NORTHRIDGE
9/20 6:30 p.m. (A) BERTHOUD
9/25 6:30 p.m. (A) ERIE
9/27 6:30 p.m. (A) FREDERICK
10/2 6:30 p.m. (H) ROOSEVELT
10/4 6:30 p.m. (A) SKYLINE
10/9 6:30 p.m. (H) MEAD
10/11 6:30 p.m. (A) NORTHRIDGE
10/16 6:30 p.m. (H) BERTHOUD
10/18 6:30 p.m. (H) ERIE
10/26 TBA (A) Cheyenne Mountain Tournament
10/27 TBA (A) Cheyenne Mountain Tournament