There may be four A’s in Windsor’s new football classification, but there is only one A in “football”.
Wizards coach Chris Jones has preached these words to his players — even though Windsor’s classification and conference is completely different, the game remains the same.
“We’re going to stay the same offensively and defensively,” Jones said. “We’ve worked a little more on some things on the offensive side, cleaned up some things, some blocking assignments. But, to be honest, we keep hearing, ‘Are you ready for 4A football?’ Now we say, ‘Football has one A in it.’”
A year after winning the Class 3A state title, the Wizards are determined to make a new slate of foes adjust to them, not the other way around.
Windsor (13-1 last season) used a smash-mouth triple-option offense and a punishing defense to win its third state title in program history.
The Wizards shut down a high octane Silver Creek passing attack 14-7 in the state title game in frigid weather on Dec. 3 at Legacy Stadium in Aurora.
Windsor senior quarterback Joe Sanger said the energy and excitement of winning a 3A title a year ago has fueled him and his teammates during their preseason preparations this fall.
“I think we’re actually more intense than last year. We do weight lifting before practice, and it’s never looked as intense as it did today,” Sanger said after the second day of practice on Aug. 14. “So, I think the guys are going to be ready to go and ready for the move up.”
The Wizards open their season with a home game against longtime 4A contender Wheat Ridge at 7 p.m. Friday.
To Windsor’s new 4A opponents: Don’t expect the Wizards to deviate from the same formula that brought them a championship a year ago.
Windsor senior linebacker Lucas Watts, who battled a wrist injury in preseason but hoped to be ready within the first couple weeks, said he and his teammates are excited for the opportunity to prove their winning formula can yield success at the 4A level.
“Football is football,” Watts said. “(The move to 4A) doesn’t change anything for us as a team. Who we’re playing doesn’t matter to us really. We’re going to do what we do as a team and work hard.”
As a member of the 4A Northern, Windsor joins a conference that will present significant challenges almost every week.
“We want to prove we are capable of playing in this conference,” Jones said. “It’s a tough conference; one of the toughest in the state.”
Perennial contender Broomfield has moved out of the conference, but former 3A powerhouse Mountain View has moved into the 4A Northern.
The newcomer Wizards and Mountain Lions will join Northern Conference mainstays Greeley Central, Greeley West, Niwot, Thompson Valley, Longmont and Loveland.
Despite the challenges that loom in 4A, now may be as ideal of a time as ever for the Wizards to move up a classification, just nine months after proving themselves as the top team in 3A.
“Everybody is asking us, ‘How is 4A going to be? How are you guys going to do in 4A?’” Windsor senior cornerback Lance Cox said. “Honestly, it just motivates us more and makes us want to play that first game even more. It’s a big excitement.”
We want to prove we are capable of playing in this conference. It’s a tough conference; one of the toughest in the state.
Windsor head coach