“As far as the competition, I don’t want them to look anywhere else than to look at what’s right in front of us,” he says.
Rock Canyon was the Indians’ only loss in regular season last year, after the game went into overtime.
“They’re 4A like we are and we’ll have to play very well to beat them,” Casebier says.
Most teams in the Southwest League are 5A and Montrose is the smallest among them.
In spite of that fact, the Indians have won regionals for the last four years. Casebier hopes to cap that off with a fifth win to carry them over into the state finals. If the team wins regionals this year, it will be a record for the league.
Last year the team’s strength was the offensive line, he explains, but the defense may be the team’s strength this year.
“Last year offense was our strength, and it was definitely good, but this year we’re hoping defense is stronger and offense will catch up,” he says. “We’re hoping for defense to set the tone this year.”
The team, which includes a total of 52 boys on varsity and junior varsity teams, had been practicing three times a week before school started, including a mini football camp. With school back in session, they are now practicing every day from 4 to 6 p.m.
According to Casebier, the team’s strongest positions are linebacker, defensive back, and running back, as well as quarterback Nate Robertson, a senior who’s also one of the team captains. Other captains include seniors Lyle Wright, Bryce Gaber and Roland McClarran. After last season the team lost 18 of its players to graduation, but 15 seniors will round out the team in 2010.
“We went to state for five years and advanced to the second round in four out of five,” says Casebier, who is starting his sixth year as MHS football coach. “We hope to get over the hump and want to play perfect in the playoffs. That’s hard to do, but we’ll get there.”