COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (KRDO) -- After one of the most mentally and emotionally exhausting off-seasons in recent memory, high school football practices have resumed. Pine Creek, the reigning state champs, had a little extra pep in their step for the seasons first practice.
"Oh, it’s amazing! I’m so excited to be back out here with everyone. It feels great" said Eagles left guard Branyon Murdoch.
"Oh yeah, I love this game! I’m really happy to be out here. I feel a little extra happy today," said running back Elias Rogers.
"Definitely, I think there’s a little excitement," said head coach Todd Miller. "I was up at 3 o’clock in the morning looking forward to getting out here on the grass.
The CHSAA schedule is weird. Pine Creek will move up to class 5A for the regular season, but will still play in the 4A playoffs. There’s also only a six game regular season, which means there’s no margin for error.
"You can’t stumble," Miller said. "You can’t have time to develop your youth. You just gotta go."
The Eagles will have to grow up quickly. They don't have many players returning from last year's championship team.
It’s a lot of pressure, especially because we just won a state championship," Rogers said. "There’s a target on our back. But I got confidence in our guys. I’ve got confidence in myself. I feel like we can do anything we put our minds to if we just work at it."
Pine Creek will open its season against Castle View on October 9th.