Published: March 8, 2014
Months back, junior running backs Isaah Duvall and Austin Micci ran for more than 1,200 yards apiece and helped lead Coronado to a state title in football.
This spring, track coach Jeremy Kane wants them to take off the pads and helmet, and compete at a high level again.
"That kind of success carries over for sure. And we'd love if that winning element, in some way, could help us during this (track) season," Kane said.
Sure, the 10th-year coach knows it's usually track and field that is seen as the building block for other sports. But this year, back from a third-place finish in 4A last season, Coronado's track and field team hopes to flip the script and use the school's other sports successes to its advantage.
And according to his athletes, the leftover confidence has already been felt in the early weeks of the spring season.
"I know the football players are definitely confident heading into track. We now know what it feels like and what it takes to win," says Duvall, who also played on the defensive side of the ball where he made a game-saving stop (on fourth down at the 2-yard line) in the final seconds of the semifinals to ward off TCA. "If you can go 0-10, 5-5 to state champs in football - well, you feel like you can do anything."
Duvall and Micci say the same can be true for the Cougars' track season. The two backs, now sprinters, say if they've learned anything from a 13-1 football season, it's the small things that can decide the outcome of a season - good or bad.
For starters, both of them hope to improve on their 400 relay's finish from a year ago when they dropped the baton at the state track meet and finished seventh (51.40 seconds).
"That won't happen again," Micci says with certainty.
Coronado isn't alone in this idea either. Take Manitou Springs - just two years ago it was awful on the gridiron. Tides changed however, the Mustangs got better, much better, and they even carried an undefeated record into the semifinals before bowing out to Platte Valley.
That kind of success has a contagious effect, say its track athletes.
"When you go through the good and bad with guys, you get closer," said Mustangs fullback and sprinter Morgan Burnell, who went through consecutive two-win seasons in football during his freshman and sophomore year. "I think that's the biggest part of success in other sports coming into track. You build that closeness with guys, and feed off that right when you get (to the track)."
Along with football, area success in basketball, soccer and (of course) cross country should also be felt in the coming months. Zachary Alhamra of Pine Creek took second in 5A cross country and Eric Hamer of Palmer Ridge took sixth in 4A. They, along with the Cougars' cross country team that finished third at state (with All-American Bailey Roth taking 17th place and up-and-coming star Adam Egger following in 18th), should be major point-getters at their respective schools.