People sometimes forget what happened the last time Pueblo West High School’s football team lost The Pigskin Classic to rival Pueblo County.
It dusted itself off, rebounded, and ultimately drove all the way to the Colorado 4A state championship.
That was 2007, and since, the Cyclones have rattled off six straight wins over the Hornets. West is looking to extend the streak to seven Friday night when it travels to County High School to open its 2014 campaign with the school’s annual tradition.
“It’s great for our community and it’s great for our students,” Pueblo West head football coach Monte Pinkerton said.
Pinkerton, who is also the Pueblo West High School Dean of Students, loves the symbolism of the game almost as much as the product on the field.
“The kids still get excited over [West’s spirit week leading up to the game],” Pinkerton said. “It introduces the new freshmen to the excitement of high school football and going out to the games.”
While the student body and community involvement are always a definite, a win is anything but. Though West has elevated itself to the level of an elite 4A program in the state, County always throws everything it has at the Cyclones.
“It’s a great rivalry and you never know what you’re going to get,” Pinkerton said.
Pinkerton pointed to the strong leadership by Hornet head coach Scott Egan and a strong core offensively that will likely give West fits.
“They have some good skill guys coming back and they always get sky high for the game,” Pinkerton said. “They want to run the ball and spread us out with a lot of sweeps, so we plan on keying on their outside running game.”
Once the game is underway, though, West plans to stick to its go-to approach of running the ball and challenging the Hornets. The goal, as it is with any opponent, is to break their spirit while West plays its game.
“Our job is to represent our community, our school and our program,” Pinkerton said. “Pueblo West and [the St. Charles Mesa] are two very different communities and we love going to battle.”
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