By Dan Karpiel
The Berthoud High football team finished the 2010 season with a 3-7 record and last place finish in the 3A Northern conference. The disappointing record did not stop the team from celebrating their achievements and honoring the graduating seniors on Wednesday evening. Two seniors were singled out for special recognition. Jesse Lyman was given the Spartan Football Warrior Award and Steven Fiske was recognized with the Jeff Shriver Award. Both awards are handed out yearly to senior football players who best represent Spartan athletes on and off the field.
While players and coaches alike were not pleased with the team’s final record, many expressed satisfaction with the team’s effort throughout the season. “Our kids played their hearts out, worked hard each and every week,” Berthoud Head Coach Dan McGinn said. Assistant Coach Rusty Mathena echoed McGinn’s comments saying, “The results aren’t what we wanted but we can’t fault their effort or their work ethic … they kept fighting throughout the year.”
Chase Fraser, Berthoud’s leading rusher and an All-Conference selection said, “I think we played better than our record showed.” Senior and team captain JT Pickert added, “I thought we could have done better but this was a growing season and they will be really good next year.” Pickert, who also wrestles and plays baseball for Berthoud, was an All-Conference Honorable Mention for the second consecutive season.
The 2010 football season was something of a rebuilding year for the Spartans. After a 7-4 finish and trip to the state playoffs in 2009, Berthoud lost many key players to graduation and in 2010 had sophomores and juniors playing larger roles on the team. Mathena, whose tenure with the Berthoud football program spans two decades, said of the Spartan’s youth, “one thing we had this year that we haven’t had in a while was a lot of kids who hadn’t played all that much varsity football before this year.”
The Spartans also play in one of the toughest conferences in class 3A. Speaking on the play of the conference McGinn said, “Look at it in reality, a quarter of the state bracket came from the Northern conference…and quite frankly I’m proud to be in the Northern conference given how we’re represented in state.”
Many of the underclassmen as well the coaching staff have already begun preparing for next season “We already have meetings setup for next week with our to-be seniors,” McGinn said. Junior quarterback and All-Conference Honorable Mention Zach Ruebesam said, “We’re just looking forward to working hard all off-season and this junior class is real motivated to not have the same outcome as we did this year.” McGinn added that with the success the team has enjoyed in recent seasons the bar has been raised for Berthoud football, “we all expect to be successful…and we absolutely have high hopes (for next season).” Berthoud High football will begin formal team practices in early August.