TORRINGTON – On a crisp Saturday morning, fans of the Torrington Blazer football team lined up along the sidelines of the practice field to get its first look at the team with the annual soap and towel scrimmage in a tune up for the season opener this Friday.
The Blazers open the season in the friendly confines of Wiseman Field as they gear up for the team’s fourth run at a state title in five years. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. against the Gering (Nebraska) Bulldogs.
Following the scrimmage, third-year head coach Russell Stienmetz was pleased with what he saw on Saturday, especially in two areas – the offensive line and the defense.
“I was pleased with our o-line because we are playing brand new kids there,” he said.
The Blazers face the challenge of replacing nearly all of their line due to graduation, and most of the line doesn’t even have a varsity start or much playing time at the varsity level.
That will change on Friday evening.
The other area was defense.
“The basics of kids getting good reads and playing with their hands and reacting to the ball,” Stienmetz said.
It will be key if they want to slow down Gering’s rushing attack.
As the Blazer team now fully turns its attention to the Bulldogs, a team which Stienmetz expects to establish the run game, much like the team did a year ago in Torrington’s 24-6 victory in Gering.
“They are big. They are physical,” Stienmetz said. “Last year, they tried to establish a run game against us, and I expect that again on Friday.”
The Blazers ended up scoring 18 unanswered points in the second half to pull away for the victory.
However, Stienmetz says there is still plenty of work to be done prior to the kickoff on Friday.
“We still have huge steps to take to actually be prepared for Gering,” Stienmetz said. “We are taking it day-by-day, and we have to be better Monday than we were today.”
Fall Sports Preview
The annual Torrington Telegram Fall Sports Preview featuring all the teams from Torrington High School, Southeast High School and Lingle-Fort Laramie High School teams will be published in the Aug. 27 edition of the Telegram and the Lingle Guide.