Roosevelt quickly moves past shaky start to secure first football state title in program history – The Denver Post


PUEBLO — During a pivotal halftime discussion with his team Saturday, Roosevelt football coach Lane Wasinger wasn’t exactly trying to reinvent the wheel.

In fact, he told his players, essentially, the exact same thing he told them about an hour and a half earlier during the pregame discussion.

Playing in the last half of football of the Class 3A season, the Rough Riders — sink or swim — were going to maintain every aspect of an identity that had turned them into an annual state title contender and had allowed them to win their previous 13 games.

In short, Roosevelt was going to be who, and what, it always is. And in doing so, the Rough Riders were able to accomplish something they never had.

Top-seeded Roosevelt shook off a near disastrous start to take complete control of a 34-24 title game victory against third-seeded Lutheran on Saturday at CSU-Pueblo’s Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.

“I told them three things at halftime — the same three things I told them before the game — games of this magnitude will come down to poise, composure and confidence,” Wasinger said. “No matter what the score is — if we’re winning big or losing big — if we keep those three things together, good things will happen. And, they did. … It’s just such a surreal moment. We’re trying to take it all in.”

The Rough Riders capped off their historic season with a 14-0 record, ending their championship drought in their fourth time playing in a title game — their second title game in three years.

Lutheran, competing in the finals for the first time, ended its season at 11-3.

Yet, even with Roosevelt’s experience edge in title-game atmospheres, it was the Rough Riders that got off to a shaky start — with the Lions having all the early momentum, and a double-digit lead, mere minutes into the game.

Check back momentarily for the full story.

Bobby Fernandez covers high school sports for the Greeley Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.


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