The state track and field meet isn't until May, but we're going to get a small preview on Saturday at Mile High.

Pomona and Eaglecrest feature all kinds of speed up and down the roster. And everyone involved can't wait to watch it play out during the Class 5A football championship game.

"It's really fun when you've got just dogs on both sides of the ball going at it. The fans are going to be into it," said Pomona quarterback Ryan Marquez. "There are going to be explosive plays, people are going to be making people miss, and big hits, so it's going to be a fun game."

Columbine Eaglecrest Football

(Renee Patridge/

Pomona's Marquez, Max Borghi and David Ross are veterans of the state track meet, and Billy Pospisil is also a burner. Eaglecrest's Jalen Mergerson, Victor Garns, Kenny Wanting, Jaydin Vaughn, Corey Corbin and Jon Heupal were all on state meet relays last season.

At the 2016 state meet, a group of Pomona football players, including Borghi, won the 5A 4x100-meter relay. That type of speed remains on the roster.

"I've seen them run the 4x1, and those suckers can fly, man," said Eaglecrest coach Mike Schmitt. "I love fast football, I love speed."

So do the players.

"They've got some good playmakers over there, some great athletes. We also have some great athletes and playmakers over here, as well," said Garnes, a senior wide receiver, running back and safety for the Raptors. "So it's going to be a great, fun game to play Pomona."

Said Borghi, Pomona's senior running back: "There's a lot of athletes on both sides of the ball, so it's going to be a fun game."

Said Mergerson, Eaglecrest's senior quarterback: "It's great to get the best of the best athletes that you're going to have, within the state, both sides of the ball, and both teams, to play in one game. That's always what you want in a big state championship game like this. And just the amount of talent and speed on the field is going to be a great one to watch."

All the speed is going to be an emphasis on matchups.

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"We really kind of mirror each other very similarly on the offensive side of the ball, so both defenses really have their work cut out for them," said Schmitt, in his ninth season as Eaglecrest's coach.

Schmitt is no stranger to speed. He grew up in Louisiana, and started his coaching career there.

"You just hope that you can matchup and you hope that you can be consistent in your alignment, and you know where you're supposed to be," Schmitt said. "Because any slight miscalculation, with that kind of speed, it's a big play. Pomona's made big plays day-in and day-out, game-in and game-out.

"So for us, it's really about making sure our alignment is correct, making sure our athletes are where they need to be, and understand the angles of it."

Pomona coach Jay Madden said Tuesday that he was up early in the morning worried about his gameplan.

"Trust me, I'm not sitting here saying, 'We've got all these guys,'" Madden said. "We know they got guys, too."

As for the speed we'll see on Saturday?

"When you've got it, it's great, but when you both have it, it's a little scary because anytime one of those guys touches the ball they have a chance to go the distance," Madden said. "The fact that we have three or four of those guys and they have three or four of them is going to be make it a pretty exciting state championship game."

Columbine Eaglecrest football Victor Garnes

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