DENVER — The Class 4A and 5A football finalists were at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on Tuesday for a tour and walk-through of the facility, as well as a press conference in advance of their championship matchups.
The games are set for 11 a.m. (4A) and 2:30 p.m. (5A) on Saturday. Tickets are on sale now. Loveland and Skyline will square off in 4A, while Cherry Creek and Valor Christian will play for the 5A title.
"I've been dreaming about this day since I was a kid," said Cherry Creek quarterback Alex Padilla. "You know, watching the Broncos, being a Broncos fan growing up, it's been an awesome experience. To be able to play on this field is just a dream come true, really."
The teams gathered on Tuesday morning for a tour of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, which serves as the host of the game at Mile High. They then walked around and through the stadium, including a stop in their locker rooms for Saturday, and the field itself.
"It's overwhelming when you walk into that stadium," said Loveland coach Wayne McGinn. "It's good preparation to do it for the first time today and not Saturday. That could be a little freaky. It's great that they let us do that and it's amazing. I've been a Broncos fan my whole life."
Afterward, the players and coaches from all four teams gathered in the Broncos' media room for a press conference with media members from around the state.
"Today's been amazing," said Skyline running back Jeremy Hollingsworth. "It's been really fun to go around and see things here. Saturday is going to come and it's still going to be a surreal moment to us."
Come Saturday, though, the players and coaches know that the time for starry eyes will be over.
"It's surreal and it's a big stage," said Loveland's Zach Weinmaster. "At the same time, the field is the same length, the same width and it's just another football game."
"At the end of the day, a football field is a football field," said Valor Christian quarterback Luke McCaffrey. "It's an awesome experience, especially today. Today is a great day. Saturday is a great day. But at the end of the day, we've really got to get focused and play football."
Additional reporting by Dan Mohrmann.