There are three championship football games set for Saturday. This week, the coaches of all six teams talked about what it took to make the title games.
- In 3A, Palmer Ridge and Pueblo East will square off at 1 p.m. at CSU-Pueblo.
- In 4A, Loveland and Skyline will square off at 11 a.m. at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
- In 5A, Cherry Creek and Valor Christian will square off at 2:30 p.m. at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Here's what the coaches had to say:
Tom Pulford, Palmer Ridge: "I think it takes a lot of organization, it takes buy-in from the kids. It takes a staff that's really bought in. It takes support from administration.
"I think that in anything that you do, you're not going to be successful without a good village around you. And I think that in Monument, Palmer Ridge has a really good village. And I think that in Pueblo, Pueblo East has a really good village.
"So without support from a lot of different arteries, sustained success probably isn't realistic. And there's many things that I'm not mentioning right now, but I think going into this Saturday, I know that the people that have helped us to get to this point are people that we'll be sure to thank at the end of Saturday's game."
Andy Watts, Pueblo East: "It takes a great village. Right? It takes a village to be where we are. Just a great attitude and effort for the boys, and really total buy-in from your team.
"You know, your staff, and your team as a whole has to be bought in and has to trust the process. Just be willing and ready to grind it out for 14 games. We're both fortunate enough to be here in Week 14."
Wayne McGinn, Loveland: "It's a combination. It's a combination of great coaches, and great players. We have 20 seniors, and I know every one of them can go out and play on the field and they're very tough and disciplined and do things the right way.
"I've got the best coaching staff in the state of Colorado. ... We've got great coordinators on both sides of the ball, and you see it. We're leading the state on defense and offense in scoring and controlling the ball."
Mike Silva, Skyline: "I think, obviously, the biggest reason is how we've come together. That's the challenge through every football season, to get our guys to play as one, to play for each other, play like you love each other. And that's easier said than done. And all these coaches up here will know exactly what I'm talking about, and how difficult that is.
"I think we've hit our stride at the right time, obviously, and that message has come across, and our boys really understand that. And I think that's the biggest reason we're here."
Dave Logan, Cherry Creek: "You've got to have good players, and you've got to have a staff that understands really how to lead young men, and you've got to have a system that you believe in and that you can teach to these guys in a really short period of time.
"We don't get a lot of hours with these kids during the week. So you've got to not only have a system you believe in, but you've got to have the ability to teach it in a relatively short period of time.
"And then, listen, you've got to have a little bit of luck, you've got to have the ball bounce your way every now and then.
"So that's how you get to this game, and then ultimately, that's really how you win the game."
Ed McCaffrey, Valor Christian: "You never know, right? I mean you never know how the season's going to go. No two seasons are the same, no two games are alike. Every week's a new challenge, and we've got one more in front of us.
"I think it's special anytime you have an opportunity to play for a state championship. There are so many good teams, and so many good coaches in the state. It is hard to get to this point. And we're not done yet. He knows that, his team knows that, our team knows that. We're not finished yet, we have one more game to go.
"But just to be here is pretty special. I mean the teams you had to play against, the close games that you had to win to just have an opportunity to play in this games, it's a hard, tough road to get here. We're happy to be here, but we're not finished here."