PUEBLO — The pandemic affected many high school football teams last season, but it meant putting an end to any playoff hope the Cyclones looked to have for the Pueblo West football team.
"We only got to play got play four games, our last two games were canceled," said head coach Clint Buderus.
However, with the team returning 15 veterans on both sides of the ball, the coaching staff counts on the team's experience to lead the way.
"This class was a freshman when I got here, and we've been waiting for them to grow up. It's just a great group of kids who have put the time in, and I think they're ready to go."
The seniors can see the maturity brewing in the off-season and take last year's shortened season as motivation.
"I think since we're starting to work more as a team now, that's definitely going to help. Over the offseason, that's one thing I've noticed we're working as a team and communicating," said senior guard Vladimir Dabovich.
The Cyclones have a sour taste from the previous year, losing to Pine Creek in the semi-finals and being sent home in the first round by Skyview.
"I think it's just making us more excited for this year. To play better and show people what we can do when we play a full season," said senior running back
With all the pieces aligning for Pueblo West, coach Buderus is anxious to for week 1.
"We always talk about winning the league. That's the first thing. It's really one week at a time, and we're worried about Pine Creek right now. That's who we open with. We're going to find out for sure what we're made of week one."