Shared from the 12/17/2017 The Denver Post eEdition

ALL-COLORADO COACH OF THE YEAR

Goddard guided Pueblo South to first state title

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Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Last year, the Pueblo South football team finished on the wrong end of two blowouts.

First, the Colts lost by 40 points to Ponderosa to end the regular season. Then they were thumped by 32 the next week by eventual state champion Pine Creek in the first round of the playoffs.

But instead of the Colts sulking about their 2016 finish, Pueblo South coach Ryan Goddard made sure they used it as a learning tool. This year, the Colts of Class 4A went 13-1 and won the first state championship in the program’s 59-year history.

“Last year, losing to those two teams in back-to-back weeks to end the season set the tone for our offseason,” Goddard said. “It taught our kids a lot about how we needed to go about our business and the type of commitment we needed to have to be an elite team.”

Goddard, a 2001 graduate of Pueblo South who recently finished his eighth season as the head coach on Hollywood Drive, is the All-Colorado coach of the year for 2017.

The Colts stomped Ponderosa, ranked No. 1 at the time, to win the league title Nov. 2. They defeated Pine Creek 25-14 in the 4A championship game Dec. 2.

The Colts had plenty of firepower — senior quarterback Zach Cozzolino and senior wide receiver Marcell Barbee are All-Colorado selections, and senior running back Steven Brock was dominant too — but Goddard and his staff had to work around the program’s deficiencies in depth and size to be successful.

“We did have some challenges in front of us, as we started three offensive linemen that didn’t have a whole lot of experience,” Goddard said. “And defensively, we were playing some guys who may have been defensive backs at another place, but they played linebacker for us.”

Other finalists for All-Colorado coach of the year were Skyline’s Michael Silva, who led the Class 4A Falcons to their first playoff appearance since 1999; Grand-view’s John Schultz, who guided the Wolves past behemoth Valor Christian to the Class 5A semifinals; Palmer Ridge’s Tom Pulford, who led the Class 3A Bears to an undefeated season and their first state title; and Pomona’s Jay Madden, whose Panthers won the Class 5A title in their third consecutive championship game appearance.

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