The Grand Junction Tigers are coming off a two win season in 2016, but don't count the Tigers as discouraged, if anything they're taking 2017 head on.
Grand Junction opens up the season in with in-valley rival Central. Last year, the Tigers lost by just two points to the Warriors in the season opener, but these aren't the same Tigers as last year. They return with a full season of Head Coach Mike Sirko's system under their belts.
"We want to prove that we've improved and that we came back and we want to show that we've put in the work," said senior Logan Grossnickle. "We definitely want to be there and we want to compete."
"All of it, it's been in the weight room, on the field," said senior Keanan Salazar. "As brothers we've been doing everything together this summer, every morning we've been out here together trying to do good this year, you know."
Unlike the Tigers, the Central Warriors had the chance to get their first game jitters out the way last Friday in zero week. The Warriors didn't have any turnovers, but personal fouls hurt them in their overtime lost to Palisade. Even though last year's game between Grand Junction and Central came down to a close one, the Warriors are heading into week one with the focus of not beating themselves.
"Our biggest hurdle this week is to knock out mental mistakes and take care of doing the things we have to do," said Warriors Head Coach Shawn Marsh. "No more personal fouls. We have to make sure we don't have any missed assignments and that's the great thing about our offense. It's easy to adapt against whatever it is we're going to see."
"Defensively, I think we're pretty sound," said junior Anthony Zubiate. "We know what we have to do and that's usually how it is. Offensively, we still have those young guys, but I think we just need to work and I think we'll have a shot."
Kick-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at Stocker Stadium.