Football players work hard

Bears confident that offseason will lead to improvement

Kellen Gatzke lifts weights as Coach Chris Trusler spots. Members of the Dolores football team are working out this summer preparing for the fall season.

After finishing the 2013-14 season with a 1-7 record, members of the Dolores High School football team could have thrown in the towel.

Determined to reverse their team's fortunes however, players have been working tirelessly to improve.

Much of the group's work has taken place in the weight room, where coaches host voluntary workouts five days a week.

Thus far, between 20 and 25 players have consistently attended the workouts, which focus on a different area of the body each day.

"The attendance has been phenomenal," said Dolores High School head coach Chris Trusler. "We have more than doubled the attendance that we had last year."

Incentivizing attendance at the workouts is a deal made between Trusler and the Denver Broncos that will allow players to travel to in late July.

"Guys that make 85 percent of the summer workouts get a tour of Sports Authority Field, they get to watch a minicamp and they get Denver Broncos swag."

In addition weight room sessions, players have been attending on-field workouts where coaches stress fundamentals and practice plays.

"We're fixing little errors that we are seeing from the guys," said Trusler. "We're teaching them the offense and teaching them the defense."

Members of the team will also attend two camps this summer, including one in Cortez this coming weekend and one at Fort Lewis College later this summer.

Discussing the energy currently surrounding the Dolores program, senior Guy Wallace had nothing but good things to say.

"This is definitely the most work that anybody has done since I've been in high school," said Wallace.

Also benefiting from the summer workout program has been freshman Austin Hackney, who, trying out football for the first time, has enjoyed the experience.

"It has been fun," said Hackney. "When I first thought of playing high school football, I was scared, but it has been great."

Thus, even though the Dolores program still has work ahead, the fact that players are engaged and having fun indicates that the team's fortunes may be turning.

"Our goal (for next season) is to do better than we did last year," said Trusler. "We're looking to be able to compete, play hard and win more football games."

Given the work that players are putting in, drastic improvement appears to be a legitimate possibility.