Fort Lupton's new football coach, George Ramirez, met his team for the first time July 11 in the school commons.
Ramirez, who grew up in Fort Lupton and is a Bluedevil alum (class of 1993), takes over for Joey O'Connor, who moved over to Horizon High School in Thornton to be head football coach.
"I'm enthusiastic to make Fort Lupton football the best it can be," he told his team. "I know what it is to be in a small community."
Preseason work will be short; the first game is against Wheat Ridge on Aug. 25.
Ramirez admitted to being "behind the eight-ball." The next workout is 5:30 p.m. July 20. Others are planned to run in conjunction with the following events:
- A youth football camp July 26-28;
- A mini-camp with Bennett High School (FLHS' new athletic director, Rick Jacoby, spent the last three years as the Tigers' AD);
- A seven-on-seven scrimmage with Bennett on Aug. 5;
- A chance to host Bennett Aug. 12 or Aug. 13 (it replaces the traditional blue-white scrimmage); and
- A four-way scrimmage at Platte Valley High School on Aug. 15.
"I am all in, and I know the coaches are all in," Ramirez said. "We have to change the culture. I understand the history here. I get it. I'm not saying I'm going to be a savior. I want to turn this around, and it starts with the parents and the community."
Athletic Director Richard Jacoby called this year's Bluedevils' team "the building blocks."
"Reach out to your friends," he said. "Building the program, building the culture starts with you. Changing the mindset starts with you players. That's how you get things turned around."