Wolverine Country Stadium hasn’t hosted a football game in 11 months.
Bayfield High School beat Pagosa Springs 29-2 to clinch a playoff berth.
Since then, the stadium has seen eight soccer games and three track meets.
Now it’s back to football against Miyamura at 7 p.m. Friday in Bayfield, and the Wolverines couldn’t be more excited.
“We’ve waited a long time,” BHS head coach Gary Heide said in a phone interview with The Durango Herald.
No. 6 BHS (1-0) opened the 2015 season with a 43-0 stomping at Kirtland Central in Zero Week on Aug. 28.
The two weeks since have been focused on refining the finer points of Bayfield’s offensive and defensive schemes.
“(We’ve worked on) a lot of discipline, a lot of perfecting the speed of our game as far as making offensive and defensive calls and getting people in the right positions, getting everything so well-learned that it’s second nature,” Heide said. “Against Kirtland, I don’t think we paid attention to detail very well for some plays that worked. When you get against a top-ranked team, you have to be more attentive to detail.”
Miyamura (Gallup, New Mexico) enters Friday’s game ranked No. 5 in New Mexico’s Class 5A after a 2-0 start that includes a 45-13 win at Montezuma-Cortez, who plays in Bayfield’s league.
“They are extremely well coached. Their offense is sophisticated – something you might see at a college,” Heide said. “They have great athletes, a lot of speed. Put that together with a well-coached team, and that’s a tough opponent.”
The Wolverines know that from experience.
They lost 24-21 in Gallup last season after a Hail Mary throw fell one-yard short at the last second.
The details were important for that game, too, as the Wolverines lost four touchdowns to holding penalties.
BHS brings back all of its major offensive weapons.
The Wolverines’s senior running back Zane Phelps rumbled for 282 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots last year, and he and quarterback Kelton McCoy led a parade into the endzone against Kirtland, accounting for five touchdowns between them.
They’ll line up against a Miyamura offense that has found balance between sophomore quarterback Matt Chavez and senior running back Alias Starkovich.
Chavez has thrown for 211 yards and two scores, while Starkovich has gained 281 on the ground and scored five touchdowns.
Chavez can also run, gaining 195 yards on just 15 carries with two touchdowns.
It’s a lot of firepower to handle coming out of a bye week, but Heide isn’t worried about his team starting a step behind.
“It’s early in the season. I think one week is ok,” he said. “As long as you address it and attend to it every practice, I think you’re ok.”
If you go
Who: Miyamura (Gallup, New Mexico) at Bayfield
What: High school football
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Wolverine Country Stadium, Bayfield
Radio: KLJH 107.1 FM