Eric Handke is taking over the head football coaching reins at Castle View High School in Castle Rock from his good friend Todd Casebier, saying he is not planning to make wholesale changes in the …
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Eric Handke is taking over the head football coaching reins at Castle View High School in Castle Rock from his good friend Todd Casebier, saying he is not planning to make wholesale changes in the program.
Casebier left to take the head coaching job at Rifle, and Handke, the Sabercats’ defensive coordinator the past three seasons, moved up to the head coaching position.
“Our staff is pretty much all intact from what it was before,” said Handke, who had previous football coaching jobs at Montrose, Salida, Cal Lutheran and Adams State.
“The head coach left,” he continued. “He was a good friend of mine. We coached on the Western Slope for about 10 years together. I was a head coach before and had to do the rebuild thing and I wasn’t interested in doing that again.
“The kids are excited. They don’t have to go learn a whole new thing. So there is some comfort in that.”
Castle View has gone 19-11 the past three years and made the state playoffs twice. It might be too early to say, but the 2021 football season might be closer to normal than last year.
“That’s the thing our team is most looking forward to, is having a full season and getting back to a normal football season,” said Handke. “Our kids are real excited and working hard. All signs are looking good. Last season was so crazy. It’s great there are no restrictions and we don’t have to separate guys.
“We graduated some really good players. We’re going to miss them but we’ve got a good senior class. I have some kids that really contributed last year who were juniors. Defensively we have six guys back. Offensively we have a little bit less than that but we’ve got some guys that are ready to step in.”
Castle View opens the season Aug. 27 against Heritage and has non-league games set against Fairview, Douglas County and Aurora Hinkley.
“We not going to change a whole lot,” said Handke. “You are always looking to take the next step. That is kind of what we are looking to do. But also we’ve got to take it one day at a time and focus on that first game. It doesn’t matter because if you go drop that first game that puts yourself behind the eight-ball. We have to take care of business week to week so come November we’ll be in a good spot.
“Our league (Douglas County 5A) is tough enough, so in the non-league we have to make sure we’re sharp.”
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