Bear Creek stays on track with victory over Wheat Ridge
Sports information Dennis Pleuss / Jeffco
Bears cement playoff spot with 3rd straight conference win
LAKEWOOD – Bear Creek’s football program has found its identity which resulted in the Bears’ first winning season since 2014.
“Our kids have worked all year around where we’re from and where we’ve been,” Bear Creek coach Matt Steinfeldt said Thursday night at Jeffco Stadium. “The 7-2 record is superb. I have a lot of things on paper looks great. We still have these errors. As a growing program, we’ll go back and look at these errors.
It was not perfect in the Class 4A Metro 1 League match against Wheat Ridge (0-9, 0-4 in the league). Bear Creek (7-2, 3-1).
The Bears led 21-12 at halftime, but really shook things up in the second half for a 49-12 victory. Bear Creek extended their winning streak to 3 games with the win.
Bear Creek recorded four rushing touchdowns in the second half with senior quarterback Jaedon Minter, senior Gavin Mueller finding the end zone with senior Ryan Segovia with a pair of short touchdowns. The Bears’ defense was strong excluding the Farmers in the second half.
“We just wanted to play the same way we played,” Minter said after producing three first-half pass touchdowns and a leg score after half. “We wanted to make fewer mistakes.
There is no doubt that Bear Creek is linked to the playoffs for the first time since moving up to 4A in 2018.
Bear Creek is at the heart of the conference race along with three other league opponents who are all ranked in the top 10 of the 4A CHSAANow.com football rankings. Dakota Ridge No.2, Chatfield No.8, Golden No.10 and Bear Creek were only separated by one league title game, with the regular season ending next week.
“For the Jeffco League it’s going to be a big week,” Steinfeldt said of the upcoming Week 10. “Chatfield and Dakota Ridge are playing next week. Golden has a tough game tomorrow night against Dakota Ridge. These are four teams competing in this conference championship and certainly top seeds for the state tournament. “
Dakota Ridge and Golden have a big showdown tomorrow (Friday) at the North Area Athletic Complex. Chatfield will face Standley Lake in the Chargers’ return game on Friday night at Jeffco Stadium.
It is highly likely that the four will be part of the 24-team category of the state tournament. All four teams were in the top 12 of the RPI rankings at the start of Week 9.
“I don’t know if we knew we would be in this position four months ago,” Steinfeldt admitted. “It’s a good place for us. “
During the heyday of the Bear Creek football program in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Bears were a lifelong contender in the state of 5A football under coach Tom Thenell. While it may seem like a long time ago, the Bears have their schedule headed in the right direction in Steinfeldt’s sophomore year at the helm.
“We refer to it,” said Steinfeldt of Thenell’s run to Bear Creek which included trips to the Class 5A state title game in 1997 and 2000. “As a program we want to come back. about all the great things Coach Thenell has done I have heard that name come through the door so many times.
While Steinfeldt wanted his current squad to look at what has been done at Bear Creek in the past, he also knows this year’s squad needs to have its own identity.
“We definitely found our way, but I don’t think we found our way all the way,” said Minter, who gives the coaching staff a lot of credit for the turnaround. “We still have mistakes and mistakes. The day we become perfect is when things have really changed.