Class 4A power Wind­sor wel­comes the re­turn of foot­ball coach Chris Jones to the Wiz­ards.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Kyle New­man Jones, on his con­nec­tion to the Wind­sor com­mu­nity: Jones, on how to re­place Corte Tapia: Jones, on what he learned from coach­ing his son: Andy Cross, Den­ver Post file Jones, on in­still­ing lead­er­ship in his team: Jones, on his fa­mous whis

Af­ter win­ning his sec­ond state cham­pi­onship in nine sea­sons in 2015, Chris Jones stepped down from the Wind­sor head coach­ing job to coach his old­est son and teach at a school, Rocky Moun­tain, closer to his Fort Collins home.

But Jones’ ties to the Wind­sor com­mu­nity were strong enough to bring him back to the Wiz­ards, as a teacher and coach, af­ter his year-long ab­sence. Den­ver Post preps ed­i­tor Kyle New­man caught up with Jones to dis­cuss his re­turn to Wind­sor, his team this sea­son and more.

“I was never fully out of con­tact with the coach­ing staff, the ad­min­is­tra­tion, the par­ents or the play­ers. In late Novem­ber, I went to one game and it was great to see ev­ery­one, and fol­low­ing that, we had a se­ries of un­for­tu­nate losses in the Wind­sor area. There were some adults who had passed away who had been close to our pro­gram, and then we had sev­eral kids lose their lives — and I had those kids in class, and a cou­ple of them played foot­ball for me as well. Go­ing to a few fu­ner­als, see­ing the sad­ness — it was tough. It was hard to see the com­mu­nity hurt­ing like that.

“My AD and prin­ci­pal there were al­ways sup­port­ive — and it wasn’t that they didn’t like the di­rec­tion the pro­gram was go­ing or how coach Sky­lar Brower (now the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at Fos­sil Ridge) was han­dling the pro­gram. They just reached out to me, and I thought about it, and it was a pretty emo­tional time for a lot of peo­ple. By no means am I some sav­ior, but that com­mu­nity im­pacted me and I im­pacted them, so I felt like that’s where I needed to be.”

“We never re­ally try to re­place an in­di­vid­ual player, be­cause they’re all unique. Corte was a spe­cial player — that’s why he’s at CSU now — and he’s one of the few guys in my years at Wind­sor that was able to play var­sity all four years, and one of three that was able to start all four years. Can we put that same skill set back in there at line­backer? Most likely, prob­a­bly not — but we can get a kid in there who’s ath­letic, who knows the sys­tem and our ex­pec­ta­tions and who knows what lead­er­ship looks like, just like Corte did.”

“I guess you could say in the year off from Wind­sor I got a lit­tle calmer and not so quick to re­act to a sit­u­a­tion from coach­ing my son’s sev­enth-grade team. I think I’m more pa­tient with things, and I don’t let is­sues take up a lot of time at prac­tice — so I’m just more un­der­stand­ing that I’m deal­ing with teenage kids where some­times mis­takes are go­ing to hap­pen. Our job is to, hope­fully, teach them to be more con­sis­tent on and off the field.”

“Each year, you have to teach kids how to lead. And each year, there’s a new group that comes in and hasn’t led be­fore, and it takes a lit­tle time to get them ac­cli­mated to it. But I’m try­ing to put more on their plate, in terms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ex­pec­ta­tions of their peers, and hold­ing them to those ex­pec­ta­tions.”

“I do have the whis­tle. We have a se­nior bar­be­cue on Aug. 11 where I go over goals with the se­niors and talk to the se­nior par­ents Wind­sor foot­ball team’s key play­ers to watch Zach Watts, Sr., OL-DL (Wy­oming com­mit) Bran­don Ramirez, Sr., RB Joel Kop­cow, Sr., LB Con­nor Apodaca, Sr., QB Chase Lanck­riet, Jr., QB Wind­sor’s 2017 sched­ule

● Sept. 1, 7 p.m., at Vista

Ridge (District 20 Sta­dium)

● Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Pine


● Sept. 15, 7 p.m., at Broom­field (El­iz­a­beth Kennedy Sta­dium)

● Sept. 21, 7 p.m., at Gree­ley

West (District 6 Sta­dium)

● Sept. 29, 7 p.m., vs. Grand


● Oct. 5, 7 p.m., at Moun­tain

View (Ray Patterson Field)

● Oct. 13, 7 p.m., vs. Monarch ● Oct. 19, 7 p.m., at Gree­ley

Cen­tral (District 6 Sta­dium) ● Oct. 27, 7 p.m., vs. Sky­line

● Nov. 3, 7 p.m., at Fort

Collins (French Field) about ex­pec­ta­tions, what our theme is and the gen­eral overview to the year. At that time, all our se­niors will add a piece of tape to the whis­tle, just as all my past se­niors have.

“This year, things are go­ing to be dif­fer­ent, and it’s a mat­ter of how we han­dle ‘dif­fer­ent’ to­gether as a group. Dif­fer­ent can be pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive, it can be some­thing that hap­pens to us on the field or off — and there’s al­ways go­ing to be a cor­re­spond­ing re­ac­tion, so it’s about how we re­act. We have a chal­leng­ing sched­ule up front and our league is dif­fi­cult as well, so we’re go­ing to be chal­lenged and we will see how we han­dle each week-to-week test.”

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