Always hungry, never satisfied. Despite being part of a football dynasty, the Columbine Rebels seek to leave their own legacy after each and every season.
This group of renegades has a history of excellence. Columbine has won five football state championships dating back to 1999, and amassed 100 wins in the past 10 seasons. On the field, you'll see Rebelball -- a form of football -- but with that Columbine swag.
“It’s about us, we don’t really worry about what other people think," senior Jackson Block said.
After finishing the 2015 regular season undefeated, the Rebels will look to do the same this time around, but they know nothing is guaranteed.
“It’s hard to go 12-0 two seasons in a row. We’ll definitely try to build off of last year and see where it takes us," senior Mikey Griebel said.
The Rebels were on track to go to the 5A state championship in 2015, but only one team stood in their path. Columbine and Pomona had met during the regular season, with the Rebels edging their opponents in a hard-fought battle 42-35. It was the closest game they had all season, so seeing their rival in the state playoffs was going to be a bloodbath.
The back-and-fourth game would go down to the final minute, where Columbine needed a touchdown and extra point to tie things up.
“We finally scored from the six yard line on third down on a scramble by [quarterback] Jake [Lowry], so we just had to earn every inch we could possibly get," head coach Andy Lowry said.
Adversity sometimes strikes when you least expect. The extra point was no good. Columbine would lose 21-20.
“When the kick happened, you feel horrible for all of your kids. It’s just one of those things that was a good punch in the gut, that’s for sure," Lowry said. “To win a state championship, we’ve been blessed and fortunate to win five, and it just takes some luck. Luck here or there on a turnover, on a call, whatever may happen, and we just didn’t get the luck with it.”
“I think the hardest part to get over is everything was lined up for us. We were 12-0, we had Jake Lowry, the nephew of coach Lowry. Everything was just building blocks of ok, this is supposed to happen,” Griebel added.
Success is not only marked by wins and losses. It is also defined by resilience. Columbine is determined to have a different outcome this time around. They've been working countless hours during the summer to become faster, stronger and tougher. One of the biggest challenges this new year will bring will be the absence of some 20-plus graduating seniors.
“Everyone’s kind of looking down on us right now, so it’ll be fun to surprise some people, I think," Griebel said.
“It just seems as if we left a lot of Columbine out on the field and it’s still kind of churning in our guts," assistant coach Ivory Moore said. “There’s only going to be one happy team at the end of each season, and you’d like for it to be you. You’d like for it to be us. We like for it to be us.”