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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Jared Ridgeway is making the most of his senior season. Starting on varsity for the first time, Ridgeway leads Class AA in interceptions with eight. Not only that, but the Broncs, who are off this week, have qualified for the AA playoffs for the first time since 1992. Ridgeway talked about all that and how much he likes going against the Broncs' high-powered offense every day in practice.

Q: What's the atmosphere been like at practice?

A: We've been really excited about it. It feels really good to get this far. We've had two disappointing losses during the regular season that we should have had. We're just hoping playoff-wise … we have the team, it's just that we need to put it together on both sides of the ball.

Q: You played cornerback at the junior varsity level last year, and now as a senior you're a starting safety and leading the league in interceptions. How were you able to make such a quick adjustment?

A: Sophomore year I was playing safety and I think I fit better at safety. I'm a little bit bigger (6-foot-1, 200 pounds), and I read the quarterback's eyes pretty well. We do that every day at practice. At the end of last season, coach asked me where I would feel most comfortable playing. I liked playing safety better. You're 12 yards back rather than right on the receiver and there's more margin for error.

Q: What's it like playing in all those tight games? Seems like all Senior's games go down to the wire.

A: Oh, definitely. Last week against Bozeman it was nice to be on the field instead of standing on the sideline. It's a lot nicer to be in there knowing you can do something about the end instead of watching your teammates. They're the fun ones to win, but they really get at you when you don't win them.

Q: Talk about how tough it is to play defensive back in high school. Obviously, your offense has shown that if you have to play against a quality passing team, it's tough.

A: Our DBs especially, we have pretty good pass coverage because that's what we practice against every day. From JV to varsity, you couldn't imagine the change in tempo. But definitely it's an advantage that we have because we go against them every day.

Q: Is it fun to practice against that offense day in and day out?

A: That's the highlight of practice is going one-on-one against those guys. Sometimes we get into it during the drill, but afterward we shake hands and get back to work.

— Mike Scherting