It has been just about a year. And it’s difficult to forget the date, which coincided with what forever will be referred to as 9-11, There was death, injury, shock, dismay and it underlined the ever-present notion that, yes, it may be a wonder we don’t have more of this.
Indeed, it has been a long 51 weeks for Class 5A Legacy head coach Wayne Voorhees and, no, you won’t hear him complain.
He insists, “I’m doing pretty good … I’m definitely getting back to normal … hopefully.”
Of course, he added, “that depends on who you ask and what normal is.”
The Lightning’s 15-year head coach may have a good sense of humor, but also has the scars that are real. In 2016, his team was returning from a trip and was involved in a severe bus accident, which killed the driver and injured multiple Legacy people, including Voorhees, who had a cracked skull and three facial fractures. Other coaches were battered as well and all still feel the effects. The pain. The medical visits. The dental problems. The empty recall. They’re still there.
“It has been mentally challenging and I’m learning,” said Voorhees, who had earlier problems with melanoma and a heart flutter. “I’m still not quite there, still have some of the memory issues, it’s not as good as it used to be. There are a few little things where I can tell that I’m still not where I want to be … but it’s not something I can’t manage.”
Plus, he said, “I probably returned to coaching too early.”
But it’s what he does and he had to go back.  Besides, he added, “it was therapeutic … it was awesome just seeing the kids and wishing them well.”
It has led to a new appreciation.
“When I think of the big picture, they’re just kids and I want what’s best for them,” Voorhees said, in admitting that “I’m enjoying coaching and teaching more now in the class room and I’m maybe more patient with them than in the past.”
As Lightning players enter Week 2 to take on Grandview, they’re coming off a fifth consecutive victory over city-rival Broomfield, strengthening their grip on the Mayor’s Cup that signifies city football prowess. Voorhees, who also works with USA Football — he’s a regional master trainer who does clinics for youth and prep players on proper tackling technique — called the Wolves, who knocked the Lighting out of the big-school playoffs a year ago in a 37-7 rout, “the real deal that comes out and executes.”
It’s one of the multiple matchups noted below for your viewing pleasure as Colorado football enters Week 2:
Best bets …
Arapahoe (0-1) vs. Heritage (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Littleton Public Schools Stadium
It’s the Brookridge Trophy, or Milk Can Game. LPSS is a site for a former dairy farm and the winner gets a unique trophy. … They’re district rivals who also used to go at it in the Centennial and Continental leagues. … The series between the two programs began in 1972 and the Brookridge Trophy aspect, instituted by then Heritage coach Mike Griebel, opened in 1995. The Warriors own a 26-16 advantage in the overall series and Heritage has won just twice since 2007 (the two didn’t play in 2008 and 2009). … Arapahoe had a rough opener, falling to Rock Canyon by 38-17. … The Warriors gave up 28 points in the middle quarters. … 4A Heritage fell on the road, 20-3 to Colorado Springs’ Rampart. …
Boulder (1-0) vs. Fairview (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Recht Field
It’s the 54th meeting in a storied series. Fairview owns a commanding 33-20 advantage and has won 11 of the past 12 meetings, most via blowout. … Boulder is 1-0 for the first time since 2013. The Panthers slipped past 4A Denver South 27-25 last week on a last-second play, a 3-yard shovel pass to Shane Provost. … Patrick Fletcher was the man, rushing for 193 yards and a TD, and setting up the winning score with a clutch, 79-yard kickoff return. … Fairview spanked Horizon 38-14 last week and had the numbers to prove it. Sophomore QB Aiden Atkinson was 26-of-34 for 359 yards and three TDs. Strongman Mariano Kemp rushed 26 times for 143 yards and two TDs. And Bryce Desjardins had nine catches for 159 yards and two TDs. … Plus, Recht’s new press box is drawing lots of attention.
Doherty (1-0) vs. Cherry Creek (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Stutler Bowl
Visiting Spartans had a Wow! Game last week, beating Rangeview 83-55. And that’s not a typo. … Doherty had more points than offensive snaps  (55), not to mention winning despite 164 yards in penalties. … Julian Cooks rushed 25 times for 303 yards and five TDs. Isaac Kubik and D’Angelo Shepherd each caught two TD passes. … The Spartans also had 707 yards of offense, 836 all-purpose yards. … The Bruins ran 75 offensive plays and generated 26 first downs, yet fell 25-20 at Regis Jesuit in Aurora. … Junior Alex Padilla was productive, 32-of-41 for 289 yards and two TDs and an interception. … Seven Bruins caught passes, topped by Dimitri Stanley’s 14 for 104 yards and Marcus Miller’s 11 for 136. Both also caught scoring passes.
Grandview (1-0) vs. Legacy (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Adams 12 North Stadium
It was a slugfest of sorts with a similar result. Grandview beat Chaparral 21-7 last week in a nonleague opener. The Wolves downed the Wolverines in a fourth consecutive opener and fifth time in succession overall. …. Grandview scored 14 points in the final quarter to take the victory. … The Lightning’s decision of Broomfield came with some goodies. Alex Lewis threw for 333 yards. No other Legacy player has topped 300. Lewis also moved to third on the program’s all-time passing-yards list and needs 58 yards to move into second. … Ross Smith had 186 yards receiving, also the most in program history for a single game. … It’s one of seven home games for the Lighting this year.
Mullen (0-2) at Regis Jesuit (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Lou Kellogg Stadium
To date, Mullen has lost to the 2015 and 2016 5A runner-up (Pomona, by 52-22) and two-time defending 5A state champion (Valor Christian, by 34-7). … However, the difference in effort between the two, coach Tom Thenell agrees, was significant. The Mustangs had a much-improved second outing. … QB Dom DePizzol is 33-of-63 for 524 yards with one touchdown and one interception. … Yes, the two used to go at it in the old Parochial League. … The Raiders’ victory ar Cherry Creek in Greenwood Village came with a 12-3 halftime lead and two second-half TDs. … Regis Jesuit is in a stretch in which three of its next four games will be played at home.
Pomona (1-0) at Fountain-Fort Carson (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Guy Barickman Stadium
The visiting Panthers were idle last week. In Zero Week, they crushed Mullen 52-22. … Big news — Max Borghi, the very speedy back for Pomona who at first committed to the University of Colorado and switched to Washington State, is due to make his debut. He’s coming off knee-ligament surgery and coach Jay Madden has elected to be careful with him. … Fair question concerning Pomona QB Ryan Marquez — is there a better playmaker at the position? … The Trojans are looking forward to their home opener after winning 21-16 on the road against Arvada’s Ralston Valley. …  They had lost six of their past seven games under new head coach Jake Novotny. … If you haven’t experienced it, it’s worth the trip — Guy Barickman is one of 5A’s top venues.
Also keep an eye on …
Denver East (0-1) vs. Cherokee Trail (0-1), Thursday, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium
Joe Johnson, the new coach of the host Cougars, is 205-87 with three state titles in a stellar career and in hot pursuit of his first victory in the Cherry Creek District.
Horizon (0-1) vs, Overland (1-0), Thursday, 7 p.m., Stutler Bowl
New Trailblazers coach Steve Sewell, the former Bronco, earned his first victory last week, 26-6 over Denver East. Now, he tries for his first one at home.
Fort Collins (1-0) vs. Poudre (2-0), Thursday, 6 p.m., French Field
It’s a rivalry game between crosstown teams that are off to nice starts … and Fort Collins usually does well in supporting its teams.
Rocky Mountain (0-1) at Fossil Ridge (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m., French Field
At the least, one of these city rivals (see above) will get a victory, a much-needed one.
Valor Christian (2-0) at Greater Atlanta Christian (2-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
The Eagles, the best we’ve got, head to Georgia, where the Spartans, 13-2 a year ago and state runners-up in Class AAA, are off to an 87-21 scoring start.
ThunderRidge (0-1) vs. Eaglecrest (1-0), Friday, 7 p.m., Legacy Stadium
Kenny Wanting rushed for three TDs last week as the Raptors won their 11th consecutive regular-season game, 49-7 over district-rival Smoky Hill