One developmental football league in Colorado has already wrapped up for 2019 and the other has just one final showdown before the page turns to 2020. However, some teams have already started working towards next year, like the Mile High Black Knights.
While 2020 will be the Black Knights’ inaugural season, the team has actually been in the works since May of 2018.
“I started this team because of bad experiences with other teams and their ownership,” Black Knights owner Christian Cesiano told The Gridiron Grind. “I figured If I don’t make the same mistakes, then I’ll be fine.”
The Denver area may recognize the name, as a team called the Mile High Knights rose to prominence in the late 1990s.
“There’s no connection to the original, but if some of the original players want to come out and be associated, then that would be great,” Cesiano said.
Cesiano has played on several teams at this level around Colorado for more than a decade and even had a stint in Italy during that time.
“I have been on winning teams and losing teams,” Cesiano said. “I feel like I can succeed with the knowledge I have acquired. Our team will be different because we have a good system in place. Ownership will keep our promise and we have a knowledgeable coaching staff ready to win and to help develop players to get them where they need to go.”
Mile High will be coached by head coach Fred Pruitt, defensive coordinator Marcus Juniel and assistant coach Marcus Hullum and will play their games at Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch
The team has yet to host official tryouts, but word of mouth has grown this team to more than 40 players over the past year that have been practicing once a week for the past several months.
“We have a good system in place, I feel that our guys are buying into,” Cesiano said. “Most of our guys want to be successful and want to win. They are passionate and hungry and they want to beat the Greyhawks.”
The Greyhawks, which haven’t lost to a team from The Centennial State since 2014, just won their sixth consecutive championship on Saturday. In any case, the Mile High Knights and the rest of the state has their work cut out for them.
While there is still plenty of time to add players and for players to battle it out for starting roster spots, a few guys have already stood out to Cesiano and are anticipated to become key players once the season rolls around in April.
“We have a running back who has the same amount of experience as me, Kyron Covington,” Cesiano said. “I feel like that in our system and offense, he will be elite and will shine.”
Defensively, one name to keep an eye on is safety Matt Hosert.
“He is hard-hitting and very knowledgeable of the game,” Cessiano said.
In November, Cesiano plans to present The Black Knights at the Colorado Football Association owner’s meeting, in hopes of becoming an expansion team.
“We hope to join the CFA, because for us, we feel that it will be a good league to be a part of and we are excited to be a part of the growth,” Cesiano said.
The Black Knights will kick off their pre-season slate on Dec. 14, when they are set to host the Waterford Predators of California. Then, in February, the Black Knights will travel to Idaho to take on the East Idaho Wolfpack before beginning league play in April.