Seno sizes up opposing speedsters

ThunderRidge senior named tops on defense

Tom Munds
ThunderRidge linebacker Tyler Seno (54) wraps up Fairview quarterback Anders Hill (9) as Seno's teammate Brandon Barban (97) moves in to help with the tackle during the Nov. 23 State Class 5A football semifinal game.
Tom Munds
ThunderRidge linebacker Tyler Seno (54) talks to teammate Austin Fafjer (16) after the state 5A semifinal loss to Fairview. Seno had an outstanding season and is the selection as this year's defensive player of the year.
By Jim Benton

Any author seeking for a prototype for his or her next spy fiction novel should have watched Tyler Seno on the football field.

Seno, the middle linebacker for the ThunderRidge football team, was a good spy following fleet-footed opposing quarterbacks and running backs.

"When there was a really good running back it would be my responsibility to follow him around the field a lot and I'd be a quarterback spy a lot of times for quarterbacks who like to run," explained Seno. "But, it was a team thing. I couldn't have done what I did without the defensive line and the DBs behind me."

What Seno, the 6-foot, 195 pound senior, did was more than enough to be selected as Colorado Community Media's South Metro Defensive Player of the Year, edging out Legend junior Keegan Andersen, Chaparral senior Keenan Foshe and Valor Christian senior Justin Falls, all of whom are also linebackers.

"He was our leading tackler by a two to one margin," said ThunderRidge coach Joe Johnson. "He was really good in space, a kid that could really run. He was real active and the most athletic linebacker we've had."

Seno has a knack of always being around the ball and was the leading tackler in the Continental League with 127 tackles, or 9.8 per game. He finished the season with four sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

"Being around the ball is something the people I worked with all year stressed a lot," said Seno. "They said college recruiters love to see kids around the ball. ... Some of being around the ball a lot is natural instinct to get there quickly and make the play.

"I'm just lucky enough to have the speed I have to get through gaps quickly and see the ball well. That helped me out a lot."

Seno worked hard to prepare for his senior season and hopes to play next fall at a Division II school or Colorado State University where he admits he has been dreaming about attending since he was a kid.

"I was really pleased with the season," he said. "I worked all offseason with two different trainers that busted me really hard. I couldn't be happier. I just got stronger, faster and gained some weight.

"I was definitely a lot better in taking on offensive linemen this year and got a lot faster. There were only a couple kids that could outrun me on the field and that was pretty rare."

Seno learned in youth football that he was destined to play as a defender.

"I kind of got put on defense because I played right tackle for my Mustangs team on offense and I was way too small to play right tackle," confessed Seno. "I just said I might as well play defense because I never played anywhere else on offense. I'm glad I made that choice."

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