Game on, Vail Christian.
I would give you the Stevie Nicks treatment - "This is it. Make no mistake about it." Yet, only your parents will get it.
It's the Saints against Deer Trail today at 2:30 p.m. at Glenwood Springs High School. The winner goes on to the state tournament. For Vail Christian, we are in Undiscovered Country, which is a Star Trek VI reference. That movie was made in 1991 and none of you were born then either, but it's more current than Nicks.
OK, enough attempts at being culturally hip, which I am not. Here are the keys to the game:
• Defense and rebounding and rebounding and defense. And play some more defense after that.
• Cool it in transition: I know you guys like to push it, and sometimes it works out gloriously with style. Take care of the ball. If the break is there and really open, go. If not, chill.
• Keep your cool.
And the observant readers will realize that I just copied this from last week's column. It's not that I'm an unoriginal human being - I had Stevie Nicks earlier, com'on. These three things still hold true, people.
There's no cramming for this. Do what you've done most of the time in the previous 21 games.
Do, however, remember that there are a ton of people who have gone before you.
This is for Oscar Alcantar and Dan Ferguson, all-leaguers for Vail Christian when it was a real surprise. For Matt Seatvet. (Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk) and Kyle Morris. (They're two of the originals in Saints boys basketball.) For Jon Armstead (and his dad, Bob, who was at so many games.) For Jamie Graef. For Josh "Stop calling me, Todd, Freud" Glandorf (and Steven, Liisa and Rachel. too). For Kyle Morris.
For Rye Miller (Class of 2004). For the Twin Towers, Caleb Pearson and Jaryd Francis, and all the Francii (Steve, Jeanne, Sammantha and Dakota.) For the Ristows (Oliver, Elliot and Mark). Chase and Blake Gruber (And that Ashyn girl was pretty good too). For Tim Ragan and Andy Dalton.
For all the Js - in 2005, the Saints had Jon Armstead, Jamie Graef, Josh Sibley, Jaryd Francis and Pearson was renamed Jaleb to make it five on the court at one time. Where was A.J. Burgess at the time? How about Jeremy Lowe?
For Will Parker (and Jackie and Nicole and Allie - many Parkers). For Larry Cavanaugh (and, yes, Danielle). How about for Chris Schmidt and Dustin Martin (yep, he was a Saint before a member of the Huskies)? For Tristan "Bubba" Murray (He did play basketball, though we remember him more on the gridiron). For Kieran Hurtt and Juan Gonzalez.
For Jason Propp and "The Dunk." (Yeah, Francis had the first one and Caleb probably dropped a few, but when a kid comes off the bench and dunks, that's awesome.)
For Granger Moch and Devan Christie and Cody Bakken. And, yes for the Nanner, Fernando Hernandez. For Pat Phelan. (No not that one, the kid who used to play for Rangely. As a side note, I've spent too much time in the web archives to bring that name up.) For Teller Emmer.
The point of this trip down memory lane is that there have been a lot of great players in Vail Christian history. There have probably been more talented teams than this year's edition. But there hasn't been a team like this. And that's why we're going to a basketball game today in March.
Enjoy it, and game on.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.