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February 18, 2014
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The biased, I hate a particular team preps column

Welcome to the hate-mail edition of the world-of-preps column.

As state skiing progressed last week, Eagle Valley parents sent me indignant emails titled, “There are two high schools in the county.” They went on with the usual claptrap of what an awful person I am and how biased I am for all things Battle Mountain.

Well, actually there are four schools here — Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Vail Christian and Vail Mountain. But when it comes to actual achievement in team skiing, the Huskies were the only team contending for a state title and winning the individual state titles, which is sort of the point of the state meet.

The state skiing awards ceremony brought this into plain relief. Battle Mountain won 18 awards and Eagle Valley two. I don’t vote on these, people. Every award is based on performance. Overall state points? Battle Mountain 1,110.5, Eagle Valley, 808.

That’s not evil Freud wearing Huskies gear. By objective standards, Battle Mountain did better and the coverage reflected it.

On Saturday, Eagle Valley wrestling coach Ron Beard reported the Devils’ results from regionals, while his counterpart at Battle Mountain, Angelo Vasquez’s phone was on the fritz. (By the way, Angelo’s phone does not coach the team. I know that.) Thus, I wrote a story on the Devils going to state and there wasn’t one on the Huskies.

Lucky me, I got phone calls and emails telling me what an awful person I am and how I am biased toward all things Eagle Valley. (Irony can be very ironic.)

Surprisingly, I do not have ESP and cannot predict results. (If I did, I would have made a killing in Vegas and would have retired by now.) I also have not done the cloning thing, which would be helpful. We had local teams competing in Montrose, Edwards, Steamboat Springs and Kremmling with skiing coming back from Eldora on Saturday alone.

That’s why calling in is important. Every varsity coach from all four schools has my cell number. That’s why I write a column at the start of every preps year, telling everyone to call.

While I found it refreshing to hear that I “liked” Eagle Valley better in one instance, a reminder — there are only two teams that are near and dear to my heart, the San Francisco Giants (2010 and 2012 World Series champions) and the San Francisco 49ers (who have five NFL titles in the bank).

Coaches, pick up the phone. Parents, please encourage your coaches to pick up the phone.

And here’s a delightful example — Vail Christian girls basketball coach Doug Bruce just called to say that the Saints won down at Shining Mountain, 43-42, on Tuesday night.

That snaps a five-game skid for the ladies. More importantly, this was one of those games when the Saints were in it, and found a way to win.

“I’m really proud of the girls hanging in there,” Bruce said. “We had the lead almost the entire way. It could have been one of those games where the girls thought, ‘Here we go again.’ But they didn’t let it happen.”

Jessie Hartley had 13 for the Saints, who are 7-11.

Other news and notes

• Vail Christian, both basketball teams are at Plateau Valley on Saturday for the regular-season finale. To the gents, let’s get some half-court offense going that isn’t Parker Page canning a 3. Grinding games are ahead and you’re going to need to pound the ball inside.

• Eagle Valley girls basketball starts districts on Thursday at 3 p.m. against Rifle at Palisade. The Bears came back to beat the Devils in Rifle in the first meeting. Megan Asmussen struck with the 3 at the buzzer for and Eagle Valley win at Gypsum.

My question remains, “Which Eagle Valley team shows up?” If it’s the Devils who press and play with intensity, they beat Rifle and are threat to top-seeded Glenwood.

• Interesting stat: Battle Mountain hockey finished 7-10-2 overall and 4-9-1 in the Foothills, but were only outscored 61-60. (And don’t forget the Saintly Dev-skies of the Gore Range beat Kent Denver, 9-0, in one game alone.) This team is not far from the playoffs again. Find some offense, anywhere, please. That said, who would have thought we’d live long enough to see Battle Mountain hockey need offense? This, of course, is the Murphy’s Law of high school sports. Once Huskies hockey finally got the defense and goaltending down, the offense disappeared.

• And since I started this column with the teams I allegedly hate, here’s who I like this week: The state six — Ruben Chagoya, Noah Hermosillo, Raul Lopez, Xavier Mendoza, Jesus Morales and Alex Ramirez. Go get ’em at the state wrestling meet this week.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Feb 18, 2014 10:15PM Published Feb 18, 2014 10:15PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.