EAST VAIL — It’s hunting season.
OK, orange means different things to different people, and while bagging an animal is nice, orange for Vail Mountain School soccer means the Gore Rangers are in the playoffs. VMS blanked Aspen, 3-0, on Thursday afternoon at Bandoni Alumni Field to clinch a postseason berth.
For the uninitiated, the Dutch, one of the smallest national sides in Europe, wears orange in the European Championships, and VMS, one of the smallest schools in Class 3A for soccer, turns in its trusty blue-and-wide uniforms for bright orange tops when it makes the playoffs. The tradition started in 1998 and wearing orange has become the goal every soccer season since. And this also means that next Friday will be an Orange Day for all at the Vail Mountain School from kindergarten all the way up to the upper school.
Please dress accordingly.
Ryan Schmidt continued his hot streak with a marker in the 16th minute, on a pass from Clay Kirwood. Young master Kirwood was in a giving mood Thursday. He hit Garrett Cerny in the second half. Cerny was turning just at the right moment and slammed it home for a 2-0 lead. To cap it, Trevor Sheldon beat two guys down the right side and centered the pass to Dylan Cunningham, who headed it into the back of the net.
“They’re excited. They’re happy they’ve earned a postseason sport,” VMS coach Pete Petrovski said. “They’ve worked hard and it’s a step in the right direction. They’re pleased, but not overwhelmed with the win. It’s not the end of the road. They hope we continue the path we’re on.”
VMS (8-4-2) will find out its draw on Sunday. In a new format for 3A this year, the top-eight teams in the classification will host regionals on Friday and Saturday. VMS will be on the road Friday at one of those eight sites.
In the meantime, it was Senior Day for the Gore Rangers, and those fine fellows are Cerny, Billy Mitchell, Brett Ferraro, William Sterret and Brandon Rosenbach. Goalie Sterret got the shutout on Thursday in the win.
“It was a bit of a learning process for all,” Petrovski said. “They were getting to know us as a coaching staff and we were getting to know them. We’ve relied on them to take a leadership role and they have.”
West Grand tops VMS spikers
Vail Mountain School volleyball lost a marathon match to West Grand, 25-17, 28-30, 13-25, 26-24, 15-11, Thursday night, capping the home slate.
“The fans got their money’s worth, but we don’t charge (at the gate),” VMS volleyball coach Mike Garvey joked.
VMS is 6-8 overall and 5-4 in the 2A Slope and was scheduled to play at Hayden Friday for a game that would decide the No. 3 seed for districts a week from now. (Remember that Vail Christian and other 1A teams move down to that classification for the postseason.) VMS is also at a tournament today at Summit County where it will see some bigger schools.
The volleyball team feted its seniors — Stephanie Kohlhofer, Erica Charles, Lizzie Pancratz, Taylor Washing and Hannah McKeever. But before everyone says goodbye, the Gore Rangers would like to keep things going by doing well at the district tournament next weekend.
“Our five seniors have been on the floor every night,” Garvey said. “It’s not only that, but what they’ve done for the program. The girls have spent a lot of time together and we hope for a few more weeks. I’m proud of their resilience.”