MONTROSE — Eagle Valley does not have a track and field team.
The Devils have more of a thundering herd, nearly 150 athletes, jumping, running and/or throwing. We’re not joking, people.
“We took three buses down here, for crying out loud,” longtime Eagle Valley track coach Jeff Shroll said. “Doing bus roll call is a brand-new nightmare.”
Of course, he’s joking. The more, the merrier. Track and field is about good times and distances, but depth is key when it comes to big meets in May.
The Devils boys and girls teams swept Saturday’s Avid Invitational in Montrose, which is a feather in their collective hat. Though it was only a four-team, early season exercise (Montrose, Cortez and Olathe), some of the team’s veterans showed they are in fine form.
Junior Riley Rowles had a 40-point day, winning the 110-meter and 300 hurdles and the triple and long jumps.
“Nothing like lettering the first day out.” Shroll said.
The 100 open looks pretty solid to start. Carly Volkmer and Kenzie Sisson went 1-2 for the ladies, while Andy Sandoval and Cristian Aguilar turned the trick for the boys.
Roxy Trotter won the 1,600 and Nikki Cunning, second in the mile, took the 3,200.
“I’m really excited about our returning athletes,” Shroll said. “They are part of something special. They have a focus I haven’t seen from a group of kids in a while.”
Eagle Valley will split its gargantuan squad between Hotchkiss and the Mickey Dunn Invitational in Grand Junction next weekend.
Devils lax falls, 12-5
Eagle Valley boys lacrosse made some progress in a 12-5 nonconference loss at Overland on Saturday.
After being shut out in their season opener against Battle Mountain earlier in the week., the Devils were tied 4-4 in the first quarter before the Blazers took over.
“Right now, I think we’re a work in progress,” Devils coach Ted Boddy said. “We’re trying to play consistently over the course of a game. One the bright spots was our transition from defense to offense.”
Ryan Monica led Eagle Valley (0-2) with two goals, while Johnny Bailey, Sam Adams and Mike Ramunno also scored.
Eagle Valley hosts Aspen on Tuesday up at the Gypsum Sports Complex at 4 p.m.
Girls soccer loses to Demons
Eagle Valley girls soccer’s schedule really does seem like it came out of the “Group of Death” in a World Cup Final.
Capped by a 5-2 loss at Glenwood Springs on Saturday, the Devils have played on the road against Battle Mountain, Steamboat Springs and the Demons, three of the best teams in the 4A Slope, in a stretch of nine days.
Eagle Valley (2-3 overall and 1-2 in the Slope) has nonetheless held its own. Mariel Gutierrez continued her scoring tear, accounting for both of the Devils’ goals. Assists went to Heidi Velasco and Maggie Gilman.
“I think they fared extremely well whether it was three away games and all the traveling on top of playing really good teams,” Devils coach Stephen Baxter said. “They getting better each game and growing as a team, so I’m pleased.”
The Devils get some home cooking when they host Grand Junction on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Baseball gets a tie
Yes, there is tying in baseball.
After a forgettable loss to Bear Creek to start the Lloyd McMillan Tournament, hosted by Delta, Eagle Valley baseball earned a 10-10 tie against Paonia this weekend. (High school baseball tournaments have a time limit, ergo a tie.)
Tom Hanks was wrong, sort of.
Travis Edgar was the hitting star for Eagle Valley against Paonia. He went 3-for-3 with four RBI.
Eagle Valley capped the weekend with a 10-2 loss to Montrose. As was the case for most of the tournament, the Devils struggled with defense, undermining freshman Garrett Martin’s strong debut on the mound.
“We out-hit Montrose, 5-4,” Devils manager Jesse Meryhew said. “The more we’re outside, the cleaner our defense will get. It’s all about repetition.”
Eagle Valley opens league play by hosting Summit on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.