VAIL — The coaches and players may change, but the goal remains the same for Vail Mountain School soccer — orange.
Meet new Gore Rangers coach Pete Petrovski. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Petrovski graduated from Battle Mountain in 1992 and played on the Huskies’ first soccer team to win a Slope title in 1991. There was an assistant coach at Battle Mountain at that time named David Cope. He might have gone on to do some other things somewhere.
Petrovski has also worked for longtime VMS coach Bob Bandoni, so the lineage in East Vail is pretty good.
“Dave congratulated me when I got the job,” Petrovski said. “He’s obviously a mentor and so is Bandoni. (Bandoni and I) coached together and against each other with the Vail Valley Soccer Club.”
Petrovski’s job this fall is to take an uperclassmen-oriented squad back to the postseason, when VMS turns from its traditional blue-and-white jerseys to its bright orange playoff tops.
VMS will start the season with sophomore John Linn in net, tough senior William Sterrett should be back in mid-September. The sweeper is Brandon Rosenback and the stopper is J.P. Emblad. The fullbacks are Kade Manulo and Brett Ferraro.
In the midfield, Ryan Schmidt, Clay Kirwood, Peter Smith, Trevor Sheldon and Watts Austen will share time. Garret Cerny and Dylan Cunnigham are going to be featured up top.
VMS has depth with players like Billy Mitchell and Sam Herwig, as well as freshmen Peter Ferraro and Liam Hurley.
“We actually asked each player for three goals for the season, and they were really more team-oriented than individual,” Petrovski said. “They want to win, and that comes from the seniors. We just finished double sessions. We worked those guys hard, but they kept the attitude positive.”
VMS scrimmaged Saturday and opens the season Thursday against Grand Valley at 4 p.m. at venerable Bandoni Alumni Field.
Gore Rangers spikers ready to go
Welcome to “Chapter 17” as VMS volleyball coach Mike Garvey calls it.
Seriously, people, name the top-three tenured coaches in the county. Time’s up: John Ramunno, Eagle Valley football, Cope, Battle Mountain soccer, and Garvey in his 17th year.
VMS volleyball, as it seems to do regularly, had a very quiet, but successful regular season, finishing second in the 2A Slope and winning the district title before a loss to Paonia in regionals ended the Gore Rangers’ state aspirations.
For an encore to a 17-9 campaign, Garvey will be looking to his six returning seniors. Lizzie Pancrantz and Stehpanie Kolhoffer are the outside hitters. Erica Charles is the opposite-side hitter. Middle block is the province of Hannah McKeever and Clare Baker. Taylor Washing will be setting it all up.
After that, according to Garvey, it’s up to younger players to compete for spots.
“Having six seniors, we will get some other girls into the games,” he said. “The younger girls are working hard and as they continue, opportunities will arise. We’ll see how they adjust to that level.”
To that end, VMS has a nice start to the season. The Gore Rangers open at Soroco on Friday and then have another week off before hosting Hayden.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.