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September 4, 2013
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Early vote for ‘Game of the Year’ ... so far

And we just had our first candidate for “2012-13 Game of the Year,” in Eagle County high school sports.

Battle Mountain soccer 5, Steamboat Springs 4, in overtime.

I’ll admit it. When the Sailors went up, 3-1, on Tuesday, I said to our photographer Justin McCarty, “Streak’s over. Get a Steamboat reaction shot. They’re going to go nuts.”

Four goals in three minutes? Two by each team? (And, people complain that soccer is boring.)

And. I’ll admit it again, when Steamboat went up, 4-3, I really thought that was that. Valiant comeback by Battle Mountain, but the Huskies can’t do it twice. And, if the streak is going to end, might as well be Steamboat. (Please not Glenwood Springs.)

But the Huskies got a mulligan, excuse us, a Milligan as in Aaron.

Everyone’s going to remember Kevan Aubel from this one, but please note that this was a moral victory/actual loss without the sophomore’s first varsity goal. (Good timing, kid.)

And then there was Kaubel. I wanted this to end on a goal from the run of play, but it was a foul. That said, sorry, Kevan Aubel, but I didn’t want you taking the kick. I was thinking, “Get me Diaz or Burro.” (That would be Roberto Diaz or Brandon Osorio.) Kaubel told me after the game, “Everyone gave the kick to me,” so Kevan it was.

Now, there’s a history lesson here — don’t doubt Aubels. Oct. 20, 2011, the Huskies are hosting Eagle Valley on the final night of the season, needing a win to clinch the league title. Braubel (Kevan’s older brother Bryan) gets taken down in the box — same end of the field — with Battle Mountain leading, 1-0. Coach David Cope selects the Bryan to take the kick, and then-assistant coach or Mr. Happy Fun Guy Kyle Mercer (we kid because we love him) has a minor nutty. He doesn’t want Braubel taking the kick. Braubel scores his first varsity goal and the Huskies hold off the Devils, 2-1.

Mercer and Freud clearly don’t know what we’re talking about.

One of many fun things about Tuesday’s game was that it was nail-biter at home. Last year’s home games were pretty much devoid of drama because the Huskies were destroying teams, including a ho-hum, 4-0, victory over the Sailors. Battle Mountain trailed only once at the friendly confines — Greeley Central in the first round of the playoffs and won that, 3-1.

In fact, since the, 1-1, tie against Glenwood Springs (that one felt like a loss) on Sept. 29, 2011, the Huskies are 20-0 on their beloved field turf. Those 20 wins started with a 4-2 triumph over Cheyenne Mountain, which, in retrospect, was the beginning of big things for the Huskies.

Taking it further, Battle Mountain is 26-0-2 in Edwards since the, 7-2, debacle of a loss to Evergreen, another landmark in the greater scheme of Huskies soccer, on Oct. 27, 2009 in that year’s first round of the state playoffs.

There have been tight games, but nothing like the rollercoaster of Tuesday night. (If you’re wondering, Lizzie Seibert over Steamboat Springs in the 78th minute was in 2008 and that was across the street at Freedom Park.)

And that’s important, but not because the Huskies have won 22 in a row overall and have gaudy home numbers. While the CHSAA rankings have the Huskies in the top spot in 4A, Battle Mountain is a different team than the one that won the state title last season. This group needs to establish its own identity, and Tuesday was a big step toward that.

Other notes from the world of preps:

OK, still on soccer … Congrats to Alexis Robles for his first varsity goal Tuesday.

• Four goals in a game was the most the Huskies have allowed since the aforementioned Evergreen debacle in 2009. Battle Mountain gave up three to Rifle (huh?) last year and three to Moffat County in Craig in the 2011 “I ain’t worried” revenge game. (I miss Moffat coach Rusty Cox.)

It worked out nicely Tuesday, but shoring up the defense is priority No. 1 for Battle Mountain.

• Looking at the Huskies’ schedule, Cope was probably feeling OK if his charges came out this recent stretch of Montrose-Steamboat Springs at 1-1. Now that the Huskies are 2-0, don’t get cocky, boys. After even if you go 15-0, you’ll still get the sixth seed. (Sorry, obligatory.)

• OK, trivia time: Who scored the first goal at Battle Mountain’s new field in 2009?

• Eagle Valley football is 2-0 going into its bye week. The Devils have impressed early, after a slow start against Cedaredge. Could it be that Eagle Valley is reloading on the fly? Next week’s game against Delta is going to tell us a lot. Be it the Huskies or the Devils, the Panthers cause Eagle County teams problems.

Last year the Devils led, 21-6, were plus-four in turnovers and still fell to the Panthers, 25-21. (The mind still boggles on the plus-four number.)

Quarterback Mitch Whiteside finally graduated from Delta. (I could have sworn that kid was in school for six years.) Cade Gafford is now under center and he threw for 231 yards and four scores last week against Gunnison, so the Panthers still throw. His main target was Eli Whiteside. (He’s still there.) Thus, get your pass rush on, Devils. And, anyone want to bet that John Ramunno and company might be in Montrose Friday night when the Indians host the Panthers.

• OK, Battle Mountain football, it’s been tough sledding so far. Something positive has to come out of this week’s game against Montezuma-Cortez. A win would be great, but let’s start with a score or two. (Save your grumpy emails, people. I want the Huskies to win. Our readership does not include the Four Corners region.) The Huskies just need something to build upon this week because Palisade and Rifle follow.

• Fun to see Vail Christian run the ball like crazy. We in the peanut gallery got mixed up several times as to where the ball was going against Plateau Valley. (And when I say the peanut gallery I am referring to timer Doug Bruce and announcer Jeremy Lowe with the greatest respect.)

I don’t know what kind of record the Saints will have, but opposing teams will feel it after playing Vail Christian. The defense hits, and trying to tackle Cole Caynoski or Ethan Ellsworth doesn’t seem like my idea of a good time.

• And we hope all you readers are in good shape. That’s because the Battle Mountain (Saturday, Beaver Creek) and Eagle Valley (Sept. 14, Gypsum Creek Golf Course) cross-country teams host their home meets. Not only do you get to see the ladies and gents run, but you also get to do it yourself. Yep, citizen’s races are after both meets. Both are fundraisers. Run, people, run. (Is there a Forest in the audience?)

• Trivia answer: Jack Sunderland scored the first goal on the new pitch on Sept. 23, 2009, in a 1-0 win over Glenwood. We bring that up because Famouso was among those at Tuesday’s game.

See you at all the games this weekend.

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


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The VailDaily Updated Sep 4, 2013 10:12PM Published Sep 5, 2013 01:58PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.