EDWARDS — And now for a nice surprise on Senior Night.
Yes, Battle Mountain knocked off Basalt, 2-0, Tuesday night, setting up Thursday’s key match at Eagle Valley. Yes, the Huskies honored their 10 seniors, instrumental to their success so far this fall. They also saluted Joel Rabinowitz.
His official title is director of the Vail Recreation District’s sports department. Unofficially, Robinowitz is the county’s Mr. Soccer. He coaches the game in both the VRD as well as with the Vail Valley Soccer Club, and he has been a vital part of the Huskies’ run during that last 10-15 years. Rabinowitz is usually known as Coach before Battle Mountain’s David Cope assumes the title.
“Joel really is a guy who plays a huge role in the success in Battle Mountain,” Cope said. “He usually takes a group of kids when they’re young and works with them until they’re seniors. We’ve seen this with a few groups. Emily (Cope’s) group and Kelsey (Sanders), Julia (Burnett) and Jamie Lee (Roberts) and that whole group. We saw it again with this group and some of those guys from last year’s group.”
And so after Brandon Osorio, Pedro Hernandez, Hugo Soto, Alex Trujillo, Ryan Wood, Roberto Diaz, Kevan Aubel, Zach Trombetta, Abakar Soulemayne and Erick Gonzalez took their bows at halftime, they called out Rabinowitz.
“He’s the boss,” Gonzalez said. “We love him. He means everything.”
How much? At last spring’s ring ceremony for the 2012 state champions, each player asked someone to present his ring. While some chose their parents, Rabinowitz was a multiple presenter.
The Huskies moved to 12-2 overall by blanking the Longhorns. Diaz was all over the place, but as seems usual for a Senior Night, it was a junior with the game-winner. In the 31st minute, Diaz cracked one off the crossbar, and Logan Ruark was there to slam it home.
“I was just running back post,” Ruark said. “I was looking for a through ball from Diaz, but he shot it, it hit the post and I just tucked in.”
That was Ruark’s first goal, and well-deserved given a lot of his work at midfield this season. For last week’s Summit County game, Ruark got moved up and so far the change is paying off well.
“Logan deserved one,” Cope said. “He’s been a huge part of the starting 11, and we changed his position a little bit going into Summit, and he got us an assist at Summit on the first goal that was really important. Tonight, he scores the opening goal. You’ll see him starting again on Thursday.”
And, yes, Thursday would be big. The Huskies close the regular season with a rematch against the Devils. Battle Mountain nipped Eagle Valley, 1-0, on its wide pitch in Edwards earlier this season. Now, the Huskies go down to the Devils’ tight field. What’s more, Battle Mountain needs a win to secure its fourth-consecutive Slope title.
“I think the important thing with our group is to focus on us and not get into the rivalry stuff and the emotions,” Cope said. “That’s easier to say than to do. Our whole game is to keep the ball and be patient and not rush things.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Logan (Ruark) deserved one. He’s been a huge part of the starting 11, and we changed his position a little bit going into Summit, and he got us an assist at Summit on the first goal that was really important. Tonight, he scores the opening goal. You’ll see him starting again on Thursday.”
Battle Mountain coach