Barella, Faulhaber, Bair lead wrestling success
Local wrestlers highlighted last week’s prep efforts. Both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley dominated their respective matches. Battle Mountain beat Sorocco 48-24 and shut out Grand Valley 62-0. Meanwhile, Eagle Valley beat Basalt in a dual meet 66-6 and won the 12 team tournament in Steamboat Springs on Saturday. Tommy Barella, Charles Faulhaber, and Jeff Bair were all winners in the Steamboat tournament.”The freshmen did really well,” said Eagle Valley coach Jeff Lueders. “Charles was the biggest surprise because it was his first championship.”Overall, I’m very pleased,” he added. “I didn’t know we’d wrestle this well this early, but the kids have been practicing hard and bought in to the program.”Eagle Valley will host Rifle on Friday, December 13 and wrestle in the Summit Invitational on Saturday. Battle Mountain travels to Buena Vista on Saturday.Things didn’t go as well on the basketball court. First year Battle Mountain coach, Phil Tronsrue, saw his Huskies struggle to score in a 69-38 loss to Buena Vista and a 52-34 loss to Salida. Tronsrue knows it might take a while for a team with only one returning letterman from last year.”As a new coach, I want them to understand the new philosophy. We want good, diverse play and a disciplined, full court type of game. We have a lot of steps to go.”The season continues against West Grand at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. It’s a double dip at Battle Mountain as the girls precede the boys on Friday.Look for center Beau Beckley to pace the Huskies inside game for the rest of the year. He’ll combine with Blake Gammon as the Huskies team leaders.Blake gives us lots of stability, has a good head, and has taken on a leadership role,” Tronsrue said. “Beckley will be a factor inside which will also key our outside game.”This weekend will mark the tipoff of Eagle Valley’s basketball season. The boys begin the season at the Glenwood Springs tournament with three games over Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Ignacio will serve as the first hurdle to a Devil team that placed sixth instate last year. Highly touted Faith Christian andGlenwood Springs await the Devils in what looks to bea very difficult Saturday.”We have a tough preseason with two ranked teams early.” Said head coach Phil Cain. “Our goal is to improve each week. The wins and losses will take care of themselves.”Guards Justin Wood and Craig Jagger will pace the Devils. Eagle Valley fans will remember them from the football season where they were instrumental in the Devils’ state semifinal appearance.”They each had a key role in football and they know what it’s going to take to lead the basketball team,” Cain said. They’ll really help our team chemistry which is so important in high school.”Finally, in hockey, Battle Mountain split their first two games of the season but pulled out a victory in a matchup against Kent Denver Dec. 11. After a dominating 7-1 win over Summit, the Huskies lost 2-1 to Regis Dec. 7, then beat Kent Denver 2-1 Dec. 11.”I think it’s a reality check for our boys,’ said head coach Jade Kersey. “You have to be a champion every single day. Champions are not part-time. We definitely carried the play in the Regis game, but ran into a hot goaltender. I take my hat off to him.”The Huskies play their heated rivals at Dobson Ice Arena Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m., and they face Steamboat Springs Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
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