County v-ball teams bump into states |

County v-ball teams bump into states

John Knauf

Perhaps the best story of the entire fall sports season is the performance of the Vail Mountain School volleyball team. The Gore Rangers cruised through an undefeated season in which they lost only two games all year. That performance leaves them ranked number one in the state Class A classification and places them as the top seed in this weekend’s state championship at the Denver Coliseum.The Gore Rangers open up against Caliche on Friday, Nov. 8, in a pool that also includes Karval and Otis. The winner of that bracket will square off against the winner of the bracket including Julesburg, DeBeque, Flagler, and McClave.”Our biggest enemy would really be ourselves whether it be from injury, sickness, or overconfidence,” said head coach Mike Garvey. “If we can keep the same level we’ve had all year, I think we can be successful.”Vail Mountain School is led by Lara Bossow. With a volleyball career at the University of Colorado awaiting, Bossow has been a dominant player in the state.”She’s just so many steps above the other teams,” Garvey said. “Time and again, she’s always been able to pull us through. She’s been phenomenal all season.”Vail Mountain School isn’t the only local volleyball team vying for a state championship. Eagle Valley takes a 20-6 record and a #4 seed to Denver.The Devils start things off against Middle Park on Friday in a bracket that also includes top ranked Weld Central and Colorado Springs Christian. Eaton, Manitou Springs, Roosevelt, and Lamar round out the pool.”We need to get our serves in and we need to have good solid passing,” said senior setter Erin Sterkel. Those two things will really key everything we do.”Eagle Valley football fans will also be keeping an eye on what happens in Pagosa Springs this Saturday, Nov. 9. That’s where the Devils travel for their second round matchup in the Class 2A playoffs. Eagle Valley had it in cruise control in the first round with a 35-0 win against Wray. The Devils know this week won’t be nearly as easy and some team members expect a chippy game from Pagosa Springs.”They late hit a lot. They’re a dirty team,” said senior running back and kicker JJ Alvis. “They hit people out of bounds and get up in their face. We have to make sure we don’t retaliate and just ignore them and play our game.”Alvis has been a prime beneficiary of the Devils’ explosive misdirection offense. As the team leader in touchdowns, along with running back Craig Jagger and quarterback Justin Wood, Eagle Valley boasts a three-headed offensive monster that has carried the Devils to a No. 3 ranking in the state. Still, Alvis knows that his team can’t look past this weekend.”This could be the last football game of our entire life. The main thing, especially for the seniors, is to stay focused and play like we know we can.”

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