Devils stoked for championship weekend
They’re billing it as Championship Weekend at Eagle Valley High School. That’s because the Devils volleyball and football teams will be at home on Saturday, Nov. 2, as they try to advance in their respective state tournaments.For the volleyball team, it’s a 3A Regional Championship beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The Devils boast an 18-5 record for the season and are the top seeded team in a region that includes Centauri, Manitou Springs, and Faith Christian. Should the Devils place in the top two of Saturday’s round robin tournament, a trip to Denver and the state championship next weekend await.”I feel like we’re peaking at the right time,” saidhead coach Karl Talcott. We had a great comeback against Aspen in the district tournament and that helped our confidence a lot.”The Devils confidence will only be enhanced by their home court advantage. Talcott could remember only two home losses in the last two years at Eagle Valley.Still, the Devils know they have their work cut out for them.”Manitou Springs is always a good program,” Talcott said. “They might be a little down this year, but they’re still 16-7. Faith Christian is always strong. The Metro League is always the strongest in the state. Centauri, I think, we match up well against. If we play well, it’s a team we should be able to handle.”For the Devils, look for senior setter Erin Sterkel to lead the team this weekend. Talcott calls her, “The best setter in the district.” Hopefully for Eagle Valley she’ll continue to run the team like she has all year.A little later in the day, the Devils football teamtakes center stage. Undefeated Eagle Valley will host Wray at 1pm. While Wray is only 5-4 coming into Saturday, the Devils remember last year when they lost in the first round of the playoffs to Holy Family.”We looked ahead last year and it hurt us,” saidEagle Valley coach John Ramunno. “We’re honing in completely on Wray. They’re a real solid ball control offense. They like to run the ball from a two back set and throw to their tight end. Those farm kids are tough and they really like to hit you.”Those “Farm kids” won’t be that close to Kansas this weekend. And that might be the biggest advantage for the Devils.”Home field advantage is what you work your whole season for,” Ramunno said. “Wray is a long trip. Those guys are going to ride about seven hours on a bus, so that’s got to effect them. I think it’s worth at least one score.”The Devils will be led by the two-pronged running attack of J.J. Alvis and Craig Jagger. Together, they’ve run for nearly 1300 yards and they each boast an average of nearly 10 yards per rush.”We’ve really come together as a team this year,” Jagger said. ” I thought we had done it last year, but it’s probably more so this season.”Elsewhere in the valley, more volleyball. Vail Mountain School has the top ranked Class A volleyball team in the state. They’ll hold the top seed in their regional tournament in Gunnison on Saturday.
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