Powder day: Your spring (not really) sports preview
Unfortunately, skiing is not a spring sport
This is when we announce high school spring sports are beginning as we also check out the snow totals forecast for today. According to my weather app, snow’s in the forecast for the next six days.
Really, to boost snow totals, we should just start baseball, golf, lacrosse, soccer and track and field in November and be done with it. The Back Bowls would be open by Dec. 1.
So what do we see among the snowdrifts in so-called spring sports?
Track and field
We pick up right where we left off during the fall … with the ladies. Battle Mountain has the Hardings (Lizzie and Naomi) and Grace Johnson. So the hunt is on for a fourth in the 3,200-meter relay. Parish, may I suggest a Constien?
OK, Huskies coach Rob Parish doesn’t have a Constien this year for the 4-by-8 — they’re all at CU now. But Parish gets the joke. On a more serious note, who is the fourth for the two-time state champions in the 3,200 relay? Auditions will be ongoing through May.
Eagle Valley’s Joslin Blair is your defending 4A 1,600-meter champion, and as cross-country showed us, little sis, Samantha, is darn good, too. Does Joslin expand her dominance into the 3,200 and the 800? She medaled in both last year at state. Does Sam take to track and field like water as she did with cross-country?
Bigger picture, how do both these teams build around these aces and compete as teams? We’ll get to know the names and the events as we go.
Not that we’re scoring at home, but the Battle Mountain girls won the 4A Slope for the fifth time in seven years, while the Eagle Valley boys finished a close second to Glenwood Springs.
Speaking of the defending champions, Battle Mountain girls soccer holds the title. This has the potential to be a very good team.
And let’s stop right now. I hate the word potential. Potential is nice, but it needs to be fulfilled. One way to do so would be to avoid doing to overtime in every single game the Huskies play this spring. Of course, we’re exaggerating on the number of OT games (four) last year. We’re not really exaggerating on one-goal games (10 of 17).
Let’s try not to accelerate the aging process of your fans this season by putting some teams away.
Meanwhile, in Gypsum, the Devils were young last year and started showing signs of converting the much-dreaded potential into results. Beating Steamboat Springs, 2-1, on the road was a definite landmark. Can Eagle Valley go from 6-9 to above .500 and start to contend for the postseason?
Battle Mountain swept through the Western Conference last season via defense, yes, good defense and a whole lot of Jeremy Sforzo, who’s graduated. Who steps up and fills that void?
That was a lot of leadership and skill. The Huskies do have quite the pipeline, so they should be in the Western hunt along with Steamboat Springs and Vail Mountain.
Speaking of the Gore Rangers, the kids who made the playoffs last season are a year older. This could — repeat — could be a surprise team.
And when in doubt, beat Aspen.
Battle Mountain made the playoffs in 2016 and 2017 but slipped out of the picture last spring. Can the Huskies bounce back?
And when in doubt, beat Aspen.
Good luck with the weather. I’m in favor of the mountain teams just seceding from CHSAA and playing each other so that everyone has a level playing field when it comes to the High Country. But I don’t get a vote.
So throw strikes and play defense with the pitch-count rules in effect. Stick to the fundamentals and build from there.
Play ball, everyone.
Paul Cuthbertson set out by himself around 3 p.m. Friday from the trailhead that leads up to the Polar Star Inn, according to his father, Mike, but never made it to the popular backcountry hut as a late-spring snowstorm moved in.