Celebrating a local preps quartet of champions
October 21, 2016
So, let's see, we only had four teams clinch league/regional titles on Thursday.
That qualifies as a decent day's work.
OK, seriously, wow. Well done, Eagle Valley volleyball, Battle Mountain soccer, and both sets of Huskies cross-country.
News and notes on our abundance of riches.
First off, we're going by alphabetical order of sport — we love everyone.
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There's the expression, "You throw like a girl." OK, how about you run like a girl. The latter is a compliment. Anybody would be happy to run like these ladies.
Here's a blast from the past.
The 2011 team, which started this run, included Mandy Ortiz, who won a regional title. Some girl named Jenai Denardo was, according to the Vail Daily's sports editor at the time, "a nice surprise as the team's No. 2 runner in seventh with Val Constien right behind her in eighth. Sydney Gaylord was 11th and Nicole Marengo was 16th."
Samantha Katz and Bridgett Courtois were Nos. 6 and 7.
"Near the 2.5-mile mark, (Rob) Parish was getting really excited," Denardo said in that article. "He's just screaming at you that you're doing really great."
It's good to see that some things don't change.
Change is inevitable, and that's what makes the Huskies' ladies special. Six titles in a row is a generation-and-a-half in high school.
This time of the year, cross-country is fun. Yet the only reason it's fun is that the Huskies have been running since summer and before, including track season. It takes a special person to keep to all those workouts. It takes a special group of ladies to keep doing this during the course of six years. (I consider myself to be particularly saintly if I get on the treadmill two or three times a week, and I'm pretty sure I'm not going as fast or as long as a cross-country workout.)
Another fun thing about the ladies is that I'd bet their second seven would be a darn good varsity squad in its own right. History tells us that the second seven will get its time in the sun. More importantly, having that much depth makes what eventually is the first seven as good as it is every fall.
As for the gents, they seem to get overshadowed. So let's hand out some props. Franklin Reilly is the stalwart, be it cross-country or Nordic. It's no secret Alexis Aguirre has struggled at times this season, but he just ran himself back onto the varsity. Nathaniel Badger, James Moran, Ty Willoughby, Nick Williams, David Reilly, Nick Apps and Patrick Johnson all helped bring home the school's first regional title since 2008.
Give it up for Miles Joersz.
I was in the Vail Christian parking lot going to a Saints volleyball game, and so was he and he said, "I think it's going to be like last year," as in lose to Eagle Valley early and run the table.
Any stock tips, Miles?
The takeaway from the 4-0 win against Steamboat on Thursday was that the Huskies made the most of their opportunity. I'm sure Sailors fans are still peeved by the call against Steamboat goalie Andrew McCawley on his foul on Creek Kamby, setting up Juan Macias' penalty kick. You can look at it 1,000 ways.
But the Huskies got a 1-inch opening and took a mile, using the momentum from the penalty to take over the game.
That killer instinct is going to be what it takes in the postseason, gents.
Huskies coach David Cope just texted me about his latest view of rating-percentage index. (Big shock that Cope is watching RPI.) The Huskies moved up to No. 9 with the win on Thursday. Silver Creek, No. 8, was scheduled to play 0-13-1 Brighton on Friday night. Does a win over an 0-13-1 team drag down Silver Creek's RPI, so that the Huskies move to No. 8, and a possible second-round playoff game at home. We'll find out.
Either way, Battle Mountain soccer, you're dangerous.
Speaking of dangerous, we present Eagle Valley volleyball.
That's 12 wins in a row, peeps, with Rifle coming to town today.
As an opposing team, how do you approach Eagle Valley? If you focus on, say Becy Glutova — and good luck with that — Kylie Martin and Emma Lassa will beat you senseless. And we're not even talking about Elyse Fitzpatrick and Teaghan Mercer, who have been bigger factors as the season has progressed.
Jillian Byron, Haley Carpenter and Molly Jewett cover the floor and start it back to the five we've already mentioned. This is a very complete team with a good vibe. The latter is not quantifiable, but having covered some great teams, give me a little allowance. This looks like the 2001-'02 Vail Mountain School teams or the 2005-'06 Huskies or the 2010 Devils. We shall not say what these teams have in common, so as not to jinx it.
Finish strong, ladies, let's have a regional tournament in Gypsum.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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