So who’s coming and who’s going in preps?
September 14, 2016
We are now in the interesting phase.
We're past openers with all things Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Vail Christian and Vail Mountain School — first impressions have been made. Trends are starting to form … maybe. Yes, a bold statement by the sports editor, but I've seen good starts and bad starts reverse course.
So take it with a grain of salt and here we go.
So far, so good
• Eagle Valley volleyball. Just as some teams are off to rough starts and not condemned to mediocrity, this set of Devils is not automatically heading to the Denver Coliseum. Yet at 6-2 with losses to 5A Legend and Missouri 5A equivalent, this is kind of exciting. (You can't call it full-blown exciting for fear of jinxing anything.)
In the game story in Wednesday's paper, I talked about Molly Jewett and the big boppers. They always get the ink. So, way to go, Jillian Byron. Devon Green's were big shoes to fill at libero, and that was a question coming into this year. And, Sydney Manzanares, that was a heck of a dig in the first set. Keep a level head, ladies.
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• Vail Mountain soccer. Anyone note that Montrose volleyball is No. 7 in the CHSAA poll, while Eagle Valley is unranked? For the record, I had the Devils ahead of the Indians on my ballot.
This is a long way of saying I have Kent Denver and VMS 1-2 until someone proves otherwise at that classification. The Gore Rangers clearly got over the Battle Mountain game and have used a light game schedule, as far as frequency goes, to improve. Keep that focus.
By the way, VMS leads the state in two categories — man-buns and playing golf with Freud. Don't know if the latter is good or bad. Beat Basalt on Saturday.
• Battle Mountain cross-country. Both teams are fomenting nicely. We are still in early days of finding the sevens who will run in October. There is a ton of intra-team competition here, which is always a good thing. The ladies are doing a particularly good job as a squad after Naomi Harding's injury.
The jury is still out
• Battle Mountain soccer. Yeah, it's probably unfair to put the Huskies here. This is a 4-1 team that controls its own destiny within the Slope. There are a lot of teams that would love to be 4-1.
Battle Mountain soccer has different standards, as the flagship program of the school. We have yet to have an "a-ha" moment, when we spectators say, "They just might be onto something." By the way, The Classical Academy is coming to The Battle Mountain on Friday at 7 p.m. (Does TCA think it's The Ohio State?)
The senior moment of the week goes to coach David Cope, who initially reported that Taylor Roach, not Taylor Staughton, scored the team's first goal against Summit on Tuesday. Staughton, that's a compliment. Cope, we're both getting old, as the art accompanying this piece attests. (For the record, David's better half hasn't aged a day. And this is what happens, folks, when the Vail Daily does a clean up.)
• Battle Mountain volleyball. It's been a tough start to the season and I'm not only talking the 1-3 record. It's a strange schedule to have four matches in three weeks. The Huskies are going to get into a match flow now, and we'll see if they can cut down on the self-inflicted errors. Yes, a loss to Eagle Valley puts people in a bad mood — see the above-mentioned soccer team — but it's still early.
Teams that need a win
• Eagle Valley football. The Devils have lost two close games to two good teams in Kent Denver and Erie. I'm a big fan of teams playing tough nonconference schedules. (Example: No. 5 Clemson plays South Carolina State, while No. 8 Washington hosts Portland State in college football this weekend. What the heck?) In theory, this should help with the almighty rating-percentage index.
Eagle Valley can play, no doubt. The Devils are stop on defense and a 2-point conversion from being 2-0, and one of the top teams in the state.
Look it at this way — you've had your bad breaks and fulfilled your quotient of heartbreaks. It's winning time against Lutheran on Friday at John Ramunno Field. You've got this.
• Eagle Valley soccer. Time to show that the win over Battle Mountain wasn't a fluke. I don't think it was. This team has been in every game against good teams like Green Mountain, Steamboat and Holy Family, all 2-1 losses.
This is where you look at each other inside that pregame huddle tonight in Glenwood Springs and find the extra something that flips a 2-1 loss into a 2-1 win.
Teams with grit
Both Battle Mountain and Vail Christian football. Huskies, I'll be honest — I thought you were going to lose last week. Is Roaring Fork an outstanding football team? No. Did you show me something? You bet. The odds are always going to be against Battle Mountain football, particularly as the Slope slate nears. But you're finding a way to overcome adversity. Keep it up.
As for the Saints, everyone took a collective gulp after getting pounded by Grand Valley in Week 1. (That's probably a nice way of putting it.) Nice bounce-back with Lake County.
Gents, you're in a new world, going from 8- to 11-man football. Some things will go well. Some things won't. Upperclassmen, it's time to lead.
Teams that have surprised
Anyone notice that Vail Christian and Vail Mountain are a combined 5-2? Did. Not. See. That. Coming.
See you at the games, everyone.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
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