The plot thickens in on the pitch and other musings
September 28, 2016
I've said it before and I'll say it again, soccer is my favorite sport to cover.
Don't get me wrong — football is awesome. We've got great volleyball — see you all tonight for the Go Blue Vail rivalry, Vail Mountain at Vail Christian. Softball is baseball, so, of course I like it. And, well, I attempt to play golf.
But it's the way all three local schools, whose fates are intertwined, end up being in riveting races which makes soccer compelling theater.
In one evening last week, the Huskies were playing Glenwood Springs, winning 4-0. In addition to the game, Eagle Valley soccer just happened to be in the visiting stands. (Huskies sightings, including coach David Cope, in Gypsum are common happenings as well.)
While I was with the Devils, Twitter announced that Steamboat Springs lost to Summit County — holy cow. (Not exactly what I said at the time.) That result thrilled both Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain — it's a rarity to get those two camps in agreement.
Meanwhile, after the Huskies won, who were among the first to congratulate them? VMS soccer, of course, because the better the Huskies do, the better for the Gore Rangers — and vice versa — because of rating-percentage index, or RPI.
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Despite Eagle Valley's tough loss on Tuesday at Summit, this is going to be a photo finish in 4A. The Devils get Summit at home later this season and have a return trip to Steamboat, where the Sailors are not invincible. (Battle Mountain won there, 3-0, and the Devils beat the Huskies, 2-1, earlier this season.)
Battle Mountain is at Summit next week, and its final week of the season is at Glenwood and home for Steamboat, difficult games all. And, if anyone hadn't noticed, it's Devils at Huskies a week from tonight.
And the Vail Mountain School has a huge week ahead — at Colorado Academy, home for Roaring Fork and at Coal Ridge.
This is just another average season of drama on the soccer pitch. Enjoy.
VMS dropped to sixth in the 3A RPI from fourth with a 10-0 win against Caprock Academy on Tuesday. Tactfully put, Caprock is not a strong side, but the Gore Rangers have to play the Eagles since they're in the 3A Slope. While that's disturbing for Gore Rangers fans, forget about it.
VMS faces No. 7 Colorado Academy on Saturday. Take care of your business, and the RPI should solve itself. Yes, for some reason, Basalt is No. 2 in the RPI — Freud slams head against desk — but if the Longhorns are No. 2, when you play them again, the better for you.
In 4A, the Huskies are up to No. 10, which is about right — for now. Of note, The Classical Academy is No. 1, Steamboat 22, Summit 29, Montrose 33 and Eagle Valley 46. (Playing TCA and VMS will help the Huskies in the rankings.)
The Slope has two automatic berths — no Southwest League in the mix; Durango (11) and Montrose would qualify simply by RPI independently. So even though Eagle Valley is on the outside, looking in — 32 teams make it — there's lots of season left for the Devils to finish first or second in the league and/or move up in the RPI.
In volleyball, Eagle Valley is No. 9 in RPI — yeah, Haley Carpenter — and for some reason Montrose is No. 8. (Freud is getting a headache from banging his head.)
The Montrose anomaly aside, this is where the Devils want to be. Top 12 at the end of the season means you're home for regionals. Eagle Valley has been-there, done-that, has-the-T-shirt with the joys of the No. 13 seed. Keep focused on the task, ladies.
And, with a win over Summit on Tuesday, take a look at who slid into No. 30 in the RPI? Battle Mountain — 32 make regionals. Lots of season to go for Huskies volleyball.
Happy Homecoming, Eagle Valley football
The RPI for football doesn't come out until after Week 6. But Eagle Valley football should have an outstanding strength-of-schedule rating, which is 50 percent of RPI. Eagle Valley's four opponents to date are 12-4.
Looking at how soccer and volleyball are shaking out, having an opponents' winning percentage of .750 should serve the Devils well. Win on Friday against Northridge, and it's a successful phase one of the season.
Northridge is good, but so are you. The Grizzlies (2-2) lost tight games to Evergreen and Erie. Sound familiar?
You've got this in you. I am firmly convinced the Devils are going to be in the mix by the time all is said and done.
Well done to our state golfers — Barrett Jones, Tanner Caldarola, Miles Joersz and Tucker Thomas. I shot a 100 last weekend and that was darn good for me. I couldn't do that in men's league, much less a state tournament, much less put up good scores like you do.
These guys have nerves of steel.
See you at the games, folks.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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