Thrills and spills at state |

Thrills and spills at state

Don Rogers

These are exciting days for high school athletes. The Battle Mountain Husky hockey team has been drawing all the fans. Over 2,000 came Friday to the Dobson to watch the No. 1 team in the state skate to an 11-1 victory. Then and took care of business 7-0 Saturday to reach the semifinals.

Next up, Kent-Denver, who last year sent the Huskies packing and this year have given Battle Mountain its only loss. If you want to see this match, you’ll have to go to Colorado Springs.

Meantime, the wrestlers headed to the Pepsi Center in Denver, four Eagle Valley wrestlers earning state medals. And the skiers competed in Steamboat, where Battle Mountain’s Taylor Roach and Grant Stevenson wound up 1-2 in the all-around Skimeister competition. Also, Roach was named state Skier of the Year.

The skiers and the wrestlers didn’t attract big crowds, but we can tell you their intensity was no less than for the athletes competing in the more spectator-friendly hockey matches, having watched our firstborn with a great spill on a downhill leg bring up the rear of the classic Nordic race. Hey, it’s a feat to qualify, and then to go all out in the big race.

Next up: basketball. The valley’s teams head to the playoffs this week. Best of luck.

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More up sleeve?

So, that frightful Bair Ranch Project is still alive and seemingly gathering steam. The Bair brothers have resolved their property issues. The handful of cooperating agencies that have seen the wisdom in preserving this ranchland and riverside in scenic Glenwood Canyon are still aboard. And the dust seems to be clearing around the newly formed Open Space Advisory Committee, with its detailed mandate all squared away.

Committee Chairman Ron Wolfe, hardly the “liberal” of the valley, sounds downright bullish about acceptance of the Bair Ranch conservation easement, which fits hand in glove with the criteria for preservation efforts of open space.

So the question is, what mischief will Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone come up with next to try to stop the deal?

Stone was approached at one point to list Craig Bair’s land for sale. He expressed interest in the county buying brother Legrande’s land. He reportedly lobbied the Bureau of Land Management not to participate. He raised a stink over two Eagle Valley Land Trust board members also serving on the open space group.

So what in any other county would be a slam dunk grew into a vexing controversy for the players, and mild entertainment for the rest of us. But with luck, two commissioners will finally make the grownup decision to get this deal done.

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