A mildly big football game and some soccer, too | VailDaily.com

A mildly big football game and some soccer, too

Daily file photo/Preston UtleyLook for Nick Whitehead and Eagle Valley to have a big night when the Devils host the Huskies Friday at Hot Stuff Stadium.

So, who are Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain football playing this week?

Never mind.

The Huskies face the Devils at Hot Stuff Friday at 7 p.m. And it’s time for some brutal honesty. Eagle Valley wins and likely by a bunch.

The Huskies are playing valiantly, but they just don’t have the depth, even if running back Ryan Hedrick comes back from injury this week. We saw it last year when the teams were more evenly-matched. The Devils just have more talent and can keep coming at the Huskies with fresh legs in the second half.

Eagle Valley is an excellent football team, finding out what Battle Mountain already knows ” that the 3A Slope is a brutal league. The Devils, currently sitting at 3-3 in the Slope with Battle Mountain and Palisade left, are going to have a hard time making the playoffs out of this league.

If Eagle Valley wants to entertain any hope of keeping its postseason hopes alive, a win this week is a must. What’s more as sports writer Ian Cropp put it when we were previewing this game last year, “This is what the Devils do,” beat Battle Mountain.

Please tack this on the bulletin board in Eagle-Vail to use as motivation. I would like to see this series become more competitive. To those in Gypsum who always get grumpy at me this time of year, isn’t Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley soccer a whole lot more fun now that the Devils are competitive?

By the way, Eagle Valley, don’t get too confident. I picked the Huskies last year, and you know how that turned out.

– On to our semi-annual rant about the soccer-seeding process, starting with the Huskies. Thank you, CHSAA for rendering the regular season irrelevant. I know that geography is a consideration in filling out the bracket, but Battle Mountain should not have to play Summit again. Of course, previous performance does not guarantee future results, but the Huskies beat the Tigers, 5-1, in Farmer’s Korner in the season opener.

I don’t object to Battle Mountain falling out of the top 10 because the Slope was down this year and the Huskies lost to both top-10 teams they played in Cheyenne Mountain and Montrose, but playing Summit again is silly.

– Vail Mountain lost out on a home game because 3A league champs automatically get home games in the first round of the playoffs. Thus, the No. 8 Gore Rangers are at No. 9 Lutheran Parker. Can you imagine the NCAA tournament rewarding home games to teams before a game of the regular season is even played? This disregards the strength of conference and the schedule teams play.

Lutheran Parker plays in the North League, which can’t hold a candle to the 3A Slope. VMS’ two losses this season are to No. 6 Denver Christian and No. 7 Basalt. Parker has lost to No. 15 Evangelical Christian and two other teams, Machebeuf and Denver Lutheran, which didn’t make the playoffs. Does this make sense to anyone?

– I normally don’t feel to bad for Front Range teams having to travel to the western side of the state, but why does No. 5 Colorado Springs Christian have to go to No. 12 Telluride to smack around the Southwest League champions today?

– Eagle Valley has a very intriguing first rounder today at No. 8 Montrose. Having seen both teams this year ” the Indians beat Battle Mountain, 3-2 ” this is not in the bank for Montrose. I don’t think anyone wants to play Eagle Valley the way the Devils came down the stretch (6-0-2). The Devils have been closing the gap quickly on the 4A Slope. This might be a statement game.

– Eagle Valley volleyball coach Rob Crawford said after the Huskies beat his Devils earlier this month that his team was a bunch of late bloomers. That seems to have been correct. The Devils surged into fourth place to finish the season and will be at Battle Mountain Saturday as a part of the District 7 Tournament. While as reporters, we like this because it’s quite convenient, it’s nice to see the two teams have a shot at meeting in the postseason. Also, the place is going to be absolutely rocking.

– The Huskies’ student section at volleyball gets major props this year. The “Steve Perry” pysch-out is excellent. The “Chris Freud” one is very disturbing. The best came on Saturday when the Doherty JV team was warned by the referee for pounding the stands when the Huskies were serving. The guys responded with a “sportsmanship” cheer, referring to Battle Mountain being on double-secret probation. Quality.

– Speaking of sportsmanship, that was one of the dumbest calls I have seen in a long time, giving Huskies football’s Kyle Woolley 15 yards for excessive celebration for slam-dunking the football over the goal posts after scoring a touchdown against Palisade Friday. I know the reason for the rule. You don’t want excessive celebration in any sport because it can be construed as taunting.

But Battle Mountain was down, 29-0, to Palisade at the time. Woolley wasn’t taunting anybody. He was probably jazzed he scored a touchdown at Homecoming. Nice hops, Kyle, but don’t do it again.

– On a much more serious note, brava to the Vail Christian volleyball team. It’s been a very difficult 10 days or so understandably, and the Saints have comported themselves with courage and dignity. Go get ’em at districts.

– Same to VMS volleyball. It’s time for a little shakeup in the 2A Slope.

– Way to go, ladies. All year long we’ve been talking about the Battle Mountain boys’ cross country ” and with good reason. That was magnificent finishing second. You ladies can run with anyone in the state.

– If the Battle Mountain boys’ cross country team goes 1-2-3-4-6 at state, I’d really be impressed. OK, probably not. As a very bad JV cross country runner in San Francisco University High School, I passed the only guy I ever passed (some poor kid from Athenian High School ” it was quite the battle) at the 1988 Bay Area Conference meet, our equivalent of regionals. Then I had to track where Branson runners ” UHS’ competition ” were in relation to our varsity runners. That was actually hard. You guys are ridiculous.

– By the way, sorry Jamie. I really knew you were running at regionals. Jamie Fahrmayer. Jamie Fahrmayer. Jamie Fahrmayer.

– The state meet is Saturday and I hear the race is on a golf course. I’m bringing my clubs. It won’t be the first time the Huskies have seen me golf.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.

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