An asbestos-proof run through Eagle Co. preps
Welcome to the Big Show, kids. It’s the state skiing meet in Lake County ” Ski Cooper and the Leadville CMC.
First off, a little trivia. State hasn’t been up at 10,000 feet since 2001, when as all you fine people know Battle Mountain won its last state title on snow. Veteran fans might remember that CHSAA incorrectly toted the points and awarded the state title to another team before the error was discovered and the Huskies justly got their trophy back.
Name that team. E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org and get a T-shirt.
OK, down to brass tacks. The key to today and Friday’s action is luck. Now before you go all Eagle Valley boys basketball on me (kidding, people), the only constant at state is that anything can happen and usually does.
The local teams all have competitors who can shine, but luck be a lady. (Obligatory “Guys and Dolls” reference there.) This applies definitely more to the alpine side than Nordic. While the best at the high school level can maintain a level of supremacy not seen at higher levels like Nor-Am, FIS, etc., a straddled gate, a popped ski or an inexplicable fall or two can change the entire.
For an example, we go to the Freud Way-Back Machine and Onie Bolduc and Steve Cardinale in 1998. The prohibitive favorite in the slalom ” the Battle Mountain senior had cruised to three slalom wins during the regular season ” Bolduc popped his ski coming out of the gate. Good bye, individual state title. Cardinale hooked a gate in his second run, and the Huskies, a favorite for the state team title, were done.
I don’t bring this up to hex anyone. But the reality is that Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Vail Mountain and Vail Christian don’t have a clear path to the overall team title. The scoring throughout the regular season says so. VMS Nordic and/or the Battle Mountain girls could win disciplines, and if they could combine through some magical paperwork, now we’re talking.
But strange things always happen at state. Throw in what’s likely to be grip-like snow at Cooper ” no man-made snow there ” not mention weather, and you never know. Ski your hearts out, everyone, and let the chips fall where they may.
We hope to reporting a lot of good news from 10,000 feet.
And now I put on my asbestos suit as we take a look at the rest of the preps world:
– Congratulations to the Eagle Valley boys basketball team. The Devils beat the Huskies, 62-52, in a game which I might have helped hype … a litte. Kudos to Cesar Castillo for his new Freud warm-up shirt. (Should I be getting royalties here?) Keep wearing it if you feel it’s working, Ces. Maybe we can get Pat Gabriel one.
– A nice note in Ian Smith’s story on the Devils-Huskies game: That was Trevor Grayson’s first varsity win ” soccer or basketball ” against Battle Mountain. Well-deserved.
– And lest we forget, props out to the Lady Devils now 6-7 in the Slope and 9-13 overall. A roadie at Moffat awaits Friday, and 7-7 in the league and 10 wins total would all but cinch state. But please note this, I think the Devils are OK for state even if everyone’s favorite trip to Craig doesn’t go well. That having been said, beating Moffat would be glorious for all who have seen the Bulldogs reign of terror in this league.
– Give it up for Battle Mountain girls basketball. Yeah, the Huskies are 0-22, yet this team is clearly better now than at the start of the season. I know it sounds corny with a team in this situation, but it is so true. The Huskies could have thrown in the towel a long time ago and no one would have blamed them. The way the Huskies have been playing down the stretch has been very admirable.
– OK, I’ve wanted to do this all year, “Morken calling Orson. Morken calling Orson.” Yes, I do have the first season of “Mork and Mindy” on DVD It’s still funny as heck. Lost in Battle Mountain’s pursuit of a win has been Adriana Morken, who’s having a solid season. And the good news … she’s a junior.
– Huskies hockey … hmm. As is typical of a young team and/or a team young with experience, everybody’s second-favorite hockey team ” the San Jose Sharks rule in my book ” has understandably had its ups and downs this year. I can see this team flaming out in the first round Friday at Aspen or winning the entire thing. I just can’t get a pulse on these guys. Surprise me, fellas.
– That’s a keeper ” Geoff Funk’s OT goal against Rampart Saturday. It was not a thing of beauty and there is nothing wrong with that. It was a fundamentally-sound goal in that situation, really perfect. But just standing down in that end of the Eagle Ice Rink with the view of the puck ever-so-slowly moving over the line like it was in a cheesy Hollywood movie is why I love high school sports.
– And now for great moments in CHSAA geography. Lewis-Palmer hockey goes from Colorado Springs to Aspen to “host” that regional, while Summit County goes to the Springs to “host” there. Huh?
– We close with 2A basketball districts. To the Vail Christian ladies, “Why not?” Yeah, Paonia’s good, but there is the actual formality of playing the game. Let’s see what happens there. As for the boys basketball team, let’s keep Sheldon Kuhns’ clipboard in one piece Saturday afternoon in Hayden, shall we?
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.