Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley football back on | VailDaily.com
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Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley football back on

Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley football back on

After much further review, Tanner Roberts and Battle Mountain football will indeed host Eagle Valley on Friday at 6 p.m. in Edwards.

In a 180-degree reversal from Tuesday, Eagle County Schools announced on Wednesday that Battle Mountain football would indeed play Eagle Valley on Friday at 6 p.m. in Edwards.

The status of the Week 7 game has been up in the air for the last two weeks. Teams like Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley elected to play in the fall, despite the coronavirus. They agreed to a “6+1” schedule, meaning six regular season games plus either a playoff game or a “+1” contest in the case that teams didn’t make the postseason.

The Huskies and Devils are not playoff-bound, so the schools agreed on Nov. 5 to play on Friday as their “+1” game, replacing a previously-scheduled tilt between the two schools originally scheduled for Oct. 10.

That Oct. 10 date was the original opening of the revised fall season, but Eagle Valley had to go into COVID-19 quarantine. While Eagle Valley was idle, Battle Mountain scheduled 5A Ralston Valley for the week.

The two schools were back on for their annual rivalry game until Tuesday when Eagle Valley announced that it was going to digital learning because of a COVID-19 outbreak. If a school goes to digital learning, extracurricular activities like sports are canceled.

So with that announcement, Battle Mountain dropped Eagle Valley from Friday’s game and added Summit on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Eagle County Schools reversed course on its decision.

The release said: “The change in decision follows additional and ardent contact tracing throughout the Eagle Valley football team to investigate an anonymous ’Safe2Tell’ call claimed members of the squad were symptomatic but not coming forward out of fear of causing the game to be canceled. These claims have now been found to be baseless, and with the assistance and support of Public Health, the team has been cleared to play. Both teams have been following the proper safety protocols, and there has not been any transmission of the virus (within) either team.”

On Tuesday, Eagle Valley’s season ended when athletic director Tom LaFramboise told Devils coach Gabe Brown that the school was going to digital learning.

Twenty-four hours later, Brown was gathering his kids for practice with a game back on for Friday.

“This definitely feels like a soap opera, ’As the World Turns,’” Brown joked.

On a serious note: “You’re excited for the players. You’re never happy with the peaks and the valleys for those young guys. Hopefully, we can keep it positive and end the season for both teams on a high note.”

Huskies coach Jim Schuppler spent Tuesday night watching film of Summit football because, well, he thought Battle Mountain was playing Summit. It’s a perfectly understandable situation.

Schuppler had not talked to his kids yet — practice was scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday. He suspected some would find out as news travels fast, but he was looking forward to telling his team at the beginning of practice.

“I can’t wait to see the look on their faces.”

While both teams both like to appear fashionably aloof from knowing what the other is doing, that’s not really true. Odds are good both coaching staffs have been at the other team’s games. Both teams know each other well.

Installing a gameplan for one’s rival is a lot different than having to put in plays for an unknown opponent like, say, Ralston Valley, on 72 hours notice.

Please do not shoot the messenger. There will still be no fans allowed. Only the players, coaches, game staff and media will be allowed on the grounds of Battle Mountain High School.

“The stadium and property will be closed,” Nixon said on Tuesday. “The parking lot will be closed. The gate will be closed on the back road to the school. We will have the people letting in essential workers to run the game and that is it.”

High Five Access Media will be televising the game on Friday night. You can find the stream on highfivemedia.org, or on channel 5 on your cable system. If you feel like paying for the game, check out NFHS.com.


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