Battle Mountain soccer loses, the world goes on
It’s rather amazing that the sun came up on Wednesday.
After all, Battle Mountain girls soccer — gasp — lost at Steamboat Springs, 5-0, on Tuesday. One might have thought the earth had spun off its axis.
First off, congratulations to Steamboat and coach Rob Bohlmann. This is a rivalry, and we’ll get to the impact of that shortly, but it’s not a nasty one.
(Yes, of course the report roots for local teams, but I have great respect for the Sailors in every sport. I hate seeing our 4A soccer teams losing to Glenwood Springs, and don’t get me started on Palisade football. Two of my favorite memories of my tenure at the Vail Daily are Eagle Valley in 2005 and Battle Mountain in 2011 beating the Bulldogs on the gridiron.)
I’m trivia boy, and I didn’t know the Huskies had a 20-game winning streak in the 4A Slope. It was the Glenwood loss in 2014, the day after the ladies beat Mullen, 2-0, in a boxing match.
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But this brings up a point. When you refer to a loss with the article, “the,” you don’t lose much. Battle Mountain boys or girls soccer has a habit of winning the Slope often. The boys have won nine of the last 12 titles. The girls have won three straight.
While the league title is considered a birthright at Battle Mountain, other teams are really trying to win this, and once in while, it will happen.
And that brings us back to Steamboat Springs. Battle Mountain was 8-0-2 against the Sailors during the last four years. While that’s a nice stat for Huskies fans, it’s completely out of whack with the history of the rivalry.
The Sailors were undoubtedly ready for the Huskies Tuesday night. They knew they had lost six straight games to Battle Mountain. (Athletes always know who won what.) They remembered a playoff overtime loss last May.
Steamboat got payback.
OK, so now, what does Battle Mountain do? We’re all of four games into the season, so it isn’t over after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, to paraphrase John Belushi. Let’s see what you’ve got, Huskies.
I was talking to some players of a team at a game. They were talking about their next game and how it was going to be a cakewalk. I silently agreed with their assessment at the time and said prediction turned out to be true.
And that said, I don’t ever want to hear any student-athlete from any school talk that way again. To all athletes, regardless of the sport, treat your opponent with respect. As far as the principle goes, sports are an extension of the classroom and, if you’re not treating opponents with respect, what does that say about you?
And from a practical standpoint, the moment you stop respecting your opponents is the moment they will come back and bite you in the posterior. Maybe not immediately, but it will happen.
• Vail Mountain soccer is good. First, that wasn’t exactly going out on a limb. Second, this team understands humility, which is good because as Gore Rangers midfielder Sydney Sappenfield rightly said everyone is coming for VMS this year. Third, holy cow and welcome back, Boozi, Michael Busenhart is helping out on the coaching staff. Tell goalie Holly Parker about the penalty shot, Boozi.
• Eagle Valley soccer, I’m impressed. I had you down for a long year after losing Mariel Gutierrez. Maybe not. Challenges lie ahead, but I like what I’m seeing with your 2-1-1 start.
• There’s a wee bit of a showdown coming on Saturday, weather permitting. Battle Mountain baseball at Eagle Valley in a doubleheader. The Devils swept two from Summit County, while the Huskies were competitive against Palisade in one of two against the Bulldogs. The Devils need these two games to keep up with the elite of the league, while the Huskies want to show they can play. Should be interesting.
• Speaking of showdowns, Aspen’s coming to town today for Battle Mountain girls lacrosse. The Huskies have never beaten the Skiers. I’m just saying that might be a possible motivation.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.