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Devils, Gore Rangers, Huskies and Saints, oh my

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Battle Mountain golf has teed it up at Eagle-Vail for tryouts. The Devils are doing the same at Cotton Ranch and everyone else reports Monday. Yes, see ya summer. The Devils, Gore Rangers, Huskies and Saints are back. So, from the home office in Eagle-Vail, here are the top-10 questions for fall high school sports in the county:How good is Battle Mountain cross country?Answer: Very. The girls finished fifth last year at state and lost just one runner, Jessica Medsker, to graduation. The ladies should easily be ranked by the Front Range papers and are a threat to win state. The boys, who qualified as a team for state last year for the first time, are also going to make some noise. A regional title isn’t out of the question.Lest any heads get swollen, rest assured that a few runs up Whiskey Hill will take care of that.Repeat?Battle Mountain boys soccer finds itself in a strange position – defending 4A Slope champs. The Huskies lost some key parts – Antonio Aparicio, Andy Banner, Juan Baragan, Evie Gonzales and Harrison Brown, to name a few. But coach David Cope has built a program. Look for Edgardo Hernandez, Kyle Moore, Tyler Cole and Connor Drumm and so on to step into those big roles. And watch out for the kids. JV went undefeated last year will contribute. My 8-ball says yes to a repeat.

Who wins on Sept. 30?Battle Mountain football goes down to Hot Stuff Stadium to call on Eagle Valley. Last year’s game was actually a game, a change from past years when the Devils tap-danced all over the Huskies. Battle Mountain could well be 3-1 going into this contest, so this game could go a long way toward shaping the Huskies’ season. Meanwhile, coach John Ramunno has 21 seniors and a year of 3A under his belt. The Huskies are one year away. Eagle Valley wins bragging rights in 2005.Will a Devil make history?Huskies golf always sends one or two to state, but Eagle Valley has never qualified a linkster. Enter Zack Coe. We know the kid is awfully long off the tee. Can he put it together at Yampa? Just remember that you drive for show and putt for dough, Zack. Make some history.VMS to the next level?The moment of truth has come for Vail Mountain volleyball. The Gore Rangers’ Cely Brinkmann, Lindsay Wright and Aubrie Apple were freshmen when Tree and company last went to state. These three are now seniors and need to grab VMS by the collar and take the team to the Denver Coliseum. This team is too talented to fall in regionals again, like the previous two seasons. Expect some banners to go up in VMS’ spankin’ new gym.

Can’t we all get along?One big surprise last fall was Battle Mountain volleyball. The Huskies had their first winning season since 1999, but not without some off-the-court complications. People, this is about the kids and the kids first. Not parental ego. Not politics – as in trying to run coach Brian Doyon. Battle Mountain has seven excellent juniors, headed up by Chrystin Rodrick. From what I’ve heard, Doyon’s brought it down a notch. Good. Now, parents, go to the games and root like crazy for your team – and butt out. If everyone plays nicely, this team is trending upward.Will VMS wear orange?Bob Bandoni will put on his Lou Holtz-shtick and say that his team is young, a work in progress and, “Dios mio, how are we going to win a game?” And come October, surprise, surprise, VMS will be in the playoffs. In the meantime, I’m counting down the days until that wonderful trip to Paonia and looking forward to the Bandon’s mutterings on the Red Sox. It’s going to be Boston and St. Louis again and you’re repeating, Bob. It’s in the bag.Rebuilding or reloading?Yes, Eagle Valley has lost a good senior class, headed by Kenzie Shreeve. But each year you write off the Devils, they come back with a vengeance. Like Huskies boys soccer, the system down in Gypsum is strong and keeps churning out players. The Devils are reloading, not rebuilding.



Saints on the march?Yep. Vail Christian 8-man football lost just a few to graduation and Josh Glandorf to a transfer. Nevertheless, Tim Pierson’s crew has a year under its belt. Quarterback John Armstead will have his favorite target back in Josh Sibley. The Mountain League is better than previous years, so don’t expect a triumphal parade like two years ago. The Saints will have to battle for it, but they should nab one of the league’s three state-playoff spots.Whatever will Freud do?I can’t write about Rachel Glandorf’s thundering spikes. For the first time since 1997, I will not have a Stevenson – James or Grant – about whom to write. (You up for an interview, Mark and Lee?) No Austin Chow? No Gambles? No Patrick Scanlan, Sylvan Ellefson and Michael Busenhart? Time marches onward. I think I’ll have plenty of good material this fall.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 614 or via cfreud@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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