Devils gridders await draw; Saints lose in playoffs
GYPSUM — It’s officially official.
Eagle Valley football is in.
The Devils finished 13th in the final set of CHSAA wild-card points issued on Saturday. For the record, Eagle Valley had 77.9 points, 0.3 points ahead of No. 14 Discovery Canyon. This is noteworthy as the later won the Southern League.
Normally No. 13 would play No. 4, which would be Eagle Valley at Palisade. Fear not, teams from the same conference cannot meet in the first round. Also, the six league champions in 3A get home games, regardless of the wild-card point rankings. Therefore, a team, such as Discovery Canyon, will move from No. 14 into the top eight in the 16-team field.
Pueblo East (South Central), Roosevelt (Northern), Delta (Western Slope), Fort Morgan (Colorado 7) and Evergreen (Metro North) are the five other conference champions.
The Slope finishes with four teams in the tournament, the most of any 3A conference. Delta is No. 3, followed by Palisade at No. 4 and Rifle at No. 7 and the Devils at lucky 13.
The seeding, accounting for league winners and avoiding intraleague rematches, comes out today on chsaa.org.
Saints finish up in playoffs
Very few seasons end in storybook fashion.
Saturday was a tough ending for Vail Christian football as the Saints journeyed to the borders of Oklahoma and Kansas and got handed a 52-6 first-round playoff loss at the hands of Springfield for their troubles.
Despite a discordant ending, it’s worth noting that Vail Christian had a very good season at 7-2 in the wake of adversity, be it teams on its schedule dropping programs, resulting in bye weeks for the Saints, a key injury to senior lineman Ryan Hethcote, and running into a an inspired West Grand team on the final week of the regular season.
The combination of the last two sent Vail Christian to the end of the world — let’s make it clear the last thing Hethcote wanted to do was get hurt and no one wanted to see West Grand suffer the loss that it did in quarterback J.D. Guess — and the odds weren’t good on Saturday.
Nevertheless, the Saints successfully replaced all the “skill” positions after graduating the likes of Sug Ellsworth, Mike Lange, Max Schramm and Clayton Davis, to name a few.
Logan Raitt took over at quarterback. Caleb Chicoine, Alex Davis and Ethan Kuhns stepped up behind a senior line and created a powerful rushing attack. Davis also ended up the team’s leading receiver.
“Congratulations to Springfield,” Saints coach Tim Pierson said. “We’ll see how they do in the next round. I enjoy being around this group of guys. We did a lot of good things without kids this year. There are a lot of life lessons though football, and this is a good group of kids.”
All the favorites by seed, with the exception of West Grand, which fell to Dove Creek, 48-6, advanced to Round 2.
The Saints bid farewell to 8-man football with this game and head to Class 1A 11-man next season.
Huskies volleyball falls in Region 4
Battle Mountain volleyball’s rollercoaster of a season finished with an 0-2 showing in Region 4 on Friday at Holy Family.
The Huskies (14-10) lost the opener to Niwot, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20 and then bowed to Holy Family, 25-17, 25-21, 25-5. The host Tigers, ranked No. 4 in 4A, advanced to the state tournament next weekend at the Denver Coliseum.
Devils spikers end in tight match
Eagle Valley volleyball needs to find a way to host regionals.
The No. 15 Devils topped Mesa Ridge, 25-17, 25-15, 25-22, before falling to host and No. 10-ranked Evergreen, 13-25, 19-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-11, in Region 10 on Saturday.
That’s two years in a row that the Devils (17-8) have gone to regionals and taken the host team to five sets with a state berth on the line. Last year, Eagle Valley was ranked No. 13, going into regionals and dropped a tough one to No. 12 Air Academy in five.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.