Eagle Valley preps tee off
The golf team will be headed by Randy Cook, who takes over a new challenge after coaching the softball team last year to a league championship.
Both lost key seniors on their squads. Blake Scott, the No. 1 Devils golfer all last year, graduated, while the softball team saw its starting catcher, pitcher and third baseman head off to college this fall.
All in all, new softball coach Brad Stiles knows the early season schedule will be a true test.
“The group we lost was small, but very influential,” said Stiles, who coached at Eagle Valley 12 years ago. “We’re still going to be on the learning curve. We could end up with a very young team.”
The Devils will first head off to the Boulder County Invite to take on 5A teams like Boulder, Standley Lake and Ralston Valley –a gauntlet for a youthful 3A squad.
“That will definitely be a learning experience,” Stiles said.
Also hurting the Devils will be the loss of Samantha Phillips, an all-conference junior outfielder who is out the entire season due to a leg injury.
“We’re going to find out how quickly we can step up and play,” Stiles said. “My concern is the pitching. We have five or six pitchers, but we don’t have the dominance that Lyndsay (Beasley) had last year.”
The Devils were 11-9 overall last season, but a perfect 4-0 in the Western Slope. Practice begins Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Eagle Valley High School. Call Stiles at (970) 524-7707 for more information about softball and coach Cook at (970) 524-0119 for information regarding the golf team.
Eagle Valley’s gridiron squad will be new this year, but it will be hard for the Devils to improve. After a Western Slope League championship last season and a 9-2 record, the Devils lost two running backs, a wide receiver and several big names on defense to graduation.
Still, with senior quarterback Justin Wood returning, along with runner J.J. Alvis in the backfield, the Devils still promise to have a solid offensive unit.
Two-a-day practices begin Monday at 8 a.m. in the auditorium for a team meeting. Workouts will take place from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 p.m., starting Monday as well. Bring a physicial, insurance, cleats and a lunch. Call coach John Ramunno at (970) 328-2301 for more information.
With a new coach in Brian Large, the boys soccer team hopes to catch the Western Slope by surprise. The Devils lost defense-specialist Jake Niswanger, but hope wins won’t be as hard to come by as they have been in the past.
Practice begins Monday at 8:30 a.m. Call coach Large at (970) 328-2072 for more information.
Last year’s young team that barely missed a regional berth and finished a surprising third in the conference has its chance at fruition. Five returning seniors dot the roster, but the Devils will have to make up for the loss of captain Amanda Jones, who graduated.
Head coach Karl Talcott hopes a large class of freshmen can balance a season centered around senior leadership.
Two-a-day practices begin Monday at 8:30 a.m. Call coach Talcott at (970) 376-4387 for more information.