Everything you need to know about the the playoffs for Vail Valley high schools
Happy playoff Wednesday.
Four of Eagle County’s six postseason teams are in action today, headlined by Vail Mountain School lacrosse hosting Windsor at 2:30 p.m.
The Gore Rangers are one of three lacrosse teams in action today — Battle Mountain made the cut and heads to Valor Christian, while the Huskies ladies are at Regis.
Eagle Valley and the Vail Mountain School represent in soccer. The Devils are Cheyenne Mountain today, while VMS takes on Florence on Friday at Colorado Academy in Lakewood.
Class 4A boys lacrosse
Vail Mountain (4) vs. Windsor (13), today, 2:30 p.m.
Happy Orange Day, VMS. Yes, soccer’s postseason color of choice works for lacrosse as well. VMS is letting out early for the school first-ever postseason lacrosse game at Bandoni Alumni Field with kids of all ages clad in orange.
Keeping with CHSAA rules, the Gore Rangers will continue to wear its home white with blue numbering with orange playoff shirts underneath.
The Wizards are playoff regulars, and have played a tough schedule this season. There are common opponents with Windsor and VMS. The Wizards lost to Ponderosa and Steamboat Springs by the score of 7-6, but beat Thompson Valley in overtime, 8-7.
“The guys are excited,” VMS coach Bobby Ecker said. “The whole school’s going to be there. It’s going to be just like the soccer games. We feel like we’re ready.”
Class 4A boys lacrosse
Battle Mountain (15) at Valor Christian (2), today 4 p.m.
First off, “Today is our year.”
The Huskies have used that as their slogan all season, honoring their former teammate Mac Kelsall, and it’s apropos for today’s David-and-Goliath matchup.
Battle Mountain is a long shot, but, then again, the Huskies were a long shot to make the playoffs before a four-game winning streak to end the season. Counting out Battle Mountain has been a bad idea so far this year.
“Valor is a fantastic program with a great tradition of winning,” Huskies coach Jerry Nichols said. “We’re not going to sit back and let them take their game to us. We want to take our game to them. Our guys are loose. We’ve got nothing to lose. Our seniors do not want this to be our last game. That was the message in the locker room today. They are not ready to hang up their sticks.”
Class 4A soccer
Eagle Valley (22) at Cheyenne Mountain (11), 4:30 p.m.
Step No. 1 has been achieved in Gypsum. Eagle Valley is in the dance for the first time since 2015.
Step No. 2 is being competitive with one of the blue-blood programs in the state.
The Indians went 8-6, which isn’t very impressive until one realizes they went 3-3 against 5A squads and play more 5As inside the Pikes Peak Conference.
Much like Battle Mountain boys lacrosse, Eagle Valley wasn’t meant to be here either, so taking the Devils for granted probably isn’t the best idea in the world.
“We’re definitely feeling the excitement,” Devils coach Maggie Sherman said. “The school is giving us a send-off and we’re excited for that. For us, nothing has really changed. We’ve wanted to keep doing what we’ve been doing and not throw a wrench into things. This is an opportunity to go up against a great team.”
Class 5A girls lacrosse
Battle Mountain (18) at Regis (15), today, 5 p.m.
This was actually meant to be played on Tuesday, but got postponed because of inclement weather on the Front Range. That’s a quaint concept.
Today’s trivia is “What are the only two Mountain Conference teams to qualify for the girls state lacrosse tournament without winning the league title?”
Both of those teams wear Battle Mountain black and gold.
Making the playoffs last year as an at-large squad was accomplishment for the Huskies. This year, the challenge is to compete.
“We’re excited for the chance to play again,” Huskies coach Jason Fitzgerald said, “Last year, it didn’t go well. Regis is a good matchup for us. We want to see if we can compete with Front Range teams.”
Class 3A soccer
VMS soccer (15) vs. Florence (18), Friday, 4 p.m., at Lakewood
No, this Florence is not in Italy, much to VMS coach Bob Bandoni’s dismay.
With that out of the way, the Gore Rangers enter the 3A playoffs as a dark horse at No. 15. The rating-percentage index is likely a little off there.
More importantly, the Gore Rangers are happy to be competing in the 3A playoffs after winning Class 2A the last two years.
The winner of Friday’s game faces No. 2 Colorado Academy on Saturday.
“Our focus remains, as it has been, to rally sharpen up in a few areas,” Bandoni said. “We have a couple of areas in the attack and defense, we are working on. I think, most importantly, is our transition, where we have a lot room for growth.”
Yes, Bandoni just said his team is working on every aspect of its game.
Class 4A baseball
To be determined.
Eagle Valley baseball finished No. 30 in the RPI, but baseball brackets don’t come out until today. Stay tuned.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org.