Freud: Happy spring, and how you should spend it
Vail, CO Colorado
Happy spring, even though it’s barely above freezing here at the world headquarters of the Vail Daily.
We issue our spring marching orders for our high school teams, nonetheless:
• Hit the darn ball: OK, this applies to the San Francisco Giants, but when I think spring, it’s all about America’s Team, the 2010 World Series champions. (And if you think I’m all about living in the past, you’d be right. We won, we won, we won, and I’m taking it with me to my grave.)
Seriously, we don’t need somebody like Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to jack 40 home runs. I’m just asking that we occasionally get a base hit with runners in scoring position or, dare to dream, a deep fly ball with a runner on third with one out. It won’t take much with a rotation that includes Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, not to mention a shut-down bullpen, headed up by the bearded one, Brian Wilson.
You’ve been warned. The Giants will win the West.
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• And that brings us to a team which will be attempting to repeat: Battle Mountain girls track. The Huskies are your defending Western Slope champions and the gang is pretty much in tact with the exception of the graduated Amelia Ortiz, whom I did not call Anita. (Good job, Freud.)
The upside of this team is tremendous. In fact, we may need to sedate Krum at some point this season. (That would be coach Jeff Krumlauf for those of you at home.) The one caution I would issue is – remember how much work it took to get to the point where we’re talking about Battle Mountain as the defending champ.
The Huskies are now the hunted. Every team on this side of the divide, and likely a few on the Front Range, will measure themselves against you each week. You might recall the obsession Battle Mountain had last year with Glenwood Springs, previously the four-time Slope champs. Dethroned teams don’t like to be such, and certainly not by a team with not much of a pedigree in the sport like Battle Mountain.
Ladies, you’ve got to work twice as hard, if not more, to defend the Slope, not to mention court any state aspirations you may have.
• Just a little name dropping when it comes to Huskies track: Isabelle Courtois and Mandy Ortiz.
• At the Charlie Alexander Pole Vaulting School – I think we were meant to type Vail Christian there – Kylie Alexander and Gunnar Wilson are the 1A state champs in the art of flinging oneself into the air with the aid of a long stick. Alexander went 8 feet, 9 inches at state, while Wilson was at 12-6.
Gunnar and Kylie, please read the previous paragraphs about being the hunted. Wilson also has the issue that there’s the state title in play, but also the Vail Christian crown on the boys’ side. Mack Cooper took second and Nigel Johnsen was fourth last year at state.
Ashylyn Gruber is certainly worth a mention. She was second in 1A in the 800 meters, and she’s only run that race three times. She’s a pretty decent athlete, so with some practice, who knows?
• The Vail Mountain School has a pretty good soccer team. Under doubtlessly-variegated skies, the Gore Rangers should make the playoffs again. The issue isn’t making the postseason. It’s winning in the postseason. That’s your goal. (I apologize for talking about results and will flog myself sufficiently in a synergistic manner after writing this column.) Also, please don’t eat chicken in your locker room. It will upset your coach.
• Re-lax: Happy lacrosse season as the Battle Mountain boys open in Grand Junction today. We obviously take things one-game-at-a-time, etc., but the question for Jerry Nichols’ crew is “Do we beat Steamboat Springs and/or Summit County?” The Huskies have demonstrated the ability to beat the teams in the lower tiers of the Mountain Conference, which is an improvement from years past. But the road to the postseason, the next goal, goes through the Sailors and Tigers.
To that end, good for Battle Mountain for scheduling Chatfield and Regis in nonconference games. That upgrade will probably hurt the win-loss record, but make the Huskies better in the long run.
• OK, Battle Mountain soccer did not make the playoffs for the first time since coach David Cope took over the girls program. This was not a crisis. Even good teams have down years. It happened. Now, how do you respond?
This is a big question with the opener tonight against Delta in Edwards. Of all the moments last year, the Delta “home” game (actually at Gypsum) was probably the most memorable in an unfortunate way. Up 2-0 at the half, the Huskies lost 4-2. Cope is a steady guy in good times and bad, but that one left him and the team shaken.
That was a young team that grew up the hard way last year, and my bet is that the Huskies will be the better for it.
• OK, baseball. First off, Eagle Valley’s Zach Linder and Battle Mountain’s Davey Honda are now known as Poseys. Both should wear No. 28.
• Eagle Valley baseball was 7-12 last year and Battle Mountain 6-13. So who had the better year? The answer would be the Huskies, actually. Don’t bother emailing me about upvalley bias. The reality is that the Devils with better weather in Gypsum should be a whole lot better record-wise and just shouldn’t lose to the Huskies in a game, as happened for the first time last spring.
Look for both teams to improve this spring, and for the Devils to be over .500 again.
• And I know we haven’t mentioned a lot of teams. That’s the joy of spring though. You never know what team’s going to poke up out of the snow and surprise you. See you out there at the games.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.