Giants win: No, this is a preps column
Greetings on this happy, happy, joy, joy day.
The Dodgers are out of the playoffs (well done, Robert Ellsworth and Jason Spannagel, Eagle Valley’s and Battle Mountain’s biggest Cardinals fans) and, yes, the Giants are moving on.
(Note: Our copy chief, Ross Leonhart, is a Nationals fan, so he’s just going to be messing with my copy for the whole offseason.)
• An Eagle County team is going to the playoffs, and it ain’t the usual suspect. How about the Vail Mountain School. Since we haven’t had a column in two weeks, we have to go back to the golden goals against Coal Ridge and Aspen.
First off, congratulations to Kevin Garcia and Liam Hurley for etching your names into VMS soccer history with those tallies.
Second, how in the world did Bob Bandoni remember Tony Ryerson was the last Gore Ranger with a golden goal?
I took call-ins from the Bandon for years. Here’s how they went?
Freud: “So did you win?”
Bob: “Yeah, but I don’t know the score.”
(Freud bangs head against desk.)
But Bandoni remembered Tony Ryerson? Yeesh.
Back to the current Gore Rangers, they play well. You can see that. There’s also just a good vibe to this group. This is nothing tangible. Sorry about that. It’s just something you feel by watching some games and watching the players interact. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee great things, but it’s a good sign.
By the way, I think Clay Kirwood just scored another goal against Moffat County as I typed this.
On a serious note, it’s very cool to see Ryan Schmidt back. This is like a late-season trade in pro sports, a clutch addition. Go get Basalt and Colorado Academy. (I invoke the spirit of Oscar Alcantar, Danny Mackintosh and Wade Cheatham.)
• Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah to Eagle Valley soccer. Ding, dong, the wicked witch is dead. (I wrote that when Battle Mountain soccer finally beat Steamboat Springs for the first time in 2002.) The Devils finally beat Battle Mountain on Saturday. I’d kind of like to take credit for it. I was talking to David Cope on Friday at the Huskies football game, telling him I was covering Roaring Fork-VMS, and added, “Besides, you always win,” referring to the Huskies-Devils game.
Before you start emailing me with “Freud is biased,” the Huskies were undefeated in 25 straight outings against Eagle Valley, dating back to 1999. It wasn’t an outlandish statement. Cope cringed and said, “Don’t say that.” I guess I hexed the Huskies.
No, well done, and I am very happy to see the Devils win. We finally have a rivalry in boys soccer in this county. Anything Devils-Huskies or Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley is always big, but both teams need to beat each other for it to be an actual rivalry. (See Yankees-Red Sox, which didn’t really start until 2004 when Boston finally won in a head-to-head matchup of significance.)
These sort of wins also launch programs. See Battle Mountain-Steamboat in 2003. It wasn’t a coincidence that the Huskies started reeling off league titles in 2004. Eagle Valley soccer isn’t guaranteed a title in 2015, but it’s a big building block for the program.
• And Battle Mountain soccer is not dead. Golden goals seem to be in vogue this season. The Huskies beat Steamboat on a golden goal last year here, courtesy of Kevan Aubel. Everyone remembers the Kaubel goal, but no one remembers that Aaron Milligan scored with 30 seconds left to set the stage for that goal.
So Milligan gets a golden goal at Steamboat this year. Everyone, remember that.
OK, OK, people, I wasn’t at Steamboat Springs last night, so I didn’t know that Owen Riley, not Alan Villegas, was in net. To make it up to the Big O, we’ve got a Rex Keep special with this piece of literature.
And, here’s what I’ve got for the playoff picture: The Western Slope region, which includes the eponymous league and the 5A/4A Southwestern League, gets three spots. Summit collapsing from the top of the table in the Slope League isn’t happening. Durango and Montrose have the other two spots.
That means Battle Mountain needs to snag one of seven at-large bids. Battle Mountain is 9-4 with a game at Montrose on Saturday and a home tilt against Summit next week. A record of 11-4 with the pedigree of Battle Mountain would be hard to keep out of the playoffs.
And Cope, “Besides, you always lose to Montrose.”
• So how tough is the 3A Slope? Eagle Valley loses to Rifle, 35-12, and that really doesn’t look like a bad loss after the Bears go to Delta and beat the Panthers, then No. 2 in the CHSAA poll, 36-19.
Then after a bye week against Summit (kidding), you go to Glenwood thinking you have a chance and the Demons, win, 42-0. Rifle’s No. 3, Delta No. 7 and Glenwood No. 10, while Palisade has been in and out of the rankings all year.
What does this mean, Eagle Valley? You gotta beat Steamboat Springs this week. Don’t worry. They’ve got turf. They can’t flood the field. (Coach John Ramunno might tell you that story, but it won’t bring up good memories.)
By the way, Palisade’s at Rifle this week. That’ll be an interesting one to watch.
Under the category of “Irony is very Ironic,” Eagle Valley’s best friend these days is likely Battle Mountain. The Huskies winning games gives the Devils more points for their win over Battle Mountain in the wild-card points. Also good to see is that Vista Peak has won three in a row after an 0-3 start.
• It’s October and Huskies football is over .500. OK, guys, how do you handle success? You did very well with it against a bad Roaring Fork squad last week. (Was it just me or was that like watching current Battle Mountain play old Battle Mountain? That’s not a put-down. It just looked like that to me. Progress, people.)
OK, Roaring Fork wasn’t good, but you beat the heck out of a bad team. Good. Aspen’s probably pretty solid. The Skiers beat Steamboat and it’s their Homecoming. Containing Ryan Fitzgerald might be a good idea. (Just a suggestion.)
On a serious note, it’s actually fun to go to Huskies football games these days.
• Vail Christian, no overlooking Justice this week. In fact, here’s your goal — a shutout. You haven’t allowed a score since Sept. 20 against Rocky Mountain Lutheran. Go get it.
• Battle Mountain is trying to kill me. I am convinced after the Steamboat game. (Be quiet, Devils fans, I root for Eagle Valley against Steamboat, too. Get them on Saturday.)
The Huskies are showing some grit with no Maddie Perkins and Emily Clinton. I also liked what I saw in the fourth game against the Sailors last week. Mackenzie Ellison has a bit of Crystin Rodrick in her. That’s a good thing. There were points during the fourth where Ellison grabbed the team with her play and said, “We are not losing.”
Haley Frischholz, I finally got your name right. Since you’re filling in at setter, I should.
• Jaimee Rindy. I can spell her name right, too. That’s my transition to Devils volleyball. Eagle Valley is traveling 507 miles in a bus this week, having gone to Delta and heading out to Aspen today and Steamboat on Saturday. (And when a Front Range team has to travel up here, said team usually whines about the length of a road trip.) Bring it home. Your motivation is simple. Beat Steamboat and Rifle next Tuesday, and it’s a Slope title game a week from today in Edwards.
Best Facebook comment ever
• This is actually the golf section. Vail Christian’s Cooper Gould, fresh off his second-place finish at state, posted a photo of himself on Facebook in a backwards chair looking quite sharp and buff.
“Damn … look at that chair,” writes fellow student Cooper Daniels.
Umm, see you at the games.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
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