Haven’t you heard of Opening Day?
We’ve finally got a look at the spring high school sports landscape, and we do like what we see.Battle Mountain girls soccer … a nice start, and just a start, mind you. Steamboat Springs was a big hurdle on the pitch and mentally. That having been said, The Huskies have to visit the Sailors Saturday – game time is now 3:30 p.m. for those travelling. Delta is going to be a much different team the second time around – May 1 is the make-up date. Before all that is Glenwood Springs in Edwards today. As anyone associated with Battle Mountain soccer knows, there’s a lot of history here. Just count on the fact that something bizarre is going to happen.The most bizarre thing is that Battle Mountain soccer had the temerity to schedule a game on Giants’ Opening Day (capitalized because it should be a national holiday). Bad Huskies. Barry Zito is starting for America’s Team as it begins its quest to finish 78-84. (Please note that this is the first time I haven’t led with the “other” Barry in referring to the Giants.) The Huskies are off Monday, when the Red Sox open – Tim LyBarger. How about a little consideration for the beat writer?Moving to soccer topics of slightly less import, the Huskies need to fall behind in a game – go Demons and Sailors. This is not just because of the Giants-Huskies conflict today, but because Battle Mountain needs to know it can come back. If the Huskies are going to make a run in the playoffs, they will eventually be trailing in a game, and they need to have it in their respective hip pocket that they have come back.
Kelsey Sanders and Julia Burnett are doing their thing, and this is worderful. The even better sign is that they have company. Battle Mountain has legitimate scoring threats in Marisa Ammaturo, (outstanding addition out wide), Lizzie Seibert (chip off the old block), Kelly VanHee (chip off the old block in the same number) and Emily LyBarger (who hasn’t been renamed Dice-K by her father) among others. Again looking ahead to stiffer competition, there will be teams who will have their sights on the Dynamic Duo, and have the ability to contain them. The Huskies are multi-faceted offensively and need to continue to be.Good week for the Woodruffs. Stephanie gets her first varsity goal and Chris gets into Duke. Huskies head coach David Cope started the season by wearing his usual soccer jacket against Delta last month. In one of his pockets was one of his traditional folded pieces of paper on wchich he scribbles his lineup and takes notes. The paper was from the boys’ state quarterfinal game against Broomfield last fall. I broke out my golf gear recently which has a Vail Daily windbreaker. In one of its pockets was the Battle Mountain girls’ soccer roster from last year’s Liberty game. We both apparently need to work on laundry skills.Yes, the golf gear is out, which is exciting for me. I will be golfing vicariously through Eagle Valley’s Jeanette Baker, who put up a 92 last week. Both Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain golf are at Lakota Canyon today. Bring your hiking boots.Eagle Valley baseball is off to a good start having spilt with Delta. Pitching dep being the be all and end all in high school, the Devils look like they have it in the early going with Hunter Blevins and Dan McKiernan. Of course, if you’re Blevins it doesn’t hurt if you knock in four runs in your own case. The Devils host the Huskies today at 4 p.m.
As we turn into April, we finally get a good look at the track and field teams. This is the so-called social sport, compete in your event and mingle with friends. Not really. Both Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain appear to be point-scoring machines. This is bigger news in Eagle-Vail. (Hey, Gypsum, please take that as a compliment. You’ve got a great program. It isn’t news when the Devils put up points in the sprint relays. It is at Battle Mountain.)Along those lines, when was the last time Battle Mountain had a good 1,600-meter team? The Huskies always start the day with a strong 3,200, but the 4-by-4 at the end? You have to go back to the days of James Stevenson, Doug Mason, J.D. Lemon and Kyle Ferguson in 2001 to find one. When I looked up that mile team, I scanned the that year’s story on the late-Battle Mountain Invitational. Eagle Valley’s Chris Gamble won three golds that day and Kim Smith finished second in the open 800. Who beat her? Didn’t know that happened. The point is that Eagle Valley just keeps coming with these great athletes. Mike Smith (no relation) and Ashley Rohweder among others are the latest to inherit the mantle.With Battle Mountain deeper than in years past, it’s going to be interesting to see how the teams match up. We probably won’t get a look at the Eagle Valley invite later this month because the Huskies will be at Rifle the day before, but regionals should be fun.
As far as the coaching matchup, I take Eagle Valley’s Jeff Shroll over Rob Parish. That’s because the latter is a Dodgers fan and it’s opening day.