Here’s my all-league hoops team from the Vail Valley
Yes, it’s belated, but it’s worth the wait.
Congratulations to everyone who made basketball all-league. Well-deserved.
As is usual, there are some snubs, like how in the world was Battle Mountain’s Miles Joersz only an honorable mention or how did the Eagle Valley girls basketball team only get one first-team selection?
But we get to rectify all this by presenting the annual Freud Five, your sports editor’s Eagle County basketball fantasy team, which is generally math challenged.
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There will be more than five. (I’m a liberal arts major and I can’t count, except to three, the number of World Series the San Francisco Giants have won, an obligatory mention.)
Without further ado, here we go.
Raitt, Vail Christian
We are intentionally being vague on which Raitt. For all we know, Vail Christian coach Beth Raitt may suit up here. We’re sure she has game.
Seriously, it’s a world gone Raitt and we’re just living in it, be in Jessie or Logan. Jessie started the year coming back from a soccer knee injury, but her role with the Saints grew as the season went on. She has poise beyond her years, and that’s an exciting thing from a sophomore.
Her older brother, Logan, is technically not a point, but the Freud Five will be bending positions a wee bit. You could see Logan, and fellow senior Alex Davis, just take the leadership role for the, ahem, very young Saints in February and in the postseason.
Joersz, Battle Mountain
Yes, he’s a point as well, but welcome to shooting guard, Miles. Joersz has been the discovery of the school year for Battle Mountain, be it at center back in soccer or this winter on the basketball team. The junior made Battle Mountain go, and could light it up from beyond the arc.
Joersz also helped the Huskies lead the league in headbands, an oft overlooked category.
Jimmy Murphy, Eagle Valley
Yeah, he’s a shooting guard, but we’re playing small ball. Heck, it’s working for the Golden State Warriors.
We’re going to call Murphy’s selection to this team as general omen of Eagle Valley boys basketball for next year. The Devils went from 0-for-204-15 to 6-14 this winter, and everyone is coming back.
Now, guys, that doesn’t mean you get to cruise into next year expecting everyone to lay down. You’ve got to work during the offseason, but there are the makings of special things here.
Work hard, Devils.
Jessie Hartley, Vail Christian
The heartbeat of the Saints’ incredible season, Hartley went from a good defensive player to an excellent two-way player in the second half of the season.
One can only wish that she didn’t do her right knee during districts against Soroco. I would have liked to have seen the Saints at full strength as the postseason progressed.
As it was, Hartley was a warrior for the Saints throughout her career in multiple sports at Vail Christian.
Kylie Martin, Eagle Valley
She’s a franchise player, a menace in the paint, rebounding and scoring and rebounding some more. And it’s just downright unfair when she pops a shot from outside, a skill she seemed to add this winter.
The junior was snubbed as an honorable mention last year, so all-league is well deserved this year. Miss Martin’s next job is to lead the Devils through districts next season.
Beth Raitt, Vail Christian
There were a lot of good candidates, which speaks well of local basketball. Chris Walls is turning around the boys in Gypsum. We welcomed back Dr. Phil (Tronsrue) at Battle Mountain. Sheldon Kuhns did a great job with his diaper dandies at Vail Christian.
Yet, Mrs. Raitt gets it for leading the Saints to a school record 16 wins in her first full season at the helm. The Saints ladies finally slayed the dragon/Ram that was Soroco, and played great basketball once the calendar turned to 2016 against some of the best teams in 2A.
Freud Five 2017?
This is way, way too early, but I’m excited about next year’s season already.
These are just five players, regardless of position, I want to see develop as we go:
• Devin Huffman, Battle Mountain: Tronsrue is drooling over the prospect of coaching him for two more years. Huffman was a surprise all-league pick as a sophomore, but work on consistency, Devin. You can be a Connor Drumm-like player, and I don’t throw his name around lightly.
• Marti Schmidt, Vail Christian: Get used to Jessie Raitt to Marti Schmidt. They’re both sophomores turning into juniors next year. Yikes.
• Dawson Keller, Eagle Valley: The physical tools are there, Master Dawson. You need to play your butt off this summer to work on positioning and decision-making (i.e. when to block or simply alter a shot) on the court. You could be a monster.
• Reagan Bossow, Eagle Valley: You need to be the outside to Martin’s inside. You showed great flashes of this as a sophomore.
• Vail Christian boys, Class of 2018: Time to grow up, fellas. It’s your show next year.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.