Huskies draw No. 11; VMS on road
If it’s Tuesday at 3 p.m., it’s got to be soccer.
All three local teams will be in action then. Seeding Sunday turned Tuesday in a soccer lollapalooza locally.
In 4A, No. 11 Battle Mountain hosts Summit County at Edwards, while in the category of “It’s a Small World After All,” No. 25 Eagle Valley is at No. 8 Montrose. And in 3A, No. 8 Vail Mountain is at No. 9 Lutheran Parker. Yes, a No. 8 is at a No. 9. We’ll explain later.
A early rundown on the games:
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If the concept of Battle Mountain-Summit soccer sounds familiar, it is. These two teams met in the season opener with the Huskies beating the Tigers, 5-1, in Farmer’s Korner.
It is somewhat strange to have a regular-season rematch in the first round, but it’s obvious that CHSAA based this one on geography. Huskies coach David Cope had no qualms with the seeding number.
“I think it is a mark of respect, even though we lost to Montrose, that most of the coaches’ polls had us in the top 12,” Cope said.
In 4A, the ballots of each league are computed and the top-12 teams are locked into their spots. The Huskies were obviously on the radar statewide, given their performance the last three seasons.
As for playing Summit again, Cope likes the concept.
“We seem to have a tradition with playing Jeffco (League) teams. We played Conifer last year (in Round 2),” he said. “Just because you beat them, 5-1, at the beginning of the season doesn’t mean anything. They’ve done well. They finished third in the Jeffco and I think it will be a good match.”
With this weekend’s snowfall making the Vail Athletic Field unavailable, the Huskies host the Tigers at Freedom Park in Edwards.
Most first-round games between Nos. 8 and 25 are glorified scrimmages. Not so with Eagle Valley-Montrose. The No. 25 Devils don’t look too dangerous with an official mark of 6-6-2.
Then you consider that three of Eagle Valley’s six losses were forfeited wins and the Devils finished the season 6-0-2.
“I feel pretty good,” Devils coach Jason Rittmiller said. “I think we could been paired a lot worse. It’s going to be a tough game for us, but I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t pull it off.”
The interesting tie to this game is that Battle Mountain lost to Montrose, 3-2, in Vail earlier this month. The Devils lost to the Huskies, 1-0, and tied them the second time around, 1-1.
“I think Eagle will give Montrose a game,” said Cope, who’s seen both teams. “Eagle Valley’s peaking at the right time. This is an 8-25 game that’s going to competitive. Eagle’s got to look at our game (the tie) and think that’s encouraging.”
Vail Mountain had hoped to wear its postseason orange at home, but CHSAA gave the six 3A league champions home games regardless of seed. Thus, VMS as No. 8 at 12-2-1, is on the road at No. 9 Lutheran Parker (12-3).
If VMS fans are upset about this, it could be worse. No. 5 Colorado Springs Christian has to travel to No. 12 Telluride.
“I think the committee really does its best to be impartial and try to pair up folks, so it becomes as even as possible,” VMS coach Bob Bandoni said. “My feeling, as idealistic as it may sound, is that we feel fortunate still to be playing.”
VMS will continue to soldier on with the injury bug. Sean Minett is back in goal for the Gore Rangers, but back-up Matt Stovall (knee) is out for the season. Striker Blake Armstrong (concussion) and midfielder Jackson Higgins (ankle) are questionable.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summit (22) at Battle Mountain (11), Freedom Park, Edwards, 3 p.m.
Winner plays Northridge (19)-Golden (6)
Eagle Valley (25) at Montrose (8), 3 p.m.
Winner plays D’Evelyn (25)-Rock Canyon (9)
Glenwood Springs (32) at Broomfield (1)
Steamboat Springs (28) at Greeley Central (5)
Evergreen (30) at Cheyenne Mountain (3)
Vail Mountain (8) at Lutheran Parker (9), 3 p.m.
Winner plays Arrupe Jesuit (16)-Fountain Valley (1)
Peak to Peak (10) at Basalt (7)
Alexander Dawson (11) at Denver Christian (6)