Huskies nab all-state honors in postseason haul
EDWARDS — Three all-state, seven all-league, one Slope Player of the Year and one Slope Coach of the Year.
Given all of that, one would think that Battle Mountain soccer had a pretty solid year. With their fourth state quarterfinals appearance in five years, a 15-3 mark and another league title, Huskies soccer did just fine and it’s reflected in the slew of postseason honors.
Goalie Jack Skidmore and strikers Creek Kamby and Donnie Leavitt are all-state in some form. Skidmore, Kamby, Leavitt, Erik Solis, Uriel Lopez, Brandon Rodriguez and Miles Joersz are all-league. The Slope’s Player of the Year was Skidmore and Coach of the Year was David Cope.
“We were 3-2 and struggling to find our identity and finished 15-3,” Cope said. “We were 4-1 in one-goal games after identifying that as a weakness from last year when we lost four one-goal games. Even Kentucky didn’t win the NCAA Tournament last year. We proved that we are among the elite in 4A and we return a great group next year.”
Skidmore, Kamby and Leavitt
Skidmore is first-team all-state after a tremendous campaign between the pipes. He had a 1.09 goals-against average and logged nine shutouts. It was a comeback campaign of sorts after his junior year was shortened by back injuries.
He provided the most surprising moment of the season — taking a penalty kick against Valor Christian during the second round of the playoffs. He converted the shot.
He probably provided the classiest moment of the year on Senior Night as well. The Huskies had 12 seniors, and Cope likes to start all of them during the final home game of the regular season. Twelve does not go into the 11 positions on the pitch, so Skidmore volunteered to sit.
Kamby turned a promising sophomore season into a stellar junior one and made second-team all-state. He tied for the team lead in goals with 13 (with Leavitt). Four of those were the ever critical first of a game. Four were game-winners.
Kamby particularly liked scoring against Evergreen, the eventual state champion. Kamby got the game-winner against Evergreen for the second year in a row against the Cougars in a 3-0 win.
Leavitt started his career as a goalie, backing up Christian Espinoza during the 2012 championship season. He won 15 games in net during his sophomore year, and then turned into a forward.
Leavitt ended up with 13 goals and seven assists, including four game-winners and made all-state honorable mention. He also could still play goalie. When Skidmore sat, Leavitt got the nod in the net and made two key saves against Steamboat Springs. In all, Leavitt dressed for 11 playoff games, an impressive accomplishment.
And more all-league
Solis made first team all-league as part of the juggernaut that was the Huskies’ midfield. He had four goals and eight assists. Solis also had the game-winner in a key game at Glenwood Springs, the site of many horrors for Battle Mountain soccer.
Lopez was likely the hard-luck candidate, missing first team. He had 10 goals and 10 helpers, yet had to settle for honorable mention.
Rodriguez and Joersz, along with Skidmore, represent a stellar defense. After a rough start to the season, that unit allowed only 10 goals in its final 11 games.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
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