Huskies smash Warriors, 7-1
EAGLE-VAIL – Just before kickoff against Grand Junction Central Thursday, Battle Mountain freshman Jose Pavon was yelling, “Andy, score some goals so I can play.”Andy Banner and Juan Barragan obliged with hat tricks and Pavon and a plethora of Huskies booters got playing time in 4A Battle Mountain’s season opening 7-1 thrashing of 5A Grand Junction Central.”I think this will probably be the only day that you’ll get a hat trick and not be Man of the Match,” Barragan joked with Banner after the game.”I’m willing to share it,” Banner replied.
The B and B Boys made this one a laugher from the start. Just five minutes in, Banner boomed a long ball down the right side. Isaac Anderson, who won the Unsung hero Award, ran it down and crossed it perfectly to Barragan, who finished for a 1-0 lead.Anderson followed with another tremendous serve into the box eight minutes later and Barragan ripped the twine with a header.”I couldn’t have a better ball from him if he were to throw it from like two yards away,” an appreciative Barragan said.”Isaac serves the ball as well as anybody on our team,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “Those balls were absolutely Beckham-like. If he could take a touch, not have to look up because he knows where those guys are coming, there’ll be some goals on the end of that. It reminded me of James Stevenson.”And, we’ll call your Grant Stevenson and raise you a Hugh Wodlinger, a Mark Perna and a Scotty Ligouri, Coach.
After several great chances early, Banner got on the board in the 18th minute off a nifty feed from Barragan. Gustavo Bronfield picked up the first of three assists on the day on Barragan’s hat-trick goal. After 22 minutes, Barragan was happily done for the day. By team rules, you sit after a hat trick and Cope automatically says, “A hat trick at any level is a tremendous accomplishment.””Good start to the season,” Barragan said. “It shows that we have some natural finishers on the team. Two forwards combine for six goals and five in the first half. I think we just dominated.”Bronfield, likely becoming an honorary member of the B and B Boys, got the helper on Banner’s second goal, ending the half with the Huskies leading, 5-0.Banner got his hat trick early in the second half and joined Barragan on the bench.”The thing we said about Andy is that we hoped he’d do well in the first game so his confidence would be high. So, that’s good. Juan came on with goals with his head and goals with his feet. It just showed class. A hat trick at any level is a tremendous accomplishment.”
Central’s Tim Pike scored the Warriors’ lone goal and that was answered by the Huskies’ Alexander Dangler who finished out the scoring.
The Huskies don’t have mush time to celebrate. They open league play at Palisade. If Battle Mountain wants to win a league title – and the Rocky Mountain News has predicted it so, ranking the Huskies No. 8 in 4A – these are three important points on the road.”These games sometimes are as hard to come back from as loss that was close,” Cope said. “These guys have to realize that every team in our league is going to be gunning for us. In our league on any given day, anything can happen. So, the fellows have to recognize that. Most of these players know that from the Moffat game (a bad road loss) last year. They know if you don’t bring your best game in our league, things can happen.”Just for kicksThe only rain on the Huskies parade came when Jeff Shadl likely injured his collar bone in a second-half collision. He left the field for X-rays. Cope praised the senior for his good play against Central as well as in preseason scrimmages. … Cope also had good words for the ever-steady Connor Drum in back. … Sign watch: “No. 7 is my hero!” That would be Kyle Moore. … Josh Ruark played in net in the first half and got good marks. “Props to our new goalie. Josh did incredible,” Barragan said. “I think that’s going to be a key to our season – good goalkeeping, good defense.” … Freshman Zach Korbell was a captain and lined up at midfield before the game. … Many happy returns to referee Cindy Eskwith. Great to see you out on the pitch again.Chris Freud is the sports editor of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614, or via firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Colorado