Huskies soccer leads way in preseason rankings
Battle Mountain soccer headlines the fall sports scene as CHSAA released its first set of rankings for the year on Monday.
The Huskies, state champions in 2012 and postseason quarterfinalists the past three years, took the fifth spot in the poll of 4A soccer teams.
Cheyenne Mountain, the defending state champ, is No. 1. Air Academy, which bounced the Huskies in last year’s quarters, is No. 2, followed by No. 3 Evergreen. Battle Mountain is at Evergreen in an intriguing nonconference game later this fall.
In 3A soccer, the Vail Mountain School punched in at No. 8, while Coal Ridge, masters of the 3A Slope, are No. 3.
In football, this just in — the 3A Slope looks tough. Delta is No. 2; Rifle fourth and Palisade eighth. In fact, four of Eagle Valley’s opponents this season are in the top 10. Vista Peak, the Devils’ opener in Gypsum on Aug. 29, is No. 10 in the rankings.
Only Moffat County, coming down from 3A, got votes (one) in the 2A Slope North, Battle Mountain’s new league.
In 8-man football, the usual suspect heads up the poll with Dayspring Christian getting all seven first-place votes. Vail Christian got two points in the voting and is the only Central League team so honored.
In volleyball, the 4A Slope was blanked, though Montrose nabbed No. 7. The Indians are on both the Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley slates.
On the 2A front, Meeker is No. 5 and Paonia ninth. Vail Christian got two votes.
What does this all mean? Very little in the long run.
Battle Mountain soccer is well-known entity to the Front Range, where most of the voters are, by virtue of its recent success. The 3A Slope in football is a powerhouse, so having three teams is no surprise. What might be a surprise is that Glenwood Springs isn’t in there. The Demons went 8-4 last season and have a highly touted quarterback in Dante Sparaco. For Eagle Valley partisans, it’s worth noting that both the Devils and Vista Peak went 5-5 last season when it comes to Week 1.
Neither Eagle Valley (2012) nor Battle Mountain (2011) started the season ranked the last time either made the playoffs in football. Vail Christian’s gridders haven’t started the season ranked since 2003.
As far as the postseason goes, soccer uses a seeding committee to determine teams in its playoff bracket. In football, conference champions make the postseason along with a wild-card points formula to fill the 16-team field in 3A and 8-man. Volleyball uses maxpreps.com rankings, which are computer-generated based on season results.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.