Night putting in Downieville
If you ever find yourself putting in the parking lot at the Downieville Conoco at 2 a.m., your putt from the gas pumps to the convenience store is an uphill one which breaks from left to right.I know this from experience early Thursday morning. Misery loves company. Not only did Battle Mountain soccer lose a tough one to Pine Creek Wednesday night in the 4A state quarterfinals, but the engine of my car went kaput in Downieville, leaving me waiting for a friend to fetch me. (What is it, by the way, with Huskies soccer and my car? You’ve gotta be an old school Huskies soccer fan to get that joke.)A phone callBut while I was putting away as truckers came and went giving me the what-the-heck-is-that-moron-doing look, Huskies soccer coach David Cope called me. He started ripping off the names of possible starters for Huskies soccer in 2006.This all of about five hours after the season ended.
Cope then started talking about the girls soccer team coming up in the spring and listing names like he was ready to start practice today.This is the beauty of high school sports and why I, now in year No. 9 at the Vail Daily, still love my job. The joy of high school sports is that it never ends. It’s like your favorite novel that always seems to have an extra page or two.Don’t get me wrong. The fan in me – and yes, you do become a fan of teams you cover for nine years, though I do try to keep an unbiased eye – hurt. I’m going to miss the heck out of Battle Mountain’s 11 seniors. To clarify something to our readers at Eagle Valley, I really am not on the Battle Mountain payroll. Huskies athletic director, Rich Houghton, doesn’t write me a check every week, although I wouldn’t mind, Rich. (Kidding, sort of. I’ve got to fix my car.) I want every team in this county to win. That having been said, Eagle Valley football, stick it to Palisade Friday.I know a few of you Huskies soccer seniors better than others and to you guys, bravo. Life sucks right now, but it’s going to get better. You had a spectacular season. Josh, you’re a stud of a goalie. Joel, you followed your brother brilliantly, and that’s no mean feat. Taylor, you came out of nowhere and started this year. Tyler, you stepped up big time this year. Isaac, your development during the last three years was wonderfully ridiculous. Gustavo, you fulfilled your promise. P-you know what! I can’t say it in print. Edgar, wow. Words do not describe how much of a big-time player you are. Kyle, not just because you wear the sacred No. 16, you’re one of the best players I’ve seen here. Who could ask for Moore? Connor, it’s pretty cool when Pine Creek’s coach says you should be playing in college in your so-called second sport.
‘Something special’But Connor Drumm said it all Wednesday night. As much as we mourn the end of soccer season, as Connor did with misty eyes, he said to me, “Something special’s gonna happen.” I had asked him if the fact that basketball season, Drumm’s first sport, coming up might have lessened the pain of Wednesday’s loss. Drumm doubtless wanted to keep playing soccer through the 4A title game Tuesday, but it proves the point of how wonderful high school sports can be. Fellow basketball big man Trent Beckley came up to Drumm after we talked. Beckley likely tried to buck up Drumm, but I’d guess the talk started to turn to hoops.There’s always a tomorrow in high school sports. It may not be with the same cast of characters which is the worst part of things in preps. Cope, could we retroactively red-shirt those seniors? There is also the promise of things to come.Battle Mountain boys soccer will rise again in 2006. The pipeline is in place. Baby Back Ribs, I have high expectations. Same for you, Jose Pavon, Tony Seibert, D.J. Van Curan, Chris Woodruff and Casey Kleisinger and so on.What’s next?
Kleisinger, like Drumm, illustrates the point. What’s hockey going to be like? Kleisinger will have to be the leader of a very new Huskies hockey team. We’ve still got both Mountains (Battle and Vail) at volleyball regionals Saturday with legit shots at state. Devils football has the playoffs on the brain. (Again, go Eagle Valley! Beat Palisade.)Drumm, Beckley and company look like they going to have a big year. Are we going to have another Skimeister in East Vail or Eagle-Vail? What about Vail Christian basketball? Eagle Valley wrestling looks like it’s going to rock. Battle Mountain girls soccer could be very scary come spring and so on.I just hope I can get my car fixed in time to watch. Otherwise, you’ll see me in Downieville putting away.I’m now a scratch golfer there. Sports Editor Chris Freud can bee reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or via email@example.com.Vail, Colorado