Our weekly twirl through Vail Valley preps
The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
Battle Mountain hockey got swept last weekend in Colorado Springs by Lewis-Palmer and Palmer.
First off, there are a lot of people down in the Springs, and you’d think they could come up with some more creative names for two high schools.
Second, upon further review, it’s not exactly necessary for Gary Defina and company to break out the life rafts or use whatever they’re sitting on as floatation devices.
I think everyone involved with the program, players, parents and, yes, the sports writer, got a little caught up in the run Battle Mountain had going ” eight wins in nine games ” before last weekend.
A reminder that this is still a relatively young team. The program lost 12 seniors, plus Gustav Philipson, Sweden’s finest since Peter Forsberg, this summer. There’s also the not-so-minor factor that the Huskies were down in the Springs last weekend.
We naturally forget that Battle Mountain has a tremendous home ice advantage at Dobson. Not only is home at 8,150 feet, which tends to gas opponents, but Colorado Springs teams, which still make up the majority of CHSAA hockey, absolutely hate the trip up here. (Poor kids have to go on a bus ride which lasts more than an hour ” AND it snows sometimes.)
While the Huskies do play well in their road sweaters, this does work in reverse. The Rangers and the Terrors, aka the Palmers, lost up here last year and wanted a piece of Battle Mountain. Round 1 to them. Maybe, there’ll be a return engagement in the postseason.
The challenge before for fair hockey club now is what are you going to do about it? Battle Mountain likely can go on automatic pilot for the rest of the regular season, play a round or two of the playoffs and call it a season, saying, “We’re rebuilding.”
Or the Huskies can, just as they did after the Peak to Peak game, reassess themselves and raise their game as we approach February and the playoffs.
If it’s the latter, I wouldn’t want to be Coronado or Pueblo this weekend.
Surveying the landscape from the home office in Eagle-Vail:
– I do seem to recall that in this space I said a few weeks ago that Eagle Valley girls basketball could make a run into the upper half of the 4A Slope this season. Well, kiss my grits. (Actually I had grits once, and found them to be a highly-overrated experience.) Your supposedly Huskies-loving scribe appears to have been on to something. The Devils are 4-3 at the halfway mark of the of the conference slate. Among our local public schools, these are the ladies to watch. Dare we say state-playoff bound? Ken Reagan just got cranky at me for that.
– And in last week’s column, I also called the result of Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley boys basketball. I took the San Jose Sharks and the Men of Teal took out the Avs, 3-0, Tuesday night. Props to the Huskies boys, who are riding a two-game winning streak, thank you very much. Congratulations to Dr. Phil and the players for hanging in there through an 0-13 start. These guys could well sneak up on some people the second time through the league.
– Miguel Copas has been known at Battle Mountain has been known as Goofy since a science class during his freshman year. Apparently, there was a senior in that class who didn’t want another Miguel in the room, so he dubbed Copas, “Goofy.” While Copas is fine with the appellation, given his recent play, including two 20-point-plus games last weekend, maybe Mr. Goofy or Sir Goofy might be more apropos.
– Moving to Eagle Valley wrestling, Matt Kottenstette, Andrew Hill, Colt Ewing and Joey Bajza also need a nickname. The Fab Four is taken. (Kids, ask you parents about the Fab Four.) We’re taking suggestions. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– So you’re a loyal Vail Christian basketball fan, and you’re planning on attending Saturday’s games. Your schedule says Union Colony Preparatory School. In answer to your question, the Timber Wolves hail from Greeley, are a 2A charter school and the games start at 4 and 5:30 p.m., and we’re pretty sure they aren’t coached by Kevin McHale.
– Of course, we follow Vail Mountain basketball very closely when covering games, but to close out the conversation that some of us were having in the stands Wednesday, the stars of the original cast of “Dallas” were Larry Hagman (J.R.), Patrick Duffy (Bobby), Ken Kercheval (Cliff), Victoria Principal (Pam), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen); Steve Kanaly (Ray); Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie), Carhlene Tilton (Lucy) and Jim Davis (Jock).
And yes, Mary Crosby, Bing’s daughter, playing Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen’s sister, shot J.R. at the end of the third season.
– And when we’re down to this, it’s time to end the column.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.