Playing in the clutch and how surreal is this? |

Playing in the clutch and how surreal is this?

This just in – with NCAA football realigning seemingly every week, Battle Mountain announced Wednesday that it will be joining the Pac-12, while Eagle Valley has bolted for the Big 10. No word yet on whether the Devils will be playing in the Legends or Leaders Division.

The Big 12 has invited Vail Christian and Vail Mountain to join its mis-numbered league, though we’re not sure if the old Big 8 realizes that that VMS doesn’t have an American football team. (By the way, if VMS coach Bob Bandoni doesn’t like traveling to Paonia, what’s he going to think of Lubbock, Texas, when the Gore Rangers take on Texas Tech?)

Well back to Eagle County preps, where we can tell the players without a scorecard.

• Bravo to the Fab Five who got through regionals Tuesday and will be going to the state tournament Oct. 3-4 at Pelican Lakes in Windsor (4A) or Dos Rios in Gunnison (3A) – Tanner Coulter, Andrew Sady, Brady McDonald, Harrison Alonzo and Cooper Gould.

I am a weekend warrior golfer, just love the game, even though there is not an athletic gene in my family. Pop played nine holes of golf once and shot a 108, so he thought I was quite the jock when I started playing golf and shot a mere 120 for all 18 holes. (Good job, son.)

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I have fun playing, savoring the occasional good shot, sand save, and/or par and trying (not successfully) to forget all the ghastly others.

Then there’s Men’s League. I’ve tried it. The problem is that, even with my considerable handicap and I get a ton of strokes, I simply can no longer make contact with the ball. The moment the element of competition enters the picture, I’m done.

So for these five play under the conditions of a regional tournament, and do it well, good on you all.

• Quote of the day from regionals comes from Vail Christian coach Jeremy Lowe: “Experience is the best teacher.”

• Good outtakes from regionals: “He had it on the tee box,” Huskies coach Cassie Desmone on McDonald being in a four-man playoff Tuesday. … Gould: “I had a pretty rough round out there. I pretty much survived.” “I play better in yuckier weather,” Alonzo on the prospect of the state tournament in Gunnison. … “The last time we went to state, it was Trinidad. I was excited because I thought it was a Caribbean island. Then I found out it was on the New Mexico border. I do know where Gunnison is,” VMS coach Ross Sappenfield. …. “There’s a lot of deja vu out there,” Lowe on Robby Bowles being an alternate for the second year in a row.

• Moving to football, there’s this weird rumor that Battle Mountain is 3-0? With the stipulation that it’s early and there’s lots of work to be done, the Huskies do require a certain suspension of belief, having been so bad for so long. The previous 14 years I’ve been at the Daily, Battle Mountain has a record of 25-114. It’s just weird, yet a really good kind of weird, especially when you’re listening to a game on the radio and Steve Leigh says, “The Huskies are leading, 40-7.”

Who? What? Huskies?

• Best line from KZYR’s Leigh and Wheeze: “Blaize Olle: All he does is score touchdowns.”

• OK, the breakdown on Week 3: Very good win. (Good analysis, Freud.) Particularly nice was the defense shutting down The Classical Academy’s passing attack. The Titans got one play in, the opening touchdown, and that was it. Yes, the Titans scored before the half. In fairness, the Huskies had a little letdown, which is understandable since Battle Mountain has rarely led anyone, 40-7. The two touchdowns TCA got in the fourth quarter really don’t count.

• The following surprises me a bit: I’m almost worried about the offense when it comes to balance. The running game has been so good that the Huskies haven’t passed much. Why argue with success? The Huskies, though, need to complete passes sat higher rate because I’m not certain that they can go toe-to-toe with a rushing attack as they open Slope play this week at Rifle. Time will tell.

• Guy who hasn’t gotten his name in the paper who really deserves it: Jordan Harrison.

• This week’s motivation: Remember last year against Rifle when you were up 19-6 at halftime during Homecoming, and lost, 27-19. That didn’t feel good, did it? By the way, on my Denver Post media poll ballot, I voted Rifle as No. 8 and Battle Mountain No. 9. OK, my work here is done.

• In keeping with rooting for all local teams and rooting for close games when they play each other: Happy Homecoming, Eagle Valley. It is time for Devils football to get into the win column. I want to hear, “Ain’t it great to be a Devil?”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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