Playoffs arrive and everyone’s dance card is full
No bubbles were burst.
Locally, everyone who was in contention for a postseason bid received their invite on Sunday and Monday. After clicking and refreshing repeatedly on http://www.chsaa.org, it’s good news all around.
Particular congratulations go out to Battle Mountain girls lacrosse, Vail Christian soccer and Vail Mountain School lacrosse, all of whom received their first playoff berths of their respective programs.
So everybody take a moment to celebrate, but don’t take too long because the games come fast and furious.
Huskies girls lacrosse
Apparently 13-1 does the trick. Well done, ladies. No. 17 Battle Mountain is at No. 16 Dakota Ridge. (Seriously, was I the only one thinking that if the Huskies got in, Aspen would be the 19th seed and Battle Mountain the 20th out of 20 teams?)
You forced the issue with a 10-game winning streak after your loss to Aspen in March. It was extra tough for the Huskies ladies laxers because there’s just one division, big schools and small, as opposed to boys lacrosse, where there’s 5A and 4A.
Not only is this the Huskies ladies’ first postseason bid, but respect for the Mountain Conference.
Yes, there’s indoor plumbing and electricity in the western part of the state, and mountain girls can also play lacrosse.
This is a big step. A team has a hard time qualifying for the playoffs without previously having made the playoffs. That sounds stupid, but it’s the catch-22 reality of developing your program. Battle Mountain soccer (both boys and girls) has been fighting this fight for nearly 20 years, initially battling to qualify and then earning higher seeds in the postseason throughout the years.
Getting in is one thing — the next step is making some noise. No Mountain Conference team has won a playoff game on the girls’ side. And it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. You’ve already beaten the 11th seed in Ralston Valley.
Dakota Ridge is doubtless a good team, but you know that they’re not super-cyborg lacrosse players. The Eagles did, after all, lose their season finale to someone familiar.
The Saints march in
Welcome, Vail Christian soccer to the thingamajig. I think we can call it the playoffs now.
One year after being No. 13 out of 12 teams to make the postseason, the Saints cruised in at No. 10 and head to Telluride today.
Vail Christian, by seed, isn’t expected to win today, but then again, it wasn’t meant to make the playoffs after an 0-4 start and after sophomore Jessie Raitt went down with an ACL injury.
Telluride has a gaudy 10-2-2 record, but the Miners haven’t played the teams the Saints have in the 3A/2A Slope. Sleep well, ladies — the Saints left for Telluride on Monday — and get after them.
VMS is turning orange
The Vail Christian-Telluride winner, in a case of serendipity, plays … wait for it … Vail Mountain School on Friday at 4 p.m. The Gore Rangers long clinched their playoff spot. Their loss to Dawson dropped them to the No. 2 seed, no big deal.
The 2A soccer top seeds are pretty darn familiar with Dawson, VMS, Front Range Christian and Denver Christian in that order.
Meanwhile, does VMS lacrosse change its uniforms to orange, too? In only its second year as a varsity team, Matt Felser’s crew was the fourth of five 4A Mountain Conference teams in the dance.
It’s off to Conifer today. The Gore Rangers should be first-round road kill, but they’ve had an annoying tendency to play up or down to their opponent this season. Now would be a time for up, fellas.
No running for Jerry
Battle Mountain boys lacrosse coach Jerry Nichols earns the honor of best Facebook post.
He wrote, “(If we don’t make the playoffs), all are invited to come watch me run suicides on Monday at 5 p.m. at BMHS. Deal?”
As much as I wanted to see Coach run, it’s better for all involved that the Huskies have to practice for a date at Cheyenne Mountain on Wednesday.
Strength of schedule carried the day, and rightly so after Battle Mountain played everybody but the Canadian National Team.
The Huskies are the No. 12 seed and Cheyenne Mountain No. 5, and as assistant coach Pat Doherty pointed out, that’s the upset matchup in March Madness. May Madness, anyone?
Welcome home, Huskies
Shame on you, Miss Emily Quinn Cope. Madame did not think Battle Mountain soccer would be home for the first round. Surprise, the Huskies are No. 14 and host Denver South on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
In fact, all four Western Slope teams are home for the first round — Steamboat Springs (No. 5), Palisade (No. 11), Durango (No. 12) and the Huskies. (Dear girls lacrosse: This is what I was talking about — make the playoffs, and make some noise over the years and you get respect.)
Ladies, it’s time for a Senior Night re-do. Everything you want is right in front of you. Go get it.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.