Pomp, pageantry, preps and perspective, people
As Johnny Carson used to say, “And we are back.”
Yes, the glorious World Series banner has been raised in San Francisco, the rings distributed, etc. Having witnessed the majesty of Giants’ world-title glory, we’re back.
(By the way, why don’t I get a ring? And just to reassure you all, everyone dresses like me in San Francisco. I’m normal with my Giants obsession.)
• Anyway, I go back to The City, and Battle Mountain girls track team wins the Eagle Valley Invite? OK, Krum. Kenny and the gang need to chip in and send me back to San Francisco for the week of regionals.
Huskies coaches Jeff Krumlauf and Kenny Long have spent most of the week trying to figure out the last time the girls won in Gypsum, and we have to be back in the mid-90s. Nice to see.
• Best soccer team in the county this spring? Ummm, that would be the Vail Mountain School. I know Gore Rangers coach Bob Bandoni doesn’t like talking about wins and losses but then why is he on suicide watch right about now with his Red Sox 2-9 at the time of this writing?
Beating Coal Ridge last week was a monster victory last week. The 3A Slope has been Basalt Coal Ridge and Aspen and pretty much everyone else. Keep an eye on VMS.
• And whom did we see Tuesday night at Battle Mountain soccer’s game with Glenwood Springs, but Marisa Ammaturo? Not only is it nice to see No. 16, but she serves as some nice context.
Times are different with Battle Mountain girls soccer. Battle Mountain had some supremely special teams in 2007 in 2008, which, in retrospect, were ridiculously under-appreciated, and the current crop suffers unfairly by comparison. Ladies like the LyBargers (Emily and Maddie), the VanHees (Kate and Kelly), Kelsey Sanders and Julia Burnett (always attached at the hip) and Lizzie Seibert and Ammaturo (also cosmically-linked), not to mention a current assistant coach on this year’s team, were part of special group.
No small school on the Western Slope – and all of our teams in any sport are small in comparison to the competition on the Front Range – has a constant talent supply like Battle Mountain did in those years. The Huskies were an insane 55-3-2 during the regular seasons of 2005-2008. They were the exception to the rule rather than the norm.
The 2007 and 2008 squads, which repeated as Slope champs, got the rap for early playoff exits against Golden and Greeley West, instead of being appreciated for how incredible they actually were.
• That all said, I like what the 2011 Huskies are doing. I’ve interviewed Huskies coach David Cope for about 20 combined soccer seasons and he hasn’t sounded as low as he did after the Delta loss last month in Gypsum. The team could have packed it in for the rest of the season. Instead they’ve rallied with points in three of their last four games and a very strong showing in a 2-0 loss to league-leading Glenwood Springs.
• And now for the Chumba Wumba portion of column – getting knocked down and getting up again – we turn to baseball. Both Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain baseball had tough twinbills recently, falling to Palisade and Moffat County, respectively. The Devils host Steamboat Springs Saturday, while the Huskies are AT Glenwood Friday (schedule change).
Baseball is a game of failure. (Good hitters still fail 7-of-10 times. The World Series champions lost 70 of 162 regular-season games last year.) How do you respond? The Devils have been in a lot of tight games recently. The Huskies have been happily-surprisingly competitive in league play. Let’s see it, guys.
• To the teams that are struggling, stay with it. Vail Christian soccer has found the win column and will do so again. I feel good about Eagle Valley soccer’s direction. The Devils will be in the win column by the time the season is out. But for programs like these, and Battle Mountain girls lacrosse, you have to stay with it.
The main reason struggling programs continue to struggle is that athletes quit, and a struggling program has to start from scratch … again. Do you take the easy way and fold up the tent or do you do something about it? The latter is why we love sports as a country.
• A nice example would be Battle Mountain boys lacrosse with three wins in its first season. The Huskies are 11-1 this year. Enjoy the week off from games, and then get back to it. I’ve heard some teams called Aspen and Steamboat are coming to town.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.