Preseason rankings are out
It’s a rite of every season — the CHSAA preseason rankings.
They mean absolutely nothing, but could mean something. Yes, that’s somewhat contradictory, yet as former Vail Christian football coach Bob Isbell said, “Rankings don’t score you points.” On the other hand, it might be a guidepost to what may happen this fall.
In breaking news, the 3A Western Slope is a good league. (OK, that wasn’t really a news flash.)
Palisade starts the season as No. 5, followed by Rifle at No. 8 and Delta No. 9. Glenwood Springs got some votes as well. All four of those teams made the playoffs last year, as did Eagle Valley, which as always will have a tough path to postseason.
On the 8-man front, Vail Christian is sitting at No. 11 in the top 10. Postseason foes from last year include Dayspring Christian (No. 3) and Merino (unofficially 14th with a few votes).
With 17 consecutive postseason appearances dating back to 1998, it’s no surprise that Battle Mountain makes the top 10 at No. 10, behind Summit, No. 9. The latter ended the Huskies’ run of four straight 4A Slope titles last fall.
Battle Mountain will see quite a bit of the top 10 this season as The Classical Academy is No. 2 in the state and Evergreen is No. 8.
Vail Mountain School is picking up right where it let off last fall. The Gore Rangers made the Elite Eight and are eighth in the opening 3A poll. If the poll is right — a big if — then it looks like VMS and Coal Ridge (No. 5) are the favorites in the 3A Slope.
Battle Mountain, which made the Denver Coliseum last November, starts at No. 8 and will get its annual nonconference showdown in the second game of the season when No. 7 Montrose comes to town Sept. 3. That’s an early measuring stick game and also a state rematch.
Within the 4A Slope, Eagle Valley and Steamboat Springs also received votes.
In 2A, Vail Christian got some love with a few votes. Paonia, from the Mesa League, looks like the big dog, er, eagle, come district time. The Eagles are No. 5.
In cross-country, milesplit.com is the standard on rankings. While it hasn’t released rankings, the site previewed leagues throughout the state. The preview of the 4A boys Slope is titled “Plenty of Attention on Eagle County.”
On the girls’ side, the Huskies have won the region four years running, so it’s not hard to imagine them getting some ink as the season draws closer.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, email@example.com and @cfreud.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.