Repeating even sweeter than the first time
Back to back, baby. Oh man, how sweet is this. No disrespect, but to the members of the Huskies soccer team, I don’t think you really know what you’ve done.Yes, repeating is tough. As you guys have seen, everyone brings their A-game against you. Well done.But take a look from where this program has come. There are a few of you who don’t think Steamboat is your archrival. You think Rifle. Coach David Cope and I find this very amusing.I joined Cope in his fifth year or so and a 5-1 loss to the Sailors was a moral victory. The thought of being competitive with them was ludicrous. In 2002, when the seniors on this team were freshmen, the Huskies tied Steamboat, 2-2. I almost ran the headline, “Huskies beat Sailors, 2-2.”
Now, the wins are routine. Ho-hum, Battle Mountain beats Glenwood. Battle Mountain beats Steamboat. Battle Mountain wins AT Rifle. Yawn.This is title is a tribute to Cope, the current players and all of those players who have proceeded this year’s team.Some thoughts on title No. 2:– There is no sweeter way to do it than by beating Glenwood. These Demons beat the living daylights out of Cope and the Huskies early on, including a 9-0 humiliation in 1993, the coach’s first year. Cope has the memory of an elephant and he is doubtless enjoying this one.– Speaking of the coach, congratulations to Cope. For all of the brutal losses early, for the transition to 4A, for overcoming personal adversity two years ago at Glenwood and for the bum No. 16 seeding last year, you deserve all the praise in the world. There’s a reason cross country coach Rob Parish, not exactly a coaching slouch himself, said last year, “Cope is the standard.”– Not only is Cope succeeding at the varsity level, but he’s built a program. The junior varsity is undefeated, as is the third 11. There’s a pipeline established here for future success. This isn’t a hiccup.
— By the way, the Huskies are the first team to repeat in 4A Slope boys soccer in this millennium, THE ENTIRE MILLENNIUM. OK, it’s been a short millennium so far, but we’ll take it.– Gustavo Bronfield, Edgar Hernandez and Casey Kleisinger – Bronfield and Hernandez start in the 2-5-3 and they’ve been just a potent duo. Bronfield was a question mark coming into the season. Plenty of talent, but would he produce? Question answered. (And, yes, Bronfield also teaches me Spanish.) As for Hernandez, he’s Mr. Clutch. Need a goal in a pressure situation? Call on No. 13.And oh yeah, hope you’ve enjoyed your first soccer season at Battle Mountain, Casey. Opposing goaltenders haven’t. Kleisinger has been a perfect fit into Cope’s system.– Kyle Moore, Chris Woodruff, Tyler Cole, Joel Gonzales, Isaac Anderson and Eric Garcia – Ah, the middies. Moore’s just been Moore and that’s more than anyone could ask for. Just the best middie in the league. (Thanks for nutmeging me in practice Friday, Kyle.) Woodruff has been a delightful surprise, and he’ll be back for more next year. Cole has answered Cope’s preseason challenge with flying colors, running the middle and being a force on offense. Isaac Anderson? Totally underrated. Joel Gonzales technically plays midfield, but he’s essentially a third forward adding more pop into Battle Mountain’s already explosive attack. And when any of these guys need a breather, that’s a cue for Eric Garcia, sub extraordinaire.– Connor Drumm, Tony Seibert, Taylor Telling and Mike SciGliano – The back was the big question mark in August. How do you replace Evie Gonzales and Harrison Brown? Answer – piece of cake. No one doubted Drumm. You’d be silly to do so. The kid’s a rock. Hey, Phil Tronsrue, you know this guy’s pretty good at basketball? Seibert, Telling and SciGliano – I got you, Babyback Ribs – have stepped up and made this an area of no worries. These guys make Cope sleep easy at night.
— Josh Ruark – Everyone forgets about the goalie on this team. You shouldn’t. Since Mark Gulizia, goaltending’s been an issue. No problem now. The kid’s got ice water in his veins. When the Huskies have needed it, he’s come up with the big play.– Gents, this thing isn’t over. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? (Sorry, little Animal House moment.) Finish it, boys. Beat Moffat, Steamboat and Summit and go 15-0. Don’t give those dummies on the seeding committee – Dan Verbeten excluded, of course – an excuse. (By the way, Dan, we have the highest regard for you. In fact, we think Time Magazine should make you Man of the Year.) At 15-0, you won’t be 16th, for sure … I hope.– Time to go deep. Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.