Shout: Huskies lax breaks into win column
EDWARDS — Otis was back.
Otis Day and the Knights’ rendition of “Shout” returned to its place after Battle Mountain lacrosse toppled Eagle Valley, 12-4, on Tuesday.
Yes, the team played the song in postgame ceremony honoring Mac Kelsall earlier this month, and did so with reverence. But Day is for wins, and the Huskies broke through after an 0-5 start this spring — and the team got “a little bit softer now,” “a little bit louder now” and then everyone went, “Hey, hey, hey, hey.”
Is there an echo in the house?
A lacrosse game is 48 minutes long, but this one was decided in about the first four minutes when the Huskies built a 3-0 lead. The Morrow brothers (Charlie and Tucker) scored, followed by Cal Masler.
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Wyatt Perkins and Masler again made it 5-0 after 12 minutes.
As much as the Devils and Huskies are fierce rivals, they have a lot in common. These are two young squads still figuring out their identity and an early lead of deficit is big deal.
Seemingly to reinforce this point, the postgame comments from both coaches were eerily similar.
“It’s way easier, especially with a young team, to play with a lead,” Huskies coach Jerry Nichols said. “You get behind, everyone gets rattled and everyone wants to be a hero. When you get a lead, everyone can relax.”
“It’s confidence. We slide early a couple of times and miss a two or a three slide, and they jump out 5-0,” Devils coach Boomer Devlin said. “Our young team thinks, ‘Our team isn’t any good. Our coach was lying to us.’”
For the record, Devlin was completely kidding there. Please remain calm. Eagle Valley is 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Western Conference, while the Huskies moved to 1-5, which brings us to our next edition of similar coach-speak.
“You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They’re 0-5, but man, that’s a pretty good 0-5 team if you ask me.”
“We know we are probably one of the best 0-5 teams in the state right now. We believe in ourselves is my point.”
The first is Devlin; the second Nichols.
Welcome back, boys
One of the reasons the Huskies think they can dig themselves out of that 0-5 start is well, they’re not 0-5. Why? Battle Mountain assistant coach Pat Doherty said so.
After the team’s second loss to the Vail Mountain School, the Huskies declared it a 10-game season. Of course, CHSAA doesn’t think so, but that’s how the Huskies are playing it, so, if you wear black and gold, then accept this as reality and move on.
“Every game we have to go at it like it’s the only game we played this season,” Huskies senior Jeremy Sforzo said. “We can’t let anything in the past affect the way we play now. We have to keep moving forward.”
And if Tuesday was any indication, then moving forward is easier as the Huskies get healthier. As an example, Sforzo had options distributing on offense as Battle Mountain had a lot of its weapons back, and the Huskies were a lot harder to defend. Seven different Huskies scored — the Morrows, Masler, Tom Boyne (hat trick), Jayme Belyea and Parker Nash.
“Feels real good. I think everyone just clicked today,” senior Zane Hensel said. “It felt really good. It gave confidence to our offense.”
Finn Blomquist scored twice for Eagle Valley, and Keaton Fedrizzi and Philip Petersen also found the net.
Battle Mountain has an opportunity to jump back into the middle of the Western race when it heads to Steamboat Springs. The Sailors and the Vail Mountain School are the only two undefeated left in the league, and taking down Steamboat might rings some bells around the western side of the state.
Meanwhile, Eagle Valley heads to Conifer, which should be a still test. The Lobos may only be 2-3, but those three losses are to Air Academy, Valor Christian and Cheyenne Mountain.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.