Showdown time for Devils football, Huskies soccer
Happy 62nd anniversary to the greatest moment in sports history. That would, of course, be Bobby Thomson’s three-run homer to smite the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1951 National League playoff, and the corresponding radio call from Russ Hodges.
“The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”
And keeping with that spirit, go Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers must be crushed. That is the first order of business this week. (Seriously, o denizens of high school sports. You think I have it out for the Huskies or the Devils? Pfft. No, my hatred is reserved solely for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Die, Dodgers, die! (Insert Freud doing that awful Tomahawk Chop here.)
• Glenwood Springs football comes to town for Eagle Valley Homecoming. Yes, this is only Week 6. No, the wild-card points haven’t come out, but I’d bet this one is for the playoffs. A 7-3 record likely makes the playoffs, and 6-4 is a longshot. (Yes, I’m going under the assumption that Palisade and Rifle beat the Devils. I’d love to be wrong, guys.)
This is “show-me” time. It’s one thing to beat the snot out of Moffat County or Arvada. This is a step up in all levels of the game. The offense must present more than Riley Rowles. The defense must be able to handle a balanced attack. Get into the backfield, boys.
• So you hear that one about the guy who goes to an eight-man football game and actual defense breaks out? Yeah, Vail Christian came out on the wrong end of last week’s Soroco game, but that was tremendous. Not only was trying to figure out the time left in the game quite amusing (Patrick Beaudine, Sheldon Kuhns and I had no clue), but I really thought the Saints would fold. I just assumed that Vail Christian — and understandably so — would just let Soroco march down the field in the second half. Not so, Freud. Gutsy effort, Saints. Keep playing like that, and you will win games.
By the way, Rangely, Friday. Go. Smack.
And with regard to the Saints, it’s official. Vail Christian has a rival in the Central League in football and in the 2A Slope in basketball with Soroco.
• Touchdown: It’s easy to make jokes about Battle Mountain football. Don’t. Rio Garton’s touchdown against Rifle was big. Yes, Rifle won. That was kinda expected. Small victories are important.
• If I weren’t covering Glenwood-Eagle Valley football on Friday, I’d go to Rifle. The No. 1 Bears host No. 2 Palisade on Friday night. Think that’ll be a good game?
• What happened to Huskies soccer? I’ve been asked this question a lot during the past week, and I’ve been amused. The answer is simple, “Another team scored more goals than Battle Mountain, thus gaining a victory.” (I do believe that’s how soccer works.) It happens once every 27 games or so.
Come on, peeps, Battle Mountain’s had a target on its back all season. Everyone’s given the Huskies their A-game (Steamboat Springs, Eagle Valley and Summit, most notably.) The Huskies bounced back nicely on Tuesday beating Glenwood Springs. They have a pretty big game — understatement — tonight at Steamboat. After the loss, the Huskies were 7-1 and everyone was wondering “what went wrong?” Lots of teams would like to have “problems” at 7-1, now 8-1.
Funny stuff involving the win at Glenwood Springs: Coach David Cope and I are more traumatized by playing at Stubler than the actual current players. We’re the ones who remember all the ghastly losses, bad calls and so on. The only issue for the kids is that it’s high grass. Otherwise, they’re fine.
And, yes, Cope got a little free-handed with subbing in players Tuesday. This is a no-win situation. Cope is still playing the wrong players, if you talk to some parents. (The recent win-loss record, while not the be all and end all, would say otherwise.) Either he plays the starters, and that’s no good. Or he flushes the bench and it gets tight. Tuesday, the game was in control. My favorite “Cope subs too early moment” was a game about 10 years ago against Moffat County. Scotty Ligouri had a hat trick early, and he was done because Cope always takes out the hat-trick scorer. Final was 3-2, and that was a nail-biter. Put Scotty back in, Cope.
On a serious note, you want to know why the Huskies continue to have success after last year’s state title? A lot of this year’s team played last year in so-called “mop up” duty.
• VMS soccer has the week off, which is good because next week is huge in the quest for orange. Tuesday at Roaring Fork, Thursday home for Coal Ridge and Saturday, also at The Bob, for Basalt. Get six points, and my bet is that the Gore Rangers are in.
• So let’s look at the 4A Slope volleyball: First place, Battle Mountain, and second place, Eagle Valley. How refreshing. Too often in this family feud, either the Devils or the Huskies are dominant. That’s boring. I want to see the rivalry competitive and have the games have serious meaning beyond bragging rights. We really have to go back to boys soccer in 2008 and 2009 for the last time that happened in any sport. (Eagle Valley still hasn’t beaten Battle Mountain in boys soccer since 1999, but the two draws in 2009 caused great pain to the Huskies, and schadenfreude is very important in a rivalry.)
Speaking of which, boys cross country is really heating up. I keep taking times from coaches Melinda Brandt and Rob Parish. Yes, they’re at different races on different courses under different conditions, but this is looking like a photo finish.
• Vail Christian’s Cooper Gould was a bit bummed by his performance at state golf earlier this week. First, if he weren’t, we’d have a serious problem. Second, a little perspective to Coop and all the guys who represented Eagle County at state tourneys. Only four guys out of everyone in the 5A, 4A and 3A fields finished under-par, four out of 300. You guys weren’t playing the Willow Creek Par-3, which I love, as a side note. Golf is tough at the state level, and CHSAA makes the course even harder. Well done to all.
See you at the games this week.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amid a challenging debut, the new whitewater park in Eagle made quite a splash during its opening season in the summer of 2019.