So, who’s playing on football Friday? Anyone? Bueller?
So anything happening Friday night?
Yeah, I’ll probably take the night off. That’s what I thought.
Eagle Valley at Battle Mountain football, peeps.
I’ve given up the prediction game on this rivalry. What is interesting is how the programs have evolved. We have Eagle Valley’s pistol and Battle Mountain’s spread on display on Friday.
Compare that to both teams running the double-wing and/or Battle Mountain’s 300 or 3000 packages under Pat Engle. We ain’t in Kansas anymore. (Nor were we ever, for the geographically inclined.)
Who will be composed enough to overcome the emotion of a rivalry to get in system? Yes, I said that about Devils-Huskies soccer last, but the point remains true.
I also like what Huskies coach Cliff Lohrey said after his team beat Middle Park, “To be honest, we have to do a better job of making it a rivalry. A rivalry needs to be competitive and we have to start making it a competitive game.”
I vote for that — 54-0, 62-0, 53-0 and 35-13 have been the scores of this “rivalry” since 2011, and the Huskies won that first one, 54-0. (Ergo, no whining about me rooting for a close game.)
OK, admit it. You were thinking it last week when Vail Christian opened against Plateau Valley and fumbled the ball twice only to see it returned twice for touchdowns on its first two possessions.
“Is the whole season going to be like this?”
First off, that was about the most awful start I could remember for a local football team, and that’s saying something. More importantly, the Saints recovered, which speaks well of them.
And, I’m just going to assume the Saints, who are off this week, are doing lots of ball-security drills.
Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Glenwood Springs are all 2-1 in the Slope. Steamboat Springs is 1-1 and Summit County still hasn’t played a conference game. (In fact, the Tigers, who are 0-1 overall, return to the pitch today against Valor Christian after a two-week break.)
Winning the Slope is going to be about consistent effort and evolution of a team’s game. Both Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain need to address these issues.
The Devils do not have experience in a Slope race, and it shows at times. They took Delta lightly in a 3-1 win last weekend. The Slope winner will be the one that doesn’t drop points in games it should win. Assume nothing, boys. You aren’t sneaking up on anyone this year. Bring your A-game, Devils. It starts with Palisade on Saturday. A win over Eagle Valley can make a season for another team.
Battle Mountain knows this well, having seen how Summit and Eagle Valley celebrated when they defeated the Huskies. Battle Mountain, your quest is to evolve. Beating Steamboat after a tough loss to Eagle Valley is a start.
What David Cope’s crew needs to do is improve as the season goes along, and continue to administer to the small details, like guarding the far post. (Sorry, too easy.) Last year, you got off to a good start, as you have this season, and flat-lined. Wins in August and September are nice. Wins in October (and November) are the goal.
And, yes, the Vail Mountain School is playing Denver Christian on Friday at Bandoni Alumni Field. For real. Honest. I had an old schedule last week. So, it’s Crusaders vs. Gore Rangers at 4 p.m. on Friday.
First, it’s time to beat Denver Christian on the boys’ side. Second, there is no truth to the rumor that Bandoni Alumni Field will be renamed for Donald Trump.
We’re getting to the point of the season where surprises have happened. I’m not talking upsets. I’m talking playing time. Going into the season, you thought you were starting. Something happened, and you’re not.
What to do?
Stuff happens in life. (I didn’t mean stuff, but it’s a family newspaper.) If this is the first time you have failed in life, congratulations, you’ve lived a charmed life. How you deal with stuff is going to be your measure as a person throughout your life.
The first thing you’re going to do is help the person who took your spot. Remember you’re playing a team sport. You’ve got experience. Give it.
The second thing you’re going to do is press him or her every day in practice. Again, this is a team sport and competition in practice is a good thing. This also will help you make your case to your coach that you should get another shot.
Third, you find a way to contribute, some way, some how. That may be vocal. That may be a willingness to play another position.
No moping is allowed. This is a dress rehearsal for college and the real world. Perform well.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.