The delightful craziness of local fall sports
Are we having fun yet?
The fall is probably my favorite of all the seasons because the action comes at breakneck speed. There are a lot of good local teams and I just couldn’t make up the plot twists if I tried.
• Eagle Valley football, congratulations on completing Part I of the season with flying colors.
OK, now it’s time to play big-boys football. Rifle is darn good. (Yes, good job, Freud. That’s the sporting analysis your readers expect from the Vail Daily.) Invincible? No.
The Bears have outscored their opponents 182-19 in starting 3-0. I don’t write that to freak you out. But the fact is that at least two of those wins (62-7 over Moffat County and 64-6 against Jefferson) are not as big as they would seem.
You know the Bulldogs and have smoked them. Jefferson’s just terrible. Take nothing away from Rifle, but just don’t get freaked out by that team’s start. The Bears aren’t the 1972 Dolphins.
What’s going to be interesting is seeing two double-wing offenses go at each other. (Does this game get over in 90 minutes with all that rushing?) Both defenses know this offense — there doesn’t need to be a scout team this week.
This is the first major test of the season for Eagle Valley’s improved offensive and defensive lines. This is not the be all and end all of the season — it’s Week 4 — but if you guys make this a game, I see good things ahead.
• Battle Mountain football, first of all, I did not call you cupcakes last week. I said your opponents view you as cupcakes. Nonetheless, thank you for the cupcakes — well played — and the newsroom enjoyed them. Along those lines, your opponents view you as Omaha steaks. (It was worth a try.)
OK, you showed me something last week. From my view, that did not look like a facemask penalty inflicted on Steamboat Springs’ Mitch McCannon. I saw jersey. However, we do not blame the refs because bad breaks happen.
The takeaway is that call put you in a 17-6 hole and you did something about it.
You got a big special-teams play (attaboy, Cas Sheridan), and turned that into a drive, which included a conversion on fourth-and-13, and spectacular TD grab by Chase Keep. You didn’t turn it into a win, but by responding in the fourth quarter, you showed you aren’t the “same old Battle Mountain.”
Now, use the bye week to build on that. Clean up the turnovers, the penalties and the missed tackles. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know or that I didn’t say to my Niners on Sunday night. League starts next Friday up at Moffat. You guys should be competitive in the 2A Slope. Whether you win, it’s up to you and the work you do.
• Vail Christian, nice smacking of Nederland. Next up Rocky Mountain Lutheran, which is 3-0 in the Central. This looks like smash-mouth football, right up your alley.
Way to go, Ethan. That’s a pretty safe thing to say at Vail Christian, but this one goes out to freshman Ethan Kuhns. Goofball had a pick against Nederland on Friday. Sorry, I remember when both football Ethans (Ellsworth and Kuhns) were running around basketball games as kids, and now they’re seniors and freshmen in high school. Sheldon Kuhns, Todd Ellsworth and I are getting older.
What the heck?
This is what I mean about the fall season taking strange turns. Battle Mountain soccer has a great week, beating Eagle Valley and Evergreen, and starts this one with a loss at Summit County.
In volleyball, Eagle Valley’s been looking great at the start of the season and then loses in five to Coal Ridge.
With Devils volleyball, I think its loss was more of a one-off. We find out tonight and Saturday as the team hosts Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain.
As for Huskies soccer, it’s a matter of finding consistency. This team has tons of potential — and I hate that word — and you don’t know which Huskies are going to show up. Winning at Evergreen is huge. (Only two teams have done that for Battle Mountain and the other one ended its season really well, if I recall.) Yeah, I know Summit considers Battle Mountain its archrival and the Tigers are good, but you guys have to string a few together.
By the way, Steamboat Springs is in town tonight. Greetings to his Bolhmnann-ness.
And, yes, I’m pretty psyched to see Saturday’s volleyball game with the Huskies and the Devils in Gypsum.
First off, congrats to the combined super-six of Vail Christian and Vail Mountain golf. Well done lads. Second, enjoy Sterling. There’s no way I’m going there. (VMS coach Ross Sappenfield was trying to talk me into it on Tuesday.) The closest I’ve ever gotten to Sterling (and will ever get) was in 2006 when Battle Mountain volleyball beat that school at the state tournament at the Denver Coliseum in the de facto championship game.
As for the guys themselves, I enjoy talking to them about their game. Stipulated, they play a far different game than I do when I’m hacking. (For example, Vail Christian’s Cooper Gould used a light 6-iron for a shot of 185 yards on Tuesday. I’m happy if my driver goes that far.)
But I relate to the issues they face as a round and a season progresses. Mason Daniels told me if his drive doesn’t behave, he slices, but on Tuesday, all of a sudden, his tee shots were going left. I’m usually quick through my swing off the tee, my hands snap and I’m left of Nancy Pelosi. So imagine my surprise this weekend, when I went right in two different rounds on the par-3 17th at Eagle-Vail and got ugly sixes both times. (Fudge is my official reaction suitable for print after those triples.)
Being able to deal with moments like these under tournament conditions blows my mind.
Two final notes on golf — Tanner Crisofulli, keep your head up. Yep, that was a tough day to have an ugly round. It happens. Move on.
Second, there were guys in the 3A tournament on Tuesday who shot 117, 142 and 160? I have nothing against people playing bad golf — Hi, I’m Chris and I play bad golf. But what are they doing in a regional tournament if they’re worse than me? As Sappenfield, Crisofulli and Sean Weller can testify from the experience of playing me, that simply should not happen.
On that note, see you at the games.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.