The midseason football breakdown and other notes
We’re nearing the end of September ” yikes, already? ” and the football teams are already near or at the halfway mark of their seasons ” yikes, already?
Major props so far to Vail Christian, although I do take some credit for the Saints’ success by not covering any of their games. At 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the Central League, Vail Christian passed its first major test of the season downing Maranatha Christian, 36-12, Friday at Hot Stuff. Last year’s 13-6 loss to the Crusaders was a bitter pill to swallow.
The Saints have shown that they can score points like crazy when healthy (By the way, we wish a speedy recovery to Elliot Ristow.). But the question was the defense after the Blue Crush lost Chase Gruber to graduation.
So far, that question has been successfully answered.
Now is not the time to get complacent. If the Saints want to make the state playoffs, they had better win the Central for the first time since 2003. Otherwise, Vail Christian must face Dayspring Christian, Merino or Sedgewick County to make state. Trust your friendly sports editor, just win, baby. (Yeah, I hate the Raider reference, too.)
As for Eagle Valley, better days are ahead. It’s trite and it’s cheesy, but this is one darn good 0-5 team. How good? The Devils five losses have come to teams whose combined record is 22-0 after Friday night’s action. That is one of the most obscene statistics I have ever seen. I salute teams that have hard schedules, instead of playing creampuffs, but this is ridiculous.
That having been said, the Devils’ bye week is coming at just the right time. Two Fridays from now, John Ramunno’s crew hosts Moffat County, which is a shell of its former self. Eagle Valley should win this one and start a good run through a much-more manageable second half of the season.
To the east, Battle Mountain is improving. After getting thumped by Summit County and Palisade, the Huskies have been very competitive against Moffat (a 43-31 loss) and Highland (17-13).
The Highland loss was probably more painful because the Huskies led with six minutes to go, but I think more telling was the Moffat game. The Huskies led, 13-0, and then the Bulldogs scored three-straight touchdowns.
This is where everything usually goes to heck in a hand basket for the Huskies. Down 21-13, the game usually turns into 56-13 very quickly. I’ve seen this happen so many times.
Instead, the Huskies marched right back down the field for a score, and did it again when Moffat found the end zone once more. I know the Huskies lost, but that’s a huge step for this program.
This week will likely not be pretty with Dakota Stonehouse and Glenwood Springs, but Battle Mountain will win a game or two this year. Bank it.
Other news and notes:
– Let’s just say it: The first-place Eagle Valley soccer team. Technically, the Devils are tied with Glenwood at 4-1, but this is definitely, well, a first. With that acknowledged, It gets more difficult for the Devils.
First, they’ve got to stop letting the bottom feeders of the league stay in the game until halftime. That does catch up with you and you lose a game or drop points that way. With Eagle Valley, Glenwood, Steamboat Springs and Battle Mountain all bunched together, you can’t afford anything but three points against the likes of Moffat on Tuesday.
Second, the Devils are at Steamboat Saturday. This will be a test, but given Eagle Valley’s penchant for playing up or down to the level of its competition, I like the Devils’ chances.
– History lesson: We really shouldn’t have been surprised that Battle Mountain soccer lost at Glenwood last week. Winning 10 in a row against the Demons was an amazing streak, but even more so was five in a row AT Glenwood. Just about everything that can go wrong for a soccer team has gone wrong for the Huskies at one point or another at Stubler.
Seriously, I’m surprised coach David Cope hasn’t been struck by lightning there yet. Well, actually, he and most of the girls soccer team almost were a few season ago, as I recall.
Another important point to remeber is that Marco Ordono was sitting out the Glewnood game with two yellow cards. Yes, Davy DeChant, Jair Molina, Brian Morales and Connor Tedstrom get most of the pub when it comes to Battle Mountain, but Ordono is likely the team’s MVP.
– I really cannot believe that VMS soccer coach Bob Bandoni came out, saying that his team could run the table in the 3A Slope as he did Thursday after a loss at Basalt. I understand everything he’s saying ” the league is all over the place, VMS has home games ahead and the team is talented. It’s just so un-Bandoni-like. Stranger things have happened, though. The The Tampa Bay Rays lead the AL East.
– Fab froshes: Sammy Miletich is a freshman starting for Battle Mountain volleyball. Who was the last one? Assistant principal Phil Qualman has already won a free Vail Daily T-shirt. E-mail the answer to email@example.com, and you can get one, too.
Not to be outdone, Eagle Valley has Alex Lassa. And now for a deep moment of sports analysis, she can hit. Devils coach Shawn Weatherred is taking a slow approach with Lassa, and I can’t blame him, but big No. 16’s going to be on the scene for a while.
– It’s Sept. 22. Do you know where your volleyball team is? Alas, VMS will finally have its home opener Tuesday. Anyone know who they’re playing? Sorry, too easy. It’s the Blue Vail Rivalry “Saints at Gore Rangers ” at the Garven. My only prediction is that it will go five.
– Lastly, good luck to all our local golfers at regionals in Aspen. Today is a practice round and Tuesday’s the show. Go low, boys.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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