The way too early assessments of Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Vail Christian and Vail Mountain (column)
It’s early, but it’s never too early to judge, right?
The NFL is kicking off this week and fans will leap to assumptions about their teams like, “We’re winning it all this season,” or “We’re doomed.”
Short of these extremes, we take a look at the preps scene and see what we can glean.
• Battle Mountain girls cross-country. Yep. Just fine. If the past is any indication, we’re going to see youngsters run the next two weeks at St. Vrain and the Eagle Valley Invite. That’s all good. Competition within the team is always beneficial. Don’t be surprised by the youngsters if they have some success either.
• The Blair sisters. Joslin and Samantha, and Avery Doan, of Eagle Valley cross-country. The Devils varsity didn’t run last week at Battle Mountain. No biggie. Joslin won’t be in high school events the next two weeks because she’s running in Andorra. Excuses, excuses, Joslin.
• Eagle Valley volleyball: Quiet confidence is appropriate here after a 5-1 start against good nonconference competition, including a 3-1 weekend at the Regis Jam. This could be a reloading, rather than rebuilding, year. The ladies seem on establishing their own identity
The Devils have a big test on Saturday, Sept. 8, as Palisade comes to town. Yes, it’s the first of 12 league games, but the Bulldogs could be one of the big stumbling blocks between Eagle Valley and a three-peat.
• Big game on Saturday? Vail Mountain volleyball’s got one. With the caveat that the Gore Rangers are not overlooking Plateau Valley on Friday, Sept. 7, VMS is at Meeker on Saturday. Meeker, Paonia and Rangely are the bullies on the block in the 2A Slope, and VMS want to join the league’s elite. By the way, the Gore Rangers are already 2-0 in league.
• Battle Mountain soccer is a last-minute header in Durango away from 4-0. As it is, 3-1 will do. The Huskies have a greater history of reloading on the fly, than, say, Eagle Valley volleyball. And it’s happening again. The latest class of Hugh Wodlingers — seniors stepping into varsity roles — such as Jose Soto, Chris Lopez and Jackson Borg seem to be claiming this as their year. By the way, Dani Barajas is a junior. That’s good news.
• Vail Christian volleyball: Already the Saints have a win over Caliche, but more impressive, took a set from Paonia in their league opener. Things are looking up here. By the way, how is Abby Kuhns an upperclass-person?
• Vail Mountain soccer edged Class 2A No. 1-ranked Dawson on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 3-2 in overtime. Good win. Since the Gore Rangers don’t play enough big schools, they take on Fruita Monument on Friday at the Coal Ridge Tournament.
• Eagle Valley softball: Congratulations to the Devils for taking second the Sheridan Tournament last weekend with a 3-1 record.
• Eagle Valley soccer: An 0-3 start, including a loss at Rifle is cause for concern. The good news is that they’ll have a week of practice before hosting Steamboat Springs on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
• My golf game: It is very worrisome, much more so than Eagle Valley soccer. The Devils have talent. I don’t.
• Battle Mountain volleyball: Yes, the Huskies are 3-0 against a light schedule so far and playing at Glenwood Springs as I type. I just don’t have a read on this squad.
• Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain cross-country: The Devils have run at one meet and the Huskies haven’t run what I’d bet is going to be its starting seven. No worries.
• All three local football teams: Yes, Battle Mountain is 2-0. Gents, you just finished Phase I, the cupcake phase. Should you aspire to be a postseason team, you should be 2-0. Phase II starts with Basalt on Friday night. The Longhorns are a better team than you’ve seen so far this year, and have had your number the last three years.
For Vail Christian, a win over Front Range Christian is nice, but that team is a known quantity since you’ve played them the last two years in 11-man. Rocky Mountain Lutheran on Saturday is an important warm-up going into the league.
Eagle Valley took its lumps at Rifle. That was predictable as the Bears are darn good. There has to be a decision that losing ends this week against Alameda.