Time to hoop it up with Devils, Huskies, Saints and VMS
I’m a little lost these days.
My body clock says I should be interviewing Ted Ligety and Marcel Hirscher right now, but those guys aren’t here this week. The trade off is that I don’t have to stand outside freezing my rear end off — I’m really OK with not doing that.
Aside from not getting frostbite with the absence of Birds of Prey, the other upside is that I get to cover the first week of prep sports, which means basketball.
We’ve got a great season on tap, peeps.
This should — and we repeat should — be a good winter down in Gypsum. Should, potential and “on paper” are some of my least favorite phrases in this profession. But … the pieces are in place.
The Devils boys went 6-14 last year in their first year under coach Chris Walls. Five of those losses were by six or fewer points. This was a junior heavy crew last winter, and has a whopping 10 seniors on the roster for the season opener against Moffat County up in Leadville on Friday.
This team should — argh, I said it again — be in the mix in the 4A Slope. The Devils have size (Dawson Keller, Jesus Loera, Griffin Lay) perimeter play (Jimmy Murphy, Arturo Loera and Matthew Sanchez) and depth (Garrett Martin and Jake McGinty).
While that’s not a comprehensive listing, there’s a whole lot to like here. Whether that translates into the win column remains to be seen, particularly when the calendar turns to January and league play.
Like the gents, the Eagle Valley ladies have a ton coming back. All eyes will be n Kylie Martin. The key, as always, is having players around her. Regan Bossow and Cassie Jaramillo are among those to watch in that role.
The Devils have gone 12-11, 15-6 and 12-9 the last three years. The next step is to be in the 17-20 win range.
Huskies big-man Devin Huffman made all-league as a sophomore. His breakout party was a double-double at Glenwood Springs last year. The key will be consistency, as he’s Mr. Inside to Mr. Outside, Miles Joersz.
Does Creek Kamby emerge as a force? He had a terrific second half, along with Joersz, during the soccer season, leading the Huskies to the finals. If anyone can tap a player’s potential, then it’s Dr. Phil, aka Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue.
Battle Mountain’s boys will be in the mix. And, if anyone’s wondering, Huskies are at Devils on Jan. 24 and vice versa Feb. 16.
Battle Mountain’s girls went 5-14 last year, which doesn’t seem so unusual. Upon closer examination, the Huskies were in a lot of games. It may sound simple — it isn’t — but the Huskies have to learn how to win this year.
Before we start here, yes, Jesse Raitt’s knees are good, both of them. Let us never speak of injuries again.
The Saints girls went 16-7, a best for the program, last year. Marti Schmidt is back, as is Kass Baker. The ladies should be competitive within the 2A Slope.
As for the gents, this is likely the only time this will be allowed in print, but they’re young. Doubtless, the word young will be banned from dictionaries at Vail Christian.
Bryan Trujillo and Sebastian Moritz give the Saints one of the better backcourts in the region. Finding a presence on the glass is a goal.
Both Battle Mountain teams start the year at Vail Christian, and a good time will be had by all.
Are we saving the best for last? Led by Griffin O’Connell, the talk of the offseason, VMS has some serious size. The Gore Rangers are a full-fledged member of the 2A Slope this year. They should make some noise.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.