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Vail Daily sports: Big games and the phone book on tap

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –I’ve just got get this off my chest, Vail Valley.

The Broncos uniforms Sunday? Worst uniforms ever. Stevie Wonder even stood up and said, “Those are ugly.”

Moving on to teams with considerably better uniforms – or more specifically everyone playing a high school sport in Eagle County, we give you this list of bon mots:



• This is just big game week. So big game No. 1 is Eagle Valley volleyball at Battle Mountain Tuesday at 6 p.m. For the Devils, this has lu-lu game written all over it. The Huskies are still going to qualify for districts – six go from the Slope – but a win makes their season.

And as a historical reminder, volleyball is one of the few sports in this rivalry where the upset is legitimately possible. These two schools have a history of playing spoiler.



• Meanwhile outside, it’s The Biggest Game in the History of Everything … Until the Next One Happens as Huskies soccer hosts Steamboat. In fairness, this is gi-normous.

While we wouldn’t want to look ahead – nah … we never do that here – if the Huskies can win this one, they need all of one point in their final two matches against Rifle and Eagle Valley to clinch the league title.

Not only is this Battle Mountain-Steamboat, which is always a huge rivalry, but these teams just mirror each other in so many ways – coaching (Rob Bohlmann is taller), style of play and the pressing need to finish …. somebody, anybody?



I forgot goaltending. We’ve got two keepers in Connor Birch, who I think has been in high school since 2002, and Clint Hervert who are spectacular and also have the ability to scare the living heck out of their teams with the occasional absent-minded moment. Game on, kids – Huskies-Sailors under the lights on a big pitch. Life is as it should be.

• Kickoff for soccer is 6:30 p.m. I know we were moving between campi (er, campuses) and athletic directors this year, so we’re not going to pin this on Huskies athletic director Ryan McKay, but next year, we cannot have Devils-Huskies volleyball and Huskies-Sailors soccer going on at the same time. We will blame McKay if Huskies football loses to Delta in Week 10. In the meantime, I want to see a lot of fans shuffling to and fro between the gym and the pitch.

• The Next Biggest Game in the History of Everything is Thursday night at 6 when Glenwood calls on Eagle Valley. Depending on the Battle Mountain-Steamboat result Tuesday, this is essentially a knockout game for the league title, and both teams need this for playoff positioning. This is a gut check for the Devils, who are 0-2-1 against the Demons, Sailors and Huskies by a whopping combined score of 4-2. Revenge time.

Eagle Valley has a great finish with Glenwood, at Golden, at Steamboat and at Battle Mountain. And everyone in the Slope is rooting for the Devils against Golden.

• OK, football … a major shout out to Vail Christian for a superb effort in a 26-20 OT loss to Justice. Freshman Austin Ellsworth is listed at 5-foot-3 and 100 pounds and plays like 6 feet, 200. Nice job, kid.

Other thoughts from that game:

Mack Cooper? Freshman? Wow.

Larry Cavanaugh, I think, had the longest 7-yard run I’ve seen in a while in the fourth quarter. He just wasn’t going to go down.

Kieran Hurtt took the Saints’ D by the scruff and nearly yanked out a win. Just clutch.

And a really gutsy call by coach Tim Pierson to go for it on fourth-and-5 at midfield late in regulation. Tim would have been a moron had it failed, but he is rightly a genius because it worked.

• Tough one for Battle Mountain down in Cortez. We can take three things from this one. First, Eagle Valley’s definitely got a shot at a win down there in two weeks. Second, Battle Mountain should win a game when it scores 35 points. Arghhh. (Krum, I just hit myself in the head with a phone book.) And third, orange and black just looks good in any uniform.

• I’ll be the first to do it … Week 9 is shaping up as a very close one … not that anyone in either camp has been sizing up Battle Mountain football at Eagle Valley on Oct. 30. Nah. The Huskies can move the ball. The Devils have struggled with moving the ball, but their offense probably gets moving against Battle Mountain’s defense. (There went the phone book again, Krum.) This is going to be tight.

• More looking ahead … And Cathy Alexander will want the phone book now … Oct. 24 … Paonia at Vail Christian volleyball is getting bigger and bigger. If Saints volleyball players are reading this, Oct. 24 is not the Paonia game, but my Mom’s birthday. I am not giving her a phone book.

• Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley cross country are getting down to the nitty gritty. Regionals are in less than two weeks. First, Amelia Ortiz did not win at Aspen last weekend and we’re blaming that on David Shearon. He had the flu, and we know that these two only win on the same day. Bad, David.

I’m liking the depth from the Battle Mountain boys and Eagle Valley girls. Shearon, Mitch Walker, the Erics (Gallagher and Spry), David Suarez and Remsen (soon-to-be a brother-in-law) Allard. Downvalley, the Devils call on Kelly Cassidy, Megan McQueeney, Pearl Nanin, Blanca Gonzalez, Rachael Burnett and Logan Kinsler. Regionals are going to be fun.

• Happy Homecoming to Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley. Have a great and safe week.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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