Vail Mountain edges Oysters for home win |

Vail Mountain edges Oysters for home win

VAIL – Vail Mountain School’s Trevor Sheldon will not be mistaken for an NBA center, but he never stood taller than when his hand shot up, wanting to take the penalty shot in the game’s waning seconds.

We’ll cut to the chase. The freshman buried it, ticking a rifle shot off the outstretched fingertips of Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s diving goalie, and just inside the right post for the game’s only goal and a 1-0 Gore Ranger win.

“If they want it, you have to give them the shot,” said VMS coach Slade Cogswell.

This Vail Mountain School crew plays like a classic VMS squad, disciplined yet daring, sending seeing-eye passes between defenders to create scoring opportunities, and creating enough wild scrambles in front of their opponents net to hold a rave.

Take the one that ended with Sheldon’s goal.

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One of those seeing-eye passes found its way to the top left corner of the Oysters’ penalty (Yes, that’s really their name, the Colorado Rocky Mountain Oysters, and as their break the huddle the admonish one another to “Go nuts.”)

The ball and bodies bounced around in the goal box like a pinball machine as Oysters goalie Alex Henderson made two spectacular saves. And yet it wasn’t enough.

VMS Garret Cerny popped a firm header toward the left side of the goal at Henderson was bouncing up to get to it. Cerny’s shot hit a CRMS defender in the back of his left hand as the defender stood on the goal line – hand ball in the box.

The whistle sounded for the penalty kick, Sheldon’s hand shot up to call for the shot, Cogswell gave him the ball and seconds later VMS had the win.

And as good as the goal sequence was, VMS keeper William Sterett had the game’s best moment, preserving his shutout and the win.

In a wild scramble in front of the VMS net, CRMS fired a looping shot just inside the left post that looked like a certain goal. Sterett launched like a shot-seeking missile and managed to get his fingertips on it.

Even shot-seeking missiles are subject to gravity and Sterett and the ball disappeared behind a wall of colliding bodies. He jumped to his feet with the ball safely cradled is his hands, and his shutout in tact.

“These guys deserve a win,” Cogswell said. “They played with character and with heart, and the win was just awesome.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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