Vail Valley preps action heats up |

Vail Valley preps action heats up

Before we start the weekly run through preps, says here that the Colts dispatch the Jets and the Vikings pull the upset over the Saints.

• Good gosh almighty, Battle Mountain hockey. What am I going to do with you? It’s a wonder coach Gary Defina’s still standing upright. Beat Cheyenne, get crushed by Air Academy, smack Pine Creek and lose to Steamboat Springs?

OK, Steamboat was a road game in a Monday – read: no practice Sunday – and the Sailors always seem to gear up for the Huskies. But the greater concern is the pattern.

Forward Jack Sunderland is always good for the quote (not to mention goals and assists), and he delivered after the Pine Creek. When I asked him who were those guys the night before against Air Academy, he said, “Some Squirt team.” Rimshot.

What he went on to say about the Air Academy game was that “it was an embarrassment.” I agree. Lose to the Kadets, 2-1, OK – 6-0 in your own building, nope.

The point is that there’s a lot of justifiable pride in wearing the Battle Mountain sweater. There are expectations which come with it. Time to meet them, guys. It’s Palmer weekend. It’s Palmer today at 5 p.m. – please note the time – and Lewis-Palmer Saturday. Game on, boys. The season starts now.

• The reason we have an early start time in hockey is because the Red Wings Alumni take on the Vail Mountaineers at 7:30 p.m. The Huskies get to watch their coach skate. Should be fun.

• OK, a very interesting basketball weekend on all fronts. We start with the publics. Both Eagle Valley (Palisade) and Battle Mountain (Delta) are home tonight and then trade their opponents on the road on Saturday.

• For the Eagle Valley boys, I hope you used the week to get healthy. When healthy, the pieces are there. Last week, we didn’t see much of Troy Harris. Nate Barker wasn’t starting. Everybody gets on the same page and we’re good to go.

• I love the name: Zeth Ramsey. Cool Z thing.

• By the way, Cory Zehring went 2-for-4 with his playoff picks last week, but his Colts are still kicking.

• For the Eagle Valley girls, obviously losing a point guard is difficult. Brenda Zapata will be back. Remain calm. In the meantime, just as the volleyball team did two falls ago, you’ve got to find the heart in the huddle.

• Love the name: Jazmine Zapata. Double-Z action.

• Battle Mountain boys: The team played well with Steamboat, understandably got smoked by a good Glenwood team. The Moffat win was good. The loss at Rifle a step back. I think this weekend tells us if the Huskies make a move into the upper half of the league or not.

• So, who’s playing Tuesday? See ya in Gypsum.

• OK, Vail Christian boys basketball, Hayden – I know they’re tough, but you owe them one. By the way, aren’t teams in orange and black meant to fall over and die in big games? That’s been my experience.

• OK, Larry Cavanaugh, stay out of foul trouble.

• Lady Saints, if you play defense the way you can, you’re going to be tough down the stretch.

• Saturday for the Saints? DeBeque. Don’t make me or Sheldon Kuhns or Patrick Beaudine start telling the stories about what DeBeque’s done to Vail Christian in the past. We will do so if necessary.

• Keeping with Vail Christian, keep on trucking, Ian Hamina. (Obligatory Hamina-hamina-hamina inserted here.) Edwards needs a Skimeister. Sebastian Pierce-Durrance, don’t you dare change your skis. In fact, the entire Saints alpine team is instructed to guard those 155s with their lives.

• What’s really cool to see is the number of Eagle Valley alpine skiers qualifying for state. Keep it up, Devils. By the way, while Battle Mountain, Vail Mountain and Vail Christian are at Beaver Creek, the Devils are up at Ski Cooper today.

• Nordic skiing finally gets a home meet Saturday. It’s a duathlon with classic in the morning and freestyle in the afternoon. Check it out, people.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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