Vail Valley preps: It’s opening day
The endless season of practice is over. (It really does seem endless.) Finally, everyone gets to go against someone in a different uniform.
The rundown on what the Devils, Huskies Saints and Gore Rangers need to do this week.
• Battle Mountain soccer vs. Summit County, 6 p.m.: Guys, score some goals and stop the Tigers from doing so. Yes, this sounds like a sound strategy, regardless of the opponent, but these are the two spots I will be watching all year with the Huskies.
First, it’s still strange to view Battle Mountain soccer as offensively-challenged after all these years when offense was never a problem. Somebody besides Famoso (Jack Sunderland) has to score. We also need to find a new Clint Hervert in goal, given the bounty the Huskies have had in years past here. Speaking of Herverts, Cody, go beat Summit twice.
• Eagle Valley soccer vs. Coal Ridge, 6 p.m.: Don’t take the Titans lightly. Yes, they’re 3A, but they will make some waves in the Slope this year. Coal Ridge was 10-6 and a state-playoff team last year. (Just ask Vail Mountain.) Eagle Valley’s won me over as a program. As such, the question becomes who’s going to step into the void of those who graduated last year?
• Eagle Valley volleyball vs. Grand Junction, 6 p.m.: Let the show begin. The No. 4-ranked Devils should have big goals – read state – but it starts with coach Shawn Weatherred’s point-by-point philosophy against the Tigers.
• Battle Mountain volleyball at Montrose, 6 p.m.: It’s a stiff test for the Huskies out of the gate, and that’s good. On any given day, Battle Mountain should be able to play with teams. The key will be for the Huskies themselves to believe it.
• Battle Mountain football at Summit County, 7 p.m.: This was a game the Huskies left on the table last year. Battle Mountain started slow, but the hurry-up offense had the Tigers gassed by the end of a 33-30 loss. The Huskies just ran out of time here. This is the first test for Battle Mountain as far as learning to win a game it’s capable of winning. Ain’t no mountain high enough, boys.
• Eagle Valley football at Coal Ridge, 7 p.m.: Time to turn a new page for Eagle Valley. Last year’s 1-9 is history. Mercifully, the Devils don’t open the season with Faith Christian and Olathe back-to-back. It’s time to get the double-wing cranking, opening holes for Matt Kottenstette.
• Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley cross country at Arapahoe: The state meet is at Arapahoe, and hence, the state gathers at Arapahoe for the first meet of the season. The key for everyone involved is to check out the course and post a time upon which they can build throughout the season. Look for the Battle Mountain boys, ranked No. 5 in the state, to be pretty solid unless they’re undermined by their “new” assistant coach. And don’t overlook the Eagle Valley girls. Everyone got the flu for regionals last year, but things were starting to look pretty bright there.
• Vail Christian football at Plateau Valley, 1 p.m.: It’s good the Saints get Plateau Valley before Week 2 at perennial 8-man power Dayspring Christian. The Saints are young, young, young. The young kids are also a talented bunch. Saturday’s game is not as important when it comes to a win or a loss, but how the Saints come together in their first action of the season.
• Vail Christian and Vail Mountain volleyball at Plateau Valley tourney: First off, no, they will not play each other. The Gore Rangers and Saints will play Plateau Valley, Norwood and Palisade’s JV. Both teams face challenges in replacing graduating seniors. Both teams have a ton of returning talent. Vail Christian has its junior class, while you have to remember that everyone at VMS played at some point last season because of the flu scare.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.