Vail Valley preps: The great soccer chase of ’08 and Devils volleyball
Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series looking back at Eagle County high school sports in 2008-09.
Where’d it go?
That’s all she wrote for high school sports 2008-09. Before the sports department hits the links for the summer, a look back of the year that was.
– Boys soccer on the fall was just tremendous. What a race with four teams vying for the title including Eagle Valley, the eventual champion, and Battle Mountain. I’d go to the games and then hit the Internet when I got back to the office, tracking the ever-changing standings with the Devils, Huskies, Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs. The best thing here and in volleyball (more on that later) was that Battle Valley-Eagle Mountain meant something. And if the Huskies faithful hadn’t mentioned it by now Battle Mountain ironically didn’t win its fifth-straight Slope crown, but did manage to hand Eagle Valley its only two losses of the regular season behind four aggregate goals from Jair Molina.
– Eagle Valley got the last laugh in this local to-do. The Devils won the league, and more impressively, made the Elite Eight in the playoffs, both firsts for the school at 4A. (The Devils got to the 3A quarters in 1999 for the trivially-inclined.) The Round 2 playoff game against Mullen was the keeper. Cesar Castillo, who had nothing short of a spectacular season, scores one of the most wicked goals anyone’s seen from midfield, and Trevor Grayson saves the 2-1 win with a masterful save in the 79th minute. Most memorable was that the Devils ran through a tunnel of their fellow students after the game, getting the recognition they so richly-deserved during a great season.
– Though the Huskies lose in OT to Longmont in the first round, sophomore Cody Hervert is the improbable one with the equalizer in regulation. He looked at as surprised as anyone that he scored. Priceless. I then spend the rest of the year mixing up the Hervert brothers. Clint plays football, right? Kidding.
– The strangest moment in the 12 years I’ve covered Vail Mountain soccer coach Bob Bandoni happened on Sept. 17, 2008. The Bandon ” Mr. Wins and Losses are Impostors/I Have No Idea Where We Are in the Playoff Race/I Don’t Know What the Score Is ” says the Gore Rangers should run the table after a 3-1 loss at Basalt. Absolutely stunning. I know some of Bandoni’s M.O. is his professorial aloofness, but who are you and what did you do with Bob?
VMS does not run the table, but makes a late charge falling short of the coveted orange, thanks to some forfeits around the league. In other developments, Tony Ryerson beats Aspen and goalie Sean Minett gets his revenge his team’s other game against the Longhorns.
– Sept. 13 is Devils volleyball’s Kelsey Foster’s 18th birthday and Eagle Valley obliges by erasing a 1-0 deficit for a 3-1 win against Palisade. After the postgame interview, Foster asks me, “So do you think we can beat Battle Mountain?” I reply, “If you guys play like you did in the first game, no. If you play like you did in the last three, yes.”
Three days later Foster and company perform in the latter fashion, and in fact, do take Battle Mountain for their first win against their archrivals since 2004 and end up winning the Slope and going to regionals despite losing Whitney VanVoorst to a torn ACL on Sept. 30. Eagle Valley volleyball coach Shawn Wheatherred gets our award for best-coaching job this athletic season.
– In the process, the Devils hosted the District 7 Tournament in October, making me wonder if the event should be permanently planted in Eagle County. (The Huskies or Devils have hosted it since 2005.)
– Best volleyball game of the year, however, goes to Vail Mountain and Meeker with the Gore Rangers winning, 25-14, 16-25, 27-25, 22-25, 15-12. Those two teams could still be playing now.
– Speaking of volleyball, thanks for everything, Brian Doyon. The good news for the former Battle Mountain volleyball coach is that he won’t have to do a postgame interview any more with an annoying reporter at the University of Utah.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.
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