Vail Valley preps: Time is flying, literally and figuratively
‘Twas an eventful week with our high schools, but the talker was Lara Bossow becoming the head volleyball coach at Battle Mountain.
First, how often do you get a local kid who ends up coaching a local team?
Actually, the answers are Vail Christian track coach Chris Gamble, Eagle Valley Class of 2002, and Saints football coach Tim Pierson, who graduated from Battle Mountain in 1997.
A few thoughts on Tree:
– I’m getting old. I covered her when she was in high school. Ack.
– OK, I’m over that now. Seriously, this is an intriguing pick. If I were Battle Mountain middle-blocker Hannah Ellison ” which would be quite a feat on my part ” I’d be psyched. Since those who follow high school sports understandably don’t have much institutional memory, Ellison will be learning from the best. If I were to pick a dream volleyball team in my 12 years here, Bossow’s my middle block.
The base for any dream team would have to be the Huskies’ 2006 state-title team, and taking nothing away from Nicole Penwill or Devon Abbott, but Tree’s there. Yes, she played 1A. I don’t care.
– And if setter Erin Barker is wondering, Bossow did play some setter her freshman year. Interesting move, Mike.
– Speaking of VMS coach Mike Garvey. He still has spiky hair. Sorry, too easy.
– Funniest moment covering Bossow in high school: One night, I ended up being a line judge for a Vail Mountain match. The first game was fine as the opposition was hitting toward my end. Game 2 was another story. Setter Tiffany Allan sets one up perfectly for Tree, and Bossow winds up. I never saw it, ducking out of self-preservation. I called it in. Anyone who wanted to argue with me could simply have come out of the stands and taken over for me.
– By the way, Allan is one of the most under-rated spikers I’ve ever covered. Battle Mountain’s Britney Brown (now wrapping up her sophomore year at Northeastern) is the standard by which all setters are measured. But everyone forgets about Allan. She ran an offense like nobody’s business.
– My one concern for Bossow is that she is 23, young by head coaching standards. How will she handle the politics which come with high school sports? My bet is that Bossow might be getting thrown in the deep end of the pool here, but she’ll learn to swim.
In other news and notes:
– Next year, Eagle Valley baseball makes the playoffs and plays Mesa State in the first round of districts. Might as well play a school where another Ramunno coaches (Joe). Bringing it back, it’s time for the Devils to make some noise in the postseason with their game today against Lewis-Palmer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Western Slope does know how to play baseball. Show it, guys.
– Battle Mountain baseball, your task is to play this summer. The record didn’t show it this spring, but there is a nucleus of a program here. What is killing the Huskies ” besides playing in a ski town and the perfunctory April snow ” is lack of playing experience. If you’re on second, you don’t run when a ground ball is hit in front of you. Bases loaded and a grounder to short? Don’t throw to first; go to the nearest bag, unless the game situation dictates otherwise. These little things, which are actually big things, come from playing, and the time is the summer.
– Cameron Brown is excused from a few summer games to get in a few rounds of golf. The kid might make some noise this fall.
– Soccer seedings for the playoffs come out Sunday. Vail Mountain, prepare to get jobbed by the seeding committee. Normally, the third-place team in the 3A Slope doesn’t deserve a spot in the top 16 ” which comes with a home game ” but this year it does. The top half of the league is solid. Coal Ridge finally unseated Basalt after 11 titles. (By the way, apologies to Jeanne Macsata. This is what I meant to write in Sunday’s paper. Madama Macsata was quite correct in e-mailing me to remind me that VMS beat Basalt, 5-4, last year.)
The Titans will be home for the first round automatically, and the Longhorns, by reputation (deservedly so), should be as well. VMS, whose only losses are to these two, are better than seeding committee knows. Look for the Gore Rangers to be seeded 17-25. That’s unfortunate for us because we wanted to see orange at home. It’s also unfortunate for VMS’ first-round opponent. (Look out.)
– As for Battle Mountain, we’re looking at seed somewhere in the 20s. While it wasn’t pretty and won’t help with seeding this year, a tougher schedule will pay dividends in the long run. Also, it’s not like a team seeded in the 20s can’t spend a long time traveling and upset a highly-favored team.
– Moving to track, we heard from John O’Neill, who graduated from Battle Mountain last year after being one of a triumvirate of elite long-distance runners at the school, on the new state-qualifying standards. He runs for Colorado State now, and not surprisingly, has an opinion:
“At first I was disappointed when I heard regionals were out the door, but trust me, from a college perspective, it IS a good thing. Colorado has turned itself into one of the most prestigious track states in the country. … The new standards keep the 11- or 12-minute two-mile guys out of the race, making it more competitive and you don’t have to avoid running out into lane two to pass a kid. Also it raises the standard, forcing athletes to be competitive with each other.”
– My personal jury is still out on the top-18, instead of regional qualifying, but what is amazing is that our recent local state champs would still be rolling under this system. Man, we’ve had some great athletes here. The boys 3,200 relay time is sitting at 8:10.97 ” Battle Mountain won last year in 7:52. Eagle Valley’s Brad Gamble is still 2 seconds up in the 300 hurdles, if we were playing hypothetical state-qualifying. Chris Gamble, though he ran in 3A, would be tied for third in the 4A standings.
Ashley Rohweder, 2007 state champ in the 300 hurdles? Still up by four-tenths of a second.
The question is will Rohweder become the next Eagle Valley track coach when current coach Jeff Shroll retires? Then I’ll feel real old.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We just have to ask, is there anything Shiffrin can’t do?