Vail Valley preps: Who passes the first test? Devils or Huskies
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –It’s test time in Colorado’s Vail Valley
And that sounds a little weird given that Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain still haven’t opened their doors for classes, even though high school sports have been going for a month.
But here we are with our first Eagle Mountain-Battle Valley game of the year. Huskies soccer calls on the Devils in Gypsum today at 6 p.m. at Hot Stuff.
So what do we know? Eagle Valley has surprised with a non-what’s-his-name-inspired offensive explosion in starting 3-0. This is quite heartening. As Battle Mountain has shown in dominating this series back to 1999, multiple goal-scorers are a thorn in a defense’s side as opposed to one threat.
That said, Eagle Valley’s challenge here is to do it against a quality defense. Middle Park, Palisade and Coal Ridge are one thing. The combination of Clint Hervert, Connor Tedstrom, Cody Hervert, Chad Wilkinson and David Gonzalez is another.
Battle Mountain is 2-0 after lopsided wins over a soft start to the schedule in Summit and Palisade. That changes this week with the Devils Tuesday and a game at Steamboat Springs Saturday. The talent is there. The question is whether the grit is present as well.
Last season lingers over the Huskies with memories of losses to Steamboat, Glenwood Springs (twice) and the Longmont playoff game. Is there that little extra in Battle Mountain to push the team through a tight game?
And make no mistake, this game will be tight. Devils soccer has done just about everything possible (including a league title and an impressive playoff run last year) except beat Battle Mountain. The Huskies were Eagle Valley’s only two regular-season losses last year. The Devils are waiting and hungry.
And if they weren’t ticked off already, here’s a little more bulletin board material for Eagle Valley. The Huskies had “county champs” T-shirts printed after last year’s regular season.
And soccer isn’t the only thing happening this week:
• I believe we are opening a new gym today in Edwards at 6:30 p.m. as Huskies volleyball hosts Summit. There’s nothing “wrong” with the Huskies who are 0-2. Practice time is nice, but the Huskies will get sharper with games coming on a more regular basis, starting today. The same goes for Eagle Valley volleyball.
• Gym opening No. 2: Eagle Valley hosts Delta Thursday night.
• Busy guy: Let’s look at Cody Hervert’s schedule this weekend. Friday afternoon is soccer at Moffat County. Friday night is football against Moffat. Saturday morning is soccer at Steamboat Springs. What makes this all the more impressive is that Hervert is playing much more significant roles for both Battle Mountain football and soccer than he was last year. Way to go, Cody (and please note that I did not call you Clint once here).
• Freshman Wilhelm: I keep calling Battle Mountain golfer Michael Wilhelm that primarily because it’s hard to realize that he is a freshman given the way he’s playing. Yikes.
• Another fab frosh: Battle Mountain cross country’s David Saucedo. Welcome to varsity, kid.
• Good name for a golfer: Eagle Valley’s Nick Bontempo. It is all about a rhythm in golf.
• OK, Austin Fahrenholtz: I think it’s about time for a sacrifice to the golf gods. Throw that darn putter into the nearest body of water or switch to a belly-putter or maybe you should putt with a 7-iron. OK maybe not. The good news is that they will eventually fall for you and my bet is at regionals.
• “The game was what it was” – Wow, it didn’t take VMS soccer coach Slade Cogswell long to learn Bandonese. That was hilarious reading that in the article we got from our sister paper The Aspen Times after the Basalt game. As for the team, much better against Aspen Saturday. The wins will come.
• Battle Mountain’s cross country’s David Shearon runs a 17:45 at Leadville for a school record. Wow. That may not sound like a good time as elite runners like Shearon are usually in the 16-minute range, but Leadville is always a tough course. What is cool about this record is who held it before. It is not one of the three obvious answers when it comes to Huskies running – Jonny Stevens, John O’Neill or Tony Crisofulli. In fact, we already have two people relatively associated with the program who have the answer and will be getting their prizes – Jerry Stevens (the dad of the Stevens clan) and some guy from Italy named Rob Parish.
But we still put it out there for you: E-mail the name of the previous record holder to firstname.lastname@example.org for a T-shirt.
• History lesson: Yes Glenwood Springs football won the 3A Slope the last two years. That was a special group. As a refresher for local football fans, Palisade generally rules the roost and the Bulldogs unfortunately reminded Battle Mountain of that fact Friday. And unfortunately, Eagle Valley is at Palisade Thursday.
The key for both teams is how do they rebound after being put through a wood-chipper by Palisade. Both teams haves bases upon which to build. The Huskies’ hurry-up will wear down some teams. Meanwhile, you could see the Devils’ offense gaining confidence Friday night against Glenwood. The schedule is not kind right now, especially to the Devils. It will get better.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.