Vail Valley preps wrap for Thursday
PALISADE – In a novel concept, Battle Mountain soccer actually scored the first goal of a game and had a laugher in 6-0 victory over Palisade Thursday in the Huskies’ league opener.
OK, Battle Mountain had only two games under its belt before Thursday and they were both against quality opponents – a 2-1 win at Summit County and a 1-1 draw against Montrose – but a breather was nice.
The Huskies got the first goal in a game for the first time this season in the 17th minute and didn’t stop there, dropping four on the host Bulldogs in the first half. With a comfy cushion, Battle Mountain coach David Cope had the luxury of playing his entire roster.
“Pretty tidy,” Cope said using one of his favorite expressions for a victory.
Tidy and intriguing with the emergence of Ze Barbosa, an exchange-student from Portugal. Barbosa had a goal and two assists, including a helper to Efren Gonzalez in the 17th minute.
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The Huskies scored four times in an eight-minute span. Gonzalez to Gunnar Wilson made it 2-0. Barbosa fed Gonzalez again and then it was Alex Trujillo to Barbosa, prompting Cope to say, “That one was from A to Z.”
Please don’t encourage him, folks.
On a serious note, Barbosa appears to be a nice addition.
“That was really good to see Ze come off the bench,” Cope said. “That’s a real boost to pick up a player like that.”
Joe LyBarger to Sean Armitage and Trujillo unassisted rounded out the scoring. Goalies Nick Vossler and Christian Espinoza split the shutout.
While Palisade figures to be at the bottom of the table in the 4A Slope, getting the full three points Thursday was critical for any team hoping to contend. Battle Mountain’s road gets much steeper next week when it heads to Eagle Valley Tuesday and Steamboat Springs Saturday.
VMS bows to Steamboat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – There are no cupcakes on Vail Mountain School volleyball’s schedule.
Barely a 2A school, VMS went to 4A Steamboat Springs. As expected, the Sailors won in three, but the Gore Rangers were increasingly competitive in the 25-9, 25-19, 25-21 loss Wednesday.
“We do the same thing with preseason scrimmages,” VMS coach Mike Garvey said. “We want to play the type of teams which will expose your weaknesses. Younger players can get away with mistakes against weaker teams, who won’t take advantage of those mistakes. By playing good teams, you get the best out of the individuals involved.”
VMS opens league play Saturday against Plateau Valley.
Fruita sweeps Eagle Valley
FRUITA – Eagle Valley also played up a classification Thursday and took its lumps in a 25-23, 25-19, 25-21 loss to 5A Fruita.
And while no one likes to lose, this wasn’t the worst thing in the world for Eagle Valley (2-1).
“We just played a little young,” Devils coach Shawn Weatherred said. “We were a little afraid to make mistakes. If you play tentatively, then you make mistakes. Hopefully, we learn from it. We’re young, for the most part. We’re still finding the balance between playing aggressively and playing smart.”
Eagle Valley hosts Summit County Tuesday.
Basalt tops Eagle Valley
GYPSUM – Basalt used a 10-run fifth inning to defeat Eagle Valley softball, 20-4, in five innings Thursday in Gypsum.
Despite the lopsided score, it was an improvement for the Devils against the Longhorns.
“During the last meeting, we were out of it by the second or third inning,” Devils manager Chris Sanders said. “This time, they were in it, playing harder, hustling and being more aggressive.”
Eagle Valley hosts its tournament Saturday, starting with Delta at 8 a.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.