Vail Valley sports: Rivalry goes inside; Huskies football will win |

Vail Valley sports: Rivalry goes inside; Huskies football will win

OK, first things, first. It’s not my fault anymore, Vail Valley.

I was starting to take this personally. Every high school event I went to this season, not including golf tournaments, the home team lost. I was starting to think that I was really cursed. (I am cursed in football, but that’s a story for another column.)

But Eagle Valley, Battle Mountain and Vail Christian volleyball all won matches last week with me in attendance. Thank you, ladies, for bailing me out.

And let’s start this week’s musings in the gym:

• Minor game tonight in Gypsum, just a little get-together. Welcome to Round 1 of the rivalry with the Devils hosting the Huskies. I have no idea who is going to win, and I am not just saying that because I want to live to see football on Friday.

Last year’s series was a split with the road team winning. Then again, home court or home field between these two teams doesn’t really mean much in any sport. Students and parents will travel. That’s a wash.

Based on talent on paper, I’d favor Battle Mountain. There’s more experience there. Then again, Battle Mountain’s been up and down like a yo-yo – just last week. That loss to Palisade was pretty bad. I think I heard Brian Doyon getting angry in Utah. (Kidding.) But the Huskies bounced back they way they should have.

Eagle Valley has been more consistent this season, yet I can’t help but think that Shawn Weatherred and the Devils haven’t tipped their full hand. This will be intriguing and very loud.

• The surprise team of the fall so far is Vail Christian volleyball. The Saints are fun to watch and have cohesion that I haven’t seen in either the Huskies or Devils this year. They were 10-13 last year and 8-1 this year. Coach Cathy Alexander won’t let it get to her team’s collective head, but look out.

• BrookE Bowles (I spelled it right) can play at any level, by the way.

• And now to embarrass the team’s setter. I cannot believe Kylie Alexander is in high school, not to mention a sophomore starter. I can’t tell you how many times Mom spun young Kylie around while she was talking to the boring reporter after lots of games back at St. Clare. Way cool, Kylie.

• How does the 2A Slope shape up in volleyball? I dunno. The Saints are likely in the mix, given that a lot of their “nonconference” games have been against conference foes. It’s hard to know how VMS compares because the Gore Rangers have nothing resembling a common opponent with other league teams. Given the history of the program, Mike Garvey’s crew should be a factor. We’re going to establish Paonia as the favorite until someone proves otherwise.

• So we’re opening a new stadium tonight. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. for Battle Mountain soccer hosting Glenwood Springs. First kudos to the Huskies for completing a five-game roadie at 3-0-2.

Now, kids, it’s time to defend home turf. That “one goal” continues elude Battle Mountain, whether it was not scoring against Eagle Valley or allowing it late against Steamboat Springs. Find it.

Further, there’s the little matter of Glenwood. I have absolutely no issue with the Huskies losing at Glenwood. Zhe strangest zhings happen zhere. (You know.) But you do not blow a 2-0 lead to the Demons at home as happened last year. I don’t want to hear about Montrose or Cheyenne Mountain – hmm, two sets of Indians in a row. That’s later. Glenwood. Now.

• Sticking with soccer, the schedule is much kinder this week for the Devils – Palisade tonight and Rifle Thursday. Eagle Valley’s been pretty good about this usually, but Saturday was a little bit scary against Moffat. Points are going to be scarce among the Slope’s four contenders. All three games involving Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Glenwood and Steamboat have been ties. Teams who want to be in the hunt get the full three points against teams like the Bulldogs (both of them) and the Bears.

• The Huskies will win Friday night. OK, Highland is also the Huskies, but I’ll go there. This losing streak ends Friday night, Battle Mountain football. Sept. 21, 2007, at Cortez was the Huskies’ last win. We’re talking 19 games in row. Battle Mountain’s 22-game streak from 1997-2000 was my career high in journalism, and I’m getting sick of this.

The offensive game plan should work, and it’s time for the defense to stand up and tackle someone. (OK, now, coach Krum is going to hit me over the head with a clipboard when I see him on Friday.)

• By the way, check out ESPN The Magazine this week. There’s a little write-up on Edwards and its sporting life, including a mention of the new stadium opening.

• OK, Eagle Valley football, this week’s goal is big one, but you might as well go big. Steamboat quarterback Austin Hinder is bound for Cal next fall (Go Bears, 3-0! I’m from San Francisco and that’s college football there.) Anyway, containing the pocket is critical. The kid can run too.

• At Vail Christian, I really liked how the first to talk after Friday’s loss to Rocky Mountain Lutheran were seniors Larry Cavanaugh and Kieran Hurtt. Excellent leadership, gents. As a side note, I’d do whatever Kieran says, just because.

• Trivia time: Kudos and T-shirts to Rob Parish, Jerry Stevens and Denise Gallagher, who all answered last week’s trivia question. Whose school record did Battle Mountain runner David Shearon break at Leadville? As stated, it wasn’t one of the usual suspects – Tony Crisofulli, Jonny Stevens or John O’Neill. It would be Rob Finlay, kids. Surprised our publisher didn’t get that one.

This week’s question comes from Cavanaugh’s 75-yard touchdown run Friday. It was an outstanding run, but not the longest in school history. Who has the longest run from scrimmage in Saints’ history? Send your answer to Those who live by par-5 golf holes are not eligible for this one.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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