Vail Valley sports: The fall’s report card
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –First in foremost, having done a slew of all-league stories recently, I hereby ban any winner of a Coach of the Year award to say, “That’s more of a team award.” Though they would never do it, Vail Christian’s Cathy Alexander and Eagle Valley’s Shawn Weatherred deserve a bit of strutting.
Along those lines, we did football Monday, so let’s take a look at rest of the fall high school sports teams.
Battle Mountain: Superb season, bad karma. Talent-wise, I think this ranks with one of the best teams the school has produced. Whoever thought the Huskies would struggle to score goals? (Guess coach David Cope was right here, but I don’t think even he envisioned what happened.)
How do you go undefeated in league (8-0-4) and not win the thing?
The Huskies should revert more to the traditional form in 2010 – good offense and who’s going to play defense and goalie? Battle Mountain will make the postseason again.
Eagle Valley: Yep, I thought you were one-shot wonders with Cesar Castillo. I’m sorry. I take it back. You’ve got a program after many starts and stops.
The team was better than the 2008 edition which won the league. Jason Rittmiller evolved a bit as a coach. The Devils were more structured and multi-faceted.
And by the way, the Devils are going to get the Huskies soon.
Graduation will hit this team hard, but that was meant to be the case last year, so I’m shutting up.
Vail Mountain: Graduation hits harder at a 2A-sized school than it does in 4A. And that’s even more apparent in 3A soccer, the lowest classification CHSAA offers. We saw that this year.
We’ve seen this before, though, in East Vail. VMS’ task is to establish more consistency. The Gore Rangers played Roaring Fork, Basalt (at home) and 4A Summit superbly and lost twice to Hotchkiss. Huh?
This comes with seasoning. And if the Colorado Rocky Mountain School can make the playoffs – to put this in terms other school’s fans can understand: This is like Rifle volleyball making regionals – VMS can return to orange quickly.
Battle Mountain: Not a good year and no reason to panic. Expectations were too high here. With a year under her belt, Lara Bossow’s going to be just fine, and so will the Huskies.
This program was coming off a run of ridiculous success. It was just unrealistic to keep it going. Eagle Valley winning the league likely won’t change, but Battle Mountain should be on the upswing.
Eagle Valley: Brava, ladies. (I like opera. Deal with it.) When we’re disappointed the Devils didn’t go to state, the entire dynamic has changed. As discussed in this space last week, defending a title is no easy task, and Eagle Valley went back-to-back.
The scary thing is that Eagle Valley returns a ton of talent – juniors Shila Branch, Lauren Shreeve, Shelby Wright, Becka VanVoorst and Daillen Culver. Oh yeah, that Alex Lassa is pretty good, too.
Look out in 2010.
Vail Christian: Brava, ladies. (This is going to be a theme in this section.) Did anyone see this coming?
The 2A Slope champs will miss the Big Bs (Brooke Bowles and Beri Dwyer), but this year’s sophomore crew is brimming with talent. The Saints should be in the mix next year again.
Vail Mountain: Brava, ladies.
This is the serious “What if” category. The Gore Rangers handled themselves with class through the flu, and I think we all saw what this team could do when healthy when VMS won districts.
One thing here … coach Mike Garvey doesn’t get enough credit for building a very steady program in East Vail. As such, the beat will continue for VMS.
Battle Mountain: Good gosh, almighty, look out, a la Eagle Valley volleyball. David Shearon, Mitch Walker, Remsen Allard and David Suarez are all back. And there are others in the wings. This could be scary good. Ski Nordic, run track and just run, guys.
On the girls’ side, Anita Ortiz and her sis, Mandy, return A little more work here is needed on the team side of things, but this is not outside the realm of possibility.
Eagle Valley: Like Ken Long at Battle Mountain, coach Melinda Brandt is doing a great job with this two-year-old program. The flu hit at the wrong time for the Devils when it came to regionals.
The girls, led by Kelly Cassidy, should be in the mix for a state berth next fall. And Wade Fowler and the boys will only get better.
In the meantime, coach Jeff Shroll has got to be psyched for track.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.