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Viva Vegas or time for spring sports preview

Yes, the Vail Mountain School soccer team is the defending 2A state champion, but it's a new year and it will take a while for things to come together for the Gore Rangers.
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So, it looks like the Broncos need a quarterback.

Alex Davis, Garrett Martin and Demetrius Parrish, get down to Englewood. Your team needs you.

With that, welcome to the spring sports season. Your sports editor is off to Vegas for the weekend, and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas — unless I actually make a good golf shot or three. In the meantime, here’s a brief preview of some of our teams and storylines.



Soccer

OK, the Vail Mountain School enters as the 2A defending state champion and is ranked No. 1 in the state in the first CHSAA poll of the season. Yes, this is a very good team with a lot of promise. Nonetheless, let’s take it down a notch, people. (Perhaps, a more apropos thing to say is, “Adjust the disposition of your psyche.”)

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Like last year, Vail Mountain School soccer will be an assimilation process as the season progresses and players work their way from their winter sports. It’s more important to watch how this team is building than early season wins and losses. Have fun, play soccer and we’ll see where this bunch is come early May.

And, yes, if Donald Trump wins the election in November, the Vail Mountain School will need a new soccer coach because Bob Bandoni will be living in Canada, perhaps with Ted Cruz.

The question at Battle Mountain is a historically weird one. Who will score the goals? (That’s just strange to type.)



The obvious answer is senior Emily Cope, but, if I know that, others teams do, too. The Huskies will have to develop other threats. That said, there’s a decent track record here in player development. And if Trump gets elected, coach David Cope will join Bandoni and Cruz in the Great White North.

In Gypsum, we welcome The Tank. Maggie Sherman is the new coach for the Devils. (Freud bangs his head against the desk, realizing yet another player he covered is now coaching.) Joking aside, the Devils are a good shape.

Of course, the next question is how do you replace Mariel Gutierrez?

And, don’t forget that Vail Christian soccer missed the 2A playoffs by one spot last year. The Saints could very much be in the mix with a lot of returning veterans.

Baseball

First, go Giants.

With the obvious out of the way, new for this season are pitch counts. With that in mind, those teams who can pound the strike zone and play defense behind their pitchers will win.

Walks are the devil, Devils and Huskies. You might as well give the opposition a run by walking a batter and free passes eat your pitch count. Likewise, I’ll be curious to see if Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain hitters can work counts. Colorado baseball is meeting Moneyball this spring.

Eagle Valley, as always, should be in the playoff hunt. There is optimism in Battle Mountain’s camp, but the proof is in the pudding, fellas.

Lacrosse

Battle Mountain boys lacrosse certainly starts its schedule with a bang. The Huskies host Dawson today. That’s merely the team that knocked the Huskies out of the state quarterfinals last year. Then, on Wednesday, some team called Aspen is coming to town. The Skiers won state last year, so there might be some motivation.

The Huskies graduated a bunch, but this is a deep program. The playoffs are very likely here.

Speaking of playoffs, Vail Mountain School lacrosse almost got there in its first varsity season last spring. The Gore Rangers likely lost their chance in a crossover-game loss in Durango. Good news, peeps. Whether we call it the East or the North Division of the Mountain Conference (Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Summit County and Vail Mountain), the good guys will have home-field for crossovers this year.

Vail Mountain School should be in the hunt again.

Track and field

Battle Mountain’s girls won the league last year. Eagle Valley’s boys and girls swept the Slope in 2014. In a not-so-shocking prediction, both schools should be right in it again in 2016.

The Huskies should have decent runners in the 800 meters as they welcome Tony Crisofulli as an assistant coach. (Freud bangs head on a desk again.) Seriously, is John O’Neill next?

On a serious note, there are some fun athletes to watch like the Devils’ Charisse Crabb, the Huskies’ Alexis Aguirre and the Saints’ Ethan Pence and Taylor Alexander. And, doubtless, others will emerge.

Golf

The ladies take their hacks in the spring. Look out for Eagle Valley. Taylor Sandoval and Allyson Ludewig qualified for state, and they’re back for more this year.

And, ladies, play better than I do this weekend.


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