We should know better, but we look ahead anyway
The cardinal sin in any sport is looking ahead.
For example, Eagle Valley basketball hosts Delta and Palisade this weekend, while Battle Mountain is at Rifle, big games all. So no one is looking ahead to Round 2 of Devils-Huskies next week in Edwards.
Of course, not. No way, no how.
But in the spirit of looking ahead, we take you to high school skiing, where we’ve had one go-round of all four disciplines — giant slalom, slalom, freestyle and classic — and, well, it looks good.
There are two caveats:
• All of the alpine teams haven’t skied head-to-head because teams race at different sites.
• A DNF or Nordic skier not being present can jumble the points. A prime example would be the Vail Mountain School, simply awesome in Nordic. If the Gore Rangers get three racers down on the alpine side, then the following goes boom in a hurry.
That said, through Round 1, here’s what we got:
Boys: 1. Battle Mountain 643 points; 2. Summit County, 623; Middle Park 614; Aspen 605.
Girls: 1. Aspen 650; 2. Battle Mountain 617; 3. Summit County, 605; 4 Evergreen 577.
The Huskies boys, the defending champs, look like they’ve got a shot of repeating. More impressive is that Battle Mountain, both boys and girls, is not adhering to the school’s time-honored skiing tradition of “Let’s kill it in alpine and hang on for dear life in Nordic.”
Battle Mountain has quantity and quality in Nordic. In fact, the Huskies girls, ironically have room to improve on the alpine side, which is downright weird and a good omen.
All three local teams are at Ski Cooper today for slalom. Go, Gore Devskies.
Kings of the Pass
Attaboy, Battle Mountain hockey, aka Team United Nations. Only here can Huskies and Devils play nicely. Team Eagle County blanked Summit County, 7-0, on Wednesday and owns the Shrine Pass Trophy.
Jesse Relafors scored the only tally of the first period. Wyatt Alt, Tatsen Olden, Jack Lambert and Zach Booth all went off in a four-goal second period. Lambert and Riley Bishop finished it off.
Max Clark and Declan Rooney shared the shutout between the pipes.
You can watch Saintly Gore Devskies in action tonight at 5:15 at the Eagle Ice Rink — don’t go to Dobson — against Mullen. (As always, Pat Phelan, no rooting for your alma mater.)
While writing the wrestling recap earlier this week, I had a sense of deja vu. Battle Mountain’s Freddy Garcia is 24-2 this year at 138 pounds, and as a 4A wrestler both of his losses are to 3A Eagle Valley’s Noah Hermosillo.
It’s strange, but not strange. My first year here, 1997-98, Battle Mountain’s heavyweight Giovany Cabrera finished second at the state meet. Ironically, while he was losing his state-title bout, two wrestlers he had beaten earlier in the season were wrestling for the 4A title on the next mat at old McNichols Arena.
Hoop it up
So both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley basketball have beaten Steamboat Springs on the road, while those Sailors went to Glenwood Springs and won there. Yeah, that makes sense.
Five Western Slope teams are guaranteed spots in the district tournament with the Southwest League. Rifle (6-0 in league) and Palisade (5-1) seem like solid bets. After that, everyone’s in play — Glenwood (3-2), Battle Mountain (3-3), Steamboat (3-4), Delta (2-5), Eagle Valley (1-5) and Summit (1-4). Two games separate six teams, people.
Eagle Valley has Delta and Palisade this weekend. The Devils can vault themselves right back into district contention. Meanwhile, Battle Mountain can end the first half with a bang at Rifle. The Huskies have the size to bang around with the Bears.
On the girls’ side, everyone’s rooting for Eagle Valley against Palisade on Saturday to bring the Bulldogs back to the pack.
Of course, Sam Bartlett’s crew must first take care of Delta tonight.
After all, you never look ahead in high school sports.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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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.