We welcome West Grand to town and other musings | VailDaily.com

We welcome West Grand to town and other musings

Chris Freud
KRISTIN ANDERSON |

Yes, they’ll be playing football tonight.

It’s a big game — West Grand at Vail Christian in Gypsum at 7 p.m. with the Central League title on the line. It’s Senior Night for the Saints. And there’s also the fact that these schools are rivals be it football, volleyball, basketball and track.

And none of it really matters.

Tuesday night, according to the Steamboat Pilot, Mustangs junior quarterback John David (J.D.) Guess was driving back from practice on an icy night. His truck slid off Highway 40 and the 16-year-old died.

It’s going to be a humble affair tonight, according to Vail Christian head of school Jeremy Lowe. Vail Christian, like many schools in the area, have reached out to West Grand during this tragedy.

Lowe said that after discussing it with Mustangs coach Chris Brown, that all involved want to keep it as simple as possible tonight. The Saints will honor their seniors. There’ll be a prayer and a moment of silence.

Tonight is about trying to get back to normal during a decidedly not normal time. It’s a very small step in this process, though nothing is really small in a time like this.

There are no profundities here. The only things to do are to hug your loved ones and tell them that you love them and extend a hand to the West Grand community.

Go Saints AND Mustangs.

A step

Yeah, that was a bummer of an ending for Eagle Valley on Wednesday night with Palmer Ridge winning on a golden goal in double of overtime. It will sting for a while, and it should. After all, there are now high expectations with Devils soccer, and that’s a good thing.

Programs do not make the leap from losing record to state title in one year, unless Lionel Messi transfers to your school district and is somehow eligible for your high school team.

The step the Devils made in 2015 was outstanding — from 6-8-1 to 12-4, contenders for a league title and a playoff spot? Fantastic.

When the ache subsides, take a few moments to appreciate it and get back to work. Eagle Valley has laid a foundation, no small thing, for continued success. The Class of 2016 will be tough to lose, yet there is good talent behind those guys.

We don’t cover JV — because it’s hard enough to cover every varsity team from all four local schools — but we notice, perhaps that Eagle Valley’s JV finally snagged Battle Mountain’s JV this fall.

There is no guarantee of success — read, the work is just beginning — but my bet is that the 2015 edition of Devils soccer is not a one-off.

Survive and advance

First off, it’s really weird for me to watch a Battle Mountain soccer game from the north side of the field, completely disorienting. (By the way, how cool is my job that I got paid to watch two playoff games on Wednesday?)

Second, gentlemen, that was not a Michelangelo against Mitchell. Yes, you won, and there’s a lot to be said for that after Wednesday’s mayhem around the bracket.

Time to step it up a notch for Valor Christian.

Rooting interests

Go Huskies football against Coal Ridge tonight. Send the seniors out on a good note. … Go Gore Rangers soccer. I apologize in advance to Jeanne Macsata that I do not know the fight song of the Vail Mountain School yet. … Go 2A volleyball teams in districts this weekend. … Go Huskies and Aiden Branch and Brandon Sheard at state cross-country on Saturday.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.