Whiteout time for Huskies’ hoops | VailDaily.com

Whiteout time for Huskies’ hoops

Daily file photo/Shane Macomber Battle Mountain's Connor Drumm (24) gives thanks to Huskies' fans in whiteout mode after a big win earlier this season against Glenwood Springs.

EAGLE-VAIL – Battle Mountain’s Kyle Moore says whiteout for Saturday’s playoff basketball game against either Montrose or Steamboat Springs.And who are we to argue with Kyle?It is so ordered that all Huskies fans wear white to The Dog House Saturday at 2 p.m.Battle Mountain hasn’t lost this year at The Dog House – not in volleyball; not in boys’ basketball.

Of course, both teams have been great this year – league champs with 20-plus wins each. But it doesn’t hurt that The House rocks when the Huskies take to the court.The families of athletes take to the south stands behind the Huskies’ bench, and then there’s the student section on the other side. What had started as the boys’ soccer team supporting the volleyball team has turned into frenzied, loud smorgasbord of the Huskies’ faithful.”It gradually built from the beginning of the season when we’d all sit down and yell, ‘Warm up the bus at the end of the game,'” said Moore. “We started getting more and more into it as this basketball team has had something special going for them. Everybody wants to be a part of that. Whether that’s dunking it on (Huskies center) Trent (Beckley) in his spare time, which I do a lot, to get him trained up, or yelling your head off at every game, you want to be a part of it.”Stick to yelling your head off, Kyle. You can take Trent in soccer but I’ll bet my 401(K) money that Trent works you in basketball.

The bottom line is this is not a fun place to play for visiting teams when you’ve got several hundred Battle Mountain maniacs jumping up and down at full throat for a good two hours. Anybody out there?This sort of support has not exactly been the norm at Battle Mountain. Four years ago, I had the unique – for me – experience of watching a Huskies’ basketball game as a fan. I was originally going to write on hockey, but the visiting team couldn’t make it because of the weather.

So, I’m sitting in the north stands, a completely bizarre experience since I’m always sitting at the scorer’s table, and I notice something. The Huskies were leading Delta that afternoon and the Panthers’ fans were the ones making more noise than Battle Mountain’s.So much for homecourt. And this was a good Battle Mountain team. You might recall the likes of Josh Henry, Austin Wignall, Andy Linke, Isaac Martinez and Jimmy Medina. Get loudNo more. As Battle Mountain teams have become more successful, athletes from those teams have started going to other teams’ events. In the fall, cross country would stop its runs to watch the soccer team. Volleyball would take a timeout from its practice as well. And soccer has certainly returned the favor.

Moore has become the unofficial leader of the group. He’s dubbed Huskies basketball coach Phil Tronsrue, “Dr. Phil.””Dr. Phil originated in entrepreneur class,” Moore said. “Dr. Phil was my teacher and me and Sean Thul coined the nickname.”So how is Dr. Phil on relationships?”I’m sure I should have gone to him for for a few relationship problems,” Moore said. “But, I guess, I maybe was a little to shy. I wasn’t sure if he had his own show on national television or not.”

Moore tends to wear old Battle Mountain basketball jerseys and wear a wig that makes him look like either Jesus Christ or a member of the Taliban, depending on one’s perspective.”My dad says it’s Charles Manson,” Moore said. “I like to think that I’m just crazy. I don’t want to upset anybody because I don’t think I’d make a very good Jesus.”And as the student section fills up, The Dog House has actually started to sound like a home arena this year.”Whose house? Our house.”

“Air ball. Air ball.””Ba-ttle Moun-tain.””Scoooore-board.””Warm up the bus,” complete with the tinkling of car keys.

Huskies’ mania likely reached its peak last month when Glenwood came to town. With a whiteout in effect, there was not a seat to be found. Heck, Bob Brown, who’s the chief operating officer of Swift Newspapers, the Daily’s parent company, had to stand. You’d think the Big Kahuna would be able to get a seat. Sorry, Bob.The Huskies don’t know whom they’ll be playing Saturday, but they do know the collective sixth man will be on hand in white. Get there early, Bob.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630 or cfireud@vaildaily.com.

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