High School sports preview, Sept. 8 to 10
Steamboat Springs — STEAMBOAT SPRINGS SAILORS
1 p.m. Thursday Steamboat vs. Durango in Grand Junction
All day Friday and Saturday Steamboat at Western Slope Invitational
Plenty of big matches await this season before the regional tennis tournament, but there won’t be many that offer the Steamboat tennis team bigger tests than it will see this weekend.
First up, Thursday, is a showdown against Durango, a regional foe. After that comes the big show, the Western Slope Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Grand Junction. That tournament typically boasts one of the most competitive fields in the state, and it will certainly try the Sailors.
It will be an excellent indicator of how the team is shaping up as it heads toward the middle of its season.
Strong finishes could indicate a special season could be on tap. Average or worse results could indicate there’s more work to be done.
All day Friday and Saturday Steamboat (3-2) at Silver Creek tournament
Last season’s Steamboat volleyball team got to know Silver Creek a little better than they would have liked at the regional tournament. The Raptors beat the Sailors in a one-set, winner-take-all tiebreaker in Steamboat to advance to state and end the Sailors’ season.
Now, a new crop of Steamboat players will get its own impression of the Raptors as the team travels to Silver Creek for a tournament on Saturday. Steamboat will play Silver Creek, Mead and Sterling in its pool.
The Sailors will be looking for a better showing than they had last week at a tournament in Glenwood Springs. The team went 2-2 there, which was not the problem itself. The problem was how it went 2-2.
The weekend ended with a 25-8 loss in a set where the Sailors got bogged down and discouraged by their mistakes.
Does this team have players capable of rebounding from a bad string of points? Can they correct their mistakes on the fly?
Saturday should offer plenty of opportunity for answers.
Steamboat cross country
Saturday Steamboat at Heritage High School
The Sailors are headed to the Front Range for a race in Littleton on Saturday.
The team came away with solid results last week in its first race of the season. Winter Boese was second on the girls side, and Cisco DelliQuadri, in his first high school race, placed ninth.
They’ll look to build on those results, and the entire Steamboat team will be aiming to cut times.
SOROCO RAMS AND HAYDEN TIGERS
6 p.m. Friday Hayden (0-3) at Hotchkiss (4-2)
3 p.m. Saturday Hayden vs. Paonia (3-0)
The Tigers will be looking for their first win of the season, and Friday night’s trip to Hotchkiss offers this week’s best chance of providing it. The two teams finished together at the bottom of the district standings last year. The Tigers pushed Hotchkiss to four sets before losing last year when they met head to head.
It won’t be easy. The Bulldogs are off to a strong start this season, going 4-2 in their first six. They were 2-2 playing last week at the same tournament where Hayden went 0-3. Both teams lost in two sets against Telluride, their only common opponent.
Saturday’s home game against Paonia will offer a much more difficult test.
District and league champs a year ago, the Eagles drove to the state semifinals. They’re off to a 3-0 start this season.
6 p.m. Friday Soroco (1-1) at Sanford (0-2)
Things weren’t pretty last week when Soroco lost at home to Norwood, but the Rams have an excellent opportunity Friday to get back to winning.
Sanford’s been in a rut in recent seasons, going 3-6 last season. It lost to Soroco in Oak Creek, 48-12. The team did play better later in the season, winning three of its last four.
This season, Sanford has dropped its first two games, 58-22 versus McClave and 38-12 against West Grand.
Norwood, undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the state, and Sanford are obviously utterly different teams, but last week’s lopsided loss showed a few things Soroco certainly can improve on. Top on the list is ending drives defensively and getting off the field. Norwood scored two of its touchdowns on fourth down.
Sanford may not look as good on paper, but if Soroco can’t get its offense off the field, it could cause big problems.
6 p.m. Friday Soroco (4-1) vs. Paonia (3-0)
3 p.m. Saturday Soroco at Hotchkiss (4-2)
Paonia makes for a tough guest in a home opener, but that’s the task the Rams are faced with Friday evening. The Eagles have won 44 of their last 45 league games stretching back to 2012, and Soroco didn’t account for that one blemish. (It was Cegaredge last year.)
Saturday’s trip to Hotchkiss offers more intrigue. The Rams beat Hotchkiss in three sets in last week’s Rangely tournament. Soroco was playing without several of its varsity mainstays, so it could be telling to see how the Rams handle a second matchup so soon.
A loss would be a significant early season setback, but a win, especially one more clean than last week’s, would be a strong step into the league season no matter what pain Paonia inflicts Friday.
Soroco cross country
Friday Soroco at Grand Junction
Junior Ben Kelley hasn’t lost yet this season, winning both at a meet in Basalt and last week in Battle Mountain. Can he do it again when the team heads to Grand Junction?
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