High school sports weekend preview for Oct. 22 to Oct. 24
Steamboat Springs — 6:30 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (15-3) at Eagle Valley (13-6)
1 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat at Rifle (2-17)
It’s true the Sailors, No. 9 in this week’s chsaanow.com Class 4A rankings, control their own destiny in the Western Slope, but the path to a title isn’t easy. It goes right through Eagle Valley, which already represents one of Steamboat’s two league losses.
The Sailors lost in four sets last month. Eagle Valley’s offense proved too quick for Steamboat’s blockers, and the Sailors never got their own offense rolling. Steamboat has played better in big matches since but looked much the same — maybe even worse — in its most recent match, a loss Saturday against Delta.
That won’t fly today. The Sailors will need to be the team that’s as trustworthy on defense as a brick wall and as reliable setting up big kills as a seasoned hunting guide. If they are, they can indeed control their own destiny.
7 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (2-5) vs. Rifle (6-1)
It’s been a brutally difficult stretch for the Sailors, and Friday’s home game against Rifle may be the best team Steamboat will have faced in that streak.
The No. 4-ranked Bears have steamrolled opponents. They are led by a pair of tough running backs, senior Tyler Bosshardt, averaging an absurd 11.9 yards per carry, and junior Blaine Vance, averaging more than 7.
What hope does Steamboat have? It would have been easier to say, “not much” before the Sailors played perhaps their best game of the season a week ago in a 28-21 loss to Eagle Valley. Steamboat had that one-loss team on its heels for much of the game before several key mistakes facilitated a comeback.
Keep the good, cut out the bad, and this looks like a Steamboat team ready to hang with tough teams.
Of course, Eagle Valley lost to Rifle 26-0, so Friday’s effort may just be the start.
Steamboat, Soroco cross country
12:30 p.m. Friday: at Delta for regional championship meet
Cross country teams spend their entire season building up to be in tip-top shape for one particular week. This is that week, and Steamboat and Soroco runners have a great chance to shine. Both boys and girls teams from Soroco and Steamboat can qualify with the Steamboat girls team having the best shot. The top 15 finishers in each race, meanwhile, also qualify, so the door is really open for everyone.
The Steamboat boys could sneak in several runners after one of their strongest weeks of the season. Soroco, too, has a great chance to get, at the very least, several individual runners in.
6 p.m. Friday: Soroco (9-7) vs. Rangely (10-7)
2 p.m. Saturday: Soroco vs. Plateau Valley (11-5)
Soroco will have a chance to get two very nice wins this weekend against teams with similar records. Though it’s not their last home match of the season — that will come Saturday — the Rams will celebrate senior night on Friday against Rangely in what should be a tough showdown against a solid competitor from the other half of the Western Slope League.
A strong class of five seniors, then, will play what is actually their final regular season home match a day later against Plateau Valley. The Cowboys have been up and down this season, and a three-set loss to Soroco represents one of their dips. The Rams would love to dip them again.
7 p.m. Saturday: Soroco (2-4) vs. Plateau Valley (4-3)
This clearly isn’t the same Plateau Valley team local opponents grew used to in recent seasons. After two winless seasons, the Cowboys have a winning record. Still, Soroco came away frustrated from a matchup with Plateau Valley earlier this season, a 33-26 loss on the road. Teams don’t always get opportunities for same-season revenge in football, but a quirky schedule allows the Rams just that.
Soroco struggled with the Cowboys’ running attack last time and fell behind early. A quick start Saturday could help do wonders to prevent the same from happening again.
1 p.m. Saturday: Hayden (1-5) at Norwood (7-0)
The Mavericks are the No. 3-ranked team in the state, and it’s not a huge mystery why. They’ve run over opponents all season. Quarterback Trenton Armintrout has thrown for nine touchdowns and run for seven more and has accounted for nearly 1,500 yards of total offense. Even if he sleeps through his alarm, he has plenty of teammates who’ve proven capable of moving the ball.
Staying close will be a tall task for a Hayden team that’s struggled against elite competition all season.
5 p.m. Friday: Hayden (1-15) at North Park (8-8)
2 p.m. Saturday: Hayden at De Beque (1-15)
The Tigers have a great chance to end their regular season on a high note this weekend as they travel to De Beque. The Tigers beat the Dragons in four sets when they clashed earlier this season. Friday’s penultimate against North Park is another chance for Hayden to show well. It lost at home versus North Park last weekend so has the unique chance to show immediately if it was able to make any improvements.
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