High school sports weekend preview for Oct. 8 to Oct. 10
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS SAILORS
7 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (2-3) vs. Palisade (5-0)
League play continues for the Sailors, and it doesn’t get any easier. Steamboat returns home to face an undefeated Palisade team at Gardner Field, a team SSHS hasn’t scored on since a 52-7 loss in 2012. If Steamboat wants to avoid a third straight shutout to the Bulldogs, it needs to find an offense. In five games this season, the Sailors have scored only 21 combined points, none coming in the past two games (losses to Delta and Grand Junction Central).
Palisade, ranked No. 2 in 3A, is coming off a 42-0 win over a struggling Glenwood Springs team, and before that, a 49-6 win over a struggling Summit County team. If the Sailors can keep this close Friday night, that might be all you can ask for. Palisade, Delta and Central are tied at 2-0 atop the 3A Western Slope standings, with dangerous Eagle Valley and Rifle teams right behind at 1-1, the next two SSHS opponents after Friday.
All day, Thursday and Friday at regionals
Regionals are finally here for the Sailors. SSHS heads to Grand Junction Thursday for the first of two days in its Class 4A Region 8 state qualifier. In their first year under Steamboat alumnus Jack Burger, the Sailors have been strong from the start and should be among the favorites to win the regional crown.
Aspen and SSHS have dominated regionals in recent years, with the Skiers winning last fall. Steamboat looks to retake the title this season behind a deep team. It would be surprising not to have numerous Sailors — if not the entire team — qualify for state.
Freshman Teague Burger has struggled against more experienced players at No. 1 singles this year but has the raw talent to make state his first time around. His older sister, Tatum Burger, won state as a freshman for the girls’ team in the spring. Junior Charlie Smith, the No. 2 singles player, and the No. 1 doubles team of Matt White and Joe Borgerding, will all have great chances at being regional champions. For what it’s worth, SSHS beat Aspen 4-3 on Sept. 11 in Steamboat.
11 a.m. Saturday: Steamboat (9-1) vs. Glenwood Springs (6-4)
Of all the schools and all the teams in Routt County this fall, Steamboat soccer might be the most impressive. Since a 6-4 loss to mighty Battle Mountain in their third game, the Sailors have ripped off seven straight wins, including a 1-0 win at Summit on Tuesday, and have broken into the 4A rankings this week at No. 10. Next is a decent Glenwood Springs team, which gave Battle Mountain a good run Tuesday, losing 2-1. Glenwood and Steamboat met in the season opener, a 5-4 overtime win for the Sailors.
SSHS controls its own destiny in the Western Slope and still has return trips to Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain on the schedule. Oh, and a game Oct. 17 vs. Centaurus in some place called Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Steamboat cross country
Friday, at Delta
The Sailors XC team heads into its most important meet of the season so far. SSHS travels to Delta for a pre-regional meet, with Delta hosting regionals in two weeks. It will be a chance for the runners to experience the course before it really counts on Oct. 22. The Sailor girls continue to be strong, led by sophomore Tatum Burger, who has proven she is a threat to win any race. Steamboat will have a final meet at Rifle next week before regionals.
7 p.m. Friday: Soroco (1-4) vs. Rangely (2-4)
At 1-4, it can be easy to dismiss the Soroco football team. But, keep in mind, those four losses all came against teams currently receiving votes in the 8-man rankings, with Dayspring Christian and Norwood sitting at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. While losses are still losses, being as battle-tested as Soroco is bound to pay off over the final three games of the season.
Next is Rangely, which should provide the Rams their most competitive game since a tough loss at Plateau Valley on Sept. 12. Soroco coach Dick Dudas made it clear after last week’s loss the Rams aren’t physically tough enough to hang with teams like Norwood, which beat Soroco 51-14 last week. But Soroco will have a chance to finish the regular season with three straight wins, considering that a re-match with Plateau Valley and a trip to Hayden close out the Rams’ slate.
2 p.m. Saturday: Soroco (7-5) vs. De Beque (1-11)
The Rams will look to make it two in a row at home Saturday against lowly De Beque. After starting the season 5-1, including five straight wins, Soroco has been just 2-4 since, including Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at North Park. But the Rams have feasted on lesser competition this season and should do the same against De Beque. Soroco beat De Beque 3-0 Sept. 19. The schedule picks up from there, with rematches against Vail Christian and West Grand, both teams that recently swept Soroco, to follow.
Soroco cross country
Saturday, at Palisade
The Rams remain small in numbers, but their top two runners continue to perform. Soroco’s lone girl, freshman Chloe Veilleux, recently took sixth at the Delta Sweitzer Lake Invitational on Oct. 2 with a time of 20 minutes, 20.29 seconds. The top runner for the boys is stud sophomore Ben Kelley, who took third at Delta last week in 16:54.74. After Palisade on Saturday, Soroco travels to Rifle on Oct. 15 and Grand Junction on Oct. 16 before regionals Oct. 23.
7 p.m. Friday: Hayden (1-3) vs. West Grand (4-1)
It was supposed to be a tough year for Hayden football under first-year head coach Ryan Wilkie, especially considering it only starts a couple of seniors. The Tigers — 1-3 and coming off a 32-8 loss at Rangely — face another difficult opponent in West Grand on Friday in Hayden.
West Grand, which is receiving votes in the rankings, started the season 4-0 before a 25-14 loss at Plateau Valley last week. The Mustangs have four different backs with more than 270 rushing yards this season and average more than 300 yards rushing per game. Stopping West Grand’s ground game, or at least slowing it, will be key if Hayden wants to stay competitive Friday.
This week: off
The Hayden volleyball team is currently in the midst of back-to-back weeks without a game. The Tigers, now 1-9, lost to Vail Christian on Oct. 3 and don’t play again until the host North Park for senior day Oct. 17. Hayden finishes the regular season with games at North Park (Oct. 23) and De Beque (Oct. 24).
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