Routt County sports teams begin league play
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County teams are starting to swing back into their seasons in full force with league competitions. Two Steamboat Springs teams will be off before they host rival Battle Mountain next week, while others, like Soroco and Hayden, are just starting to get their feet wet in the Western Slope.
- Steamboat Springs girls basketball (2-9) at Palisade (2-8), 6 p.m. Friday Jan. 11
The Sailors’ biggest struggle is putting points on the board, averaging 24 points per game. The Bulldogs face a similar problem with a 27.2-points-per-game average. Class 4A Western Slope League play has yet to start for both teams and traveling puts the Sailors at a disadvantage, especially since both of their wins were at home. But there’s something to say about starting fresh and stepping up your game when it’s needed most. Juniors Katie Lake and Shelbee Weiss have been leading scorers on the team, and freshman Samantha Campbell is on pace to be a critical weapon in both scoring and rebounding.
- Steamboat Springs boys basketball (9-2)
The Sailors are off this week before they host their first Western Slope league matchup at 7:30 p.m. Friday Jan. 18.
- Hayden boys basketball (3-5, 0-1) at Paonia (5-3, 2-0), 7 p.m. Friday Jan. 11
The Eagles are currently the fourth-best team in the Class 2A Western Slope League and pose a road challenge for the Hayden Tigers on Friday night. The Tigers dropped a close contest, 46-42, to Rangely (1-6, 1-0). The Eagles roster includes two seniors, David Lozano and Soul Connolly, both averaging over 10 points per game. Lozano has also made 12 3-pointers this year. Hayden senior Mason Brewer leads the Tigers averaging 10.1 points per game while senior Chris Carrouth averages 9.4. Both also lead the stat books in rebounds, where Carrouth carries the team with 45 defensive and 40 offensive rebounds. If the Tigers are looking to contend in the Western Slope, a win over the Eagles could give them the confidence boost they need.
- Hayden girls basketball (4-5, 0-1) at Paonia (3-4, 1-0), 5:30 p.m. Friday Jan. 11
The Tigers come off a 33-25 loss to Rangely (5-3, 1-0) but will face an evenly-matched opponent in the Eagles. Neither team has a go-to top scorer and is one game short of a .500 record. The Eagles have an edge in the Class 2A Western Slope with a win over Caprock Academy, while the Tigers have a league loss in Rangely. Hayden’s top player is junior Joey Deckler, who currently averages 9.7 points per game and has 82 rebounds so far this season. The Tigers have a strong rebounding core with Deckler, junior Hallie Smith with 72 total rebounds and Alex Camilletti with 57. The Eagles’ senior Poppy Lightfoot averages 8.7 points per game and has 40 total rebounds with 28 steals on the season. The Tigers have a shot at a win if they can use their rebounding and defensive aggression to their advantage and score points.
- Soroco girls basketball (9-1, 2-0) vs. De Beque (7-1, 1-0), 5:30 p.m. Friday Jan. 11
The Rams appear to have a worthy competitor this week in the Dragons but Soroco still is exptected to win the Class 2A Western Slope League. So far, the Rams have plowed through league play with wins over Caprock Academy (1-7, 0-3) and West Grand (3-6, 0-1). De Beque has also faced Caprock Academy, claiming a 60-7 victory. The Rams have three players averaging in the double digits, including senior Chloe Veilleux, who averages 19.7 points per game, freshman Kayedence Bruner with 11.1 points per game and senior Kayla Willie with 10 points per game. Junior Kourtney Bruner provides the strength under the boards with 71 total rebounds so far this year. But she’s part of a group of three girls with over 50 rebounds on the year. Veilleux also leads the team with 51 steals.
- Soroco boys basketball (5-4, 3-0) vs. De Beque (8-0, 1-0), 7:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11
The Rams have started off league play with wins over Rangely, Caprock Academy and West Grand but have endured tough losses in tournament play. They face an undefeated team on Friday. Soroco senior Grant Redmond remains the target of the offense, averaging 16.6 points per game while also topping the rebounding game with 94. The Dragons display a more diversified attack, with three players averaging double-digit points. Sophomore Brennan Rigsby averages 19.5 points per game while sophomore Wes Ryan is close behind with 18 points per game. Senior Dillon Bumgartner averages 10.
- Steamboat Springs hockey (2-7)
The Sailors are off until next Friday, when they host Battle Mountain at 7:30 p.m. Friday Jan. 18.
- Steamboat Springs, Soroco and Hayden wrestling, Tournament of Champions in Vernal, Utah, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11 and 12
All three Routt County teams will travel out of state for a wrestling tournament that hosts 36 teams from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Soroco senior Jace Logan, 170, will be a top contender for the Rams. Juniors Tucker Havel, 132, John Slowey, 195, and Spencer Mader, 126, remain a strong core for the Sailors, and Hayden presents the strongest field, including sophomores Kyler Campbell, 106, Keenan Hayes, 152, and Hunter Planansky, 182, and freshman Dylan Zimmerman, 113.
- Steamboat Springs Alpine ski team at Aspen, Friday, Jan. 11
The Sailors will test their strengths at their first competition of the year. The girls team boasts a roster of 24. Junior Ella Pietras is a skier to watch as a state contender in the previous years, but seniors Winter Boese and Macayla Scheidt also will look to become ski meisters this season by mastering both Nordic and Alpine skiing. The boys have eight strong competitors, including returning state-qualifier and sophomore Alden Wade.
- Steamboat Springs Nordic ski team at Carbondale, Saturday, Jan. 12
The Sailors will head to their first competition of the year.
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Katie Lee graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in communications last spring, but as summer started, she hadn’t yet found a job.