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Sailors swap homecoming dates

Scheduling mistake forces annual events into October

— The boys and girls of Steamboat Springs High School have a little extra time to get up the courage to ask that special date and to select the perfect outfit.

High school administrators announced Monday a scheduling mistake has forced them to move this year’s Homecoming Week festivities. They were originally planned for the week of Sept. 19 to 25, built around a home football game against Conifer, a non-league opponent.

The contract to play that game — the first in a home-and-home series between the programs — stipulated that the 2016 game was at Conifer, however, not in Steamboat. Seeing as an away game would be a considerable drag on the homecoming spirit, Steamboat officials scrambled to reschedule the event.

Now it’s set for the week of Oct. 3 to 8, built around an Oct. 7 home — definitely home this time — football game against Roaring Fork.

“We were under the impression Conifer was coming here on the 23rd, and they had us as going there,” Steamboat principal Kevin Taulman said Monday. “It was just a mistake.”

Taulman said the mistake was revealed Friday when the two schools communicated about their differing schedules. The non-league football schedule is organized and game contracts signed by athletic director Luke DeWolfe, who was out of the office Monday.

The annual homecoming dance will now take place Oct. 8, the day after the Roaring Fork football game.

Steamboat typically tries to schedule as many of its sports teams at home as possible during Homecoming Week. That was the reasoning behind moving a planned home volleyball match against Eagle Valley from Sept. 14 to Sept. 24.

The schedule for Oct. 3 to 8 isn’t as kind, though it’s not bad.

The boys soccer team plays at home Oct. 4 against Rifle, and the volleyball team is home Oct. 6 against Summit. The cross country team is on the road at Delta, however, and the tennis team will spend Thursday and Friday at the regional tournament in Grand Junction.

Another complication is that the October weekend is a three-day weekend for students, meaning some families already have plans to be out of town.

“A lot of families use that time to get out of town and do college visits,” Taulman said. “It’s unfortunate.”

Two girls high school-aged teams from the Steamboat Soccer Association are also scheduled for a tournament that weekend in Denver.

Taulman did say that had administrators been operating with the correct schedule from the start, they’d likely have settled on the same weekend for homecoming anyway. The football team now has four home games, Sept. 2 (too early), Friday (still a little early), Oct. 7 and Oct. 28 (too late and senior night).

On the bright side, the contract with the DJ hadn’t been signed yet.

“We looked at a number of different options,” Taulman said, including the prospect of splitting the dance from the rest of the festivities. “When you’re doing homecoming royalty and announcing king and queen and you’re not doing it that Friday night at the football game, we thought that would be more detrimental than the other things.”

As for the football team, coach Lonn Clementson found another bright side — the team gets an unexpected home game next year, when Conifer actually comes to visit.

“Football is all about adjusting,” he said.

Plus, the team still has the opportunity to play five home games instead of the four on the schedule. The Sailors have started the season 0-2 so it will need to buckle down, but it is possible.

“If we do our job and start winning some games and do well in the league, we will get to play more home games,” he said. “Now it’s on us to win enough to get a home playoff game.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9


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