Weekend Prep Wrap: SSHS tennis back on top
Steamboat Springs — Another week of prep sports is in the book, meaning we are that much closer to regional and state competition. Local high school teams had a mixed bag of results this weekend, with a lot of it going about as expected. Let’s take a look at all the action from Thursday to Saturday and see what stood out.
Winning a regional championship certainly qualifies as having a good weekend, so the Steamboat Springs High School boys tennis team gets this spot. The Sailors competed at its Class 4A regional in Grand Junction on Thursday and Friday, ending Aspen’s three-year reign atop the region and qualified 10 players for the state tournament this week in Pueblo. SSHS won 14 consecutive regional titles from 1998 to 2011.
Steamboat will send two singles players — No. 2 Charlie Smith and No. 3 Chase Adams — along with all four of its doubles teams, to the state tournament. Smith, the No. 1 doubles team of Matthew White and Joe Borgerding, No. 2 doubles team of Max Lynch and Ethan Paulus, and No. 3 doubles team of Nolan Connell and River Fox-Welch, were all regional champs.
Smith, a junior, made the state quarterfinals in 2014, as did seniors White and Borgerding. As a team, the Sailors tied for 11th at state last season.
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Soroco High School junior Issac Jonas may take the snaps, but he has proven himself to be much more than only a quarterback. While it was the play of Eric and Jace Logan that got the Rams started in an eventual 42-28 win against Rangely on Friday in Oak Creek, it was Jonas that finished it off.
In a bit of a must-win game, Jonas finished with three touchdowns and two interceptions, showing his athleticism in the process. His first score came on a 22-yard interception return to give Soroco a two-score lead right before halftime. He opened the second half with another interception (alas, no TD return), before his impromptu 82-yard touchdown run late in the quarter. He added a 49-yard TD run in the fourth (that’s two carries, two scores and 131 yards … not bad).
Soroco, 2-4, has the week off before finishing the regular season against Plateau Valley and Hayden, both winnable games for the Rams.
What was learned
Maybe we aren’t just learning this, but the SSHS boys soccer team is really good. Winners of eight straight games, the Sailors showed off on both sides of the ball Saturday against a good Glenwood Springs team. There was the first-half offensive explosion, which saw four SSHS goals scored by four different players. Then, when the team wanted to focus on defense in the second half, it shut down a Glenwood team that had scored twice in the first half.
At 10-1 overall, there is a lot of reason to be hyped about Steamboat’s postseason chances. The Sailors still have four regular season games remaining, and they are all big. A trip to Eagle Valley on Tuesday should be a wild one, and SSHS coach Rob Bohlmann expects there to be a lot of emotion from both teams, especially after SSHS escaped with a 2-1 overtime win Sept. 24 at Gardner Field.
Then, SSHS will host Delta for senior day Thursday, a team it beat 1-0 on Sept. 12. Saturday it’s off to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for a game against Centaurus, and then the regular-season finale at Battle Mountain on Oct. 22. The finale could very well decide the Western Slope league title. Battle Mountain is the only team to have beaten SSHS this season.
Find out this week
This is a big week for area volleyball teams. There is Steamboat Springs, which at 14-2, looks similar to one of the best teams in the state. Since a 3-1 loss at home to Eagle Valley on Sept. 24, the Sailors have won five straight matches, losing only one set in the process. If they want to be taken seriously, wins against Palisade and Delta on Friday and Saturday, both at home, are a must. SSHS has beaten both already, but it had to earn it both times.
With only one win this season, Hayden volleyball is hoping to finish the season strong. It won’t be easy with back-to-back matches against a good North Park team coming up, including senior day Saturday, but it’ll have a chance to finish the season out with a second win when they travel to De Beque on Oct. 24.
Soroco volleyball is the biggest question mark. How good are the 8-5 Rams? The weaker teams haven’t been able to sniff them, but the Rams haven’t been able to beat many of the better groups its played. It’ll get a chance to show their progress this week when it plays at Vail Christian on Thursday and host West Grand on Saturday. Vail swept Soroco on Sept. 29 in Oak Creek, while West Grand did the same to the visiting Rams on Sept. 25.
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The Longevity Project event, sponsored by Steamboat Pilot & Today, has shifted from in-person to virtual. The keynote speaker Kevin Hines contracted COVID-19, and he will now be presenting his talk remotely.