High school sports weekend preview for Oct. 1 to Oct. 3

Joel Reichenberger

Soroco and Hayden volleyball

5 p.m. Friday: Soroco (6-4) vs. Hayden (1-7)

5 p.m. Saturday: Hayden vs. Vail Christian

The Rams have had a rough go recently, having been swept in three of their last four matches. What could possibly be better for the team than a get-well match against Hayden, which Soroco easily handled in three sets earlier this season? Maybe a homecoming-night win against a cross-county rival is exactly the elixir the Rams need.

Or, maybe it’s not. Hayden’s coming off its first win of the season, a four-set match against De Beque. Maybe that win will jumpstart the Tigers, sparking an inspired performance and a surprising win at a time when the Rams are reeling. There will be good athletes on both sides of the net, and these head-to-head showdowns often bring the best out of them.

Playing again Saturday against undefeated Vail Christian, the Tigers will have an even tougher task. Watch out for Vail star Taylor Alexander.

Hayden football

7 p.m. Friday: Hayden (1-2) at Rangely (1-4)

Hayden’s going to need to play its best game of the season so far if it’s to get its second win. Hayden and Rangely teams clashed in an epic game a year ago on a cold, miserable night in Hayden.

Rangely, undefeated at the time, eventually won in overtime, but it was still a defining highlight of the year for the Tigers.

This Rangely team may not be as good as that one was, but it should be plenty tough, especially at home. Senior running back Kiki Ruiz leads the team and has racked up two 100-yard rushing games so far this season.

Soroco cross country

Friday: Soroco at Delta

Running with a reduced squad, Chloe Veilleux led the way for the team last weekend at a meet in Glenwood Springs, placing ninth in 22 minutes, 23.57 seconds.

Veilleux has been among the Rams who’ve fared well all season against larger schools within the region, and Friday’s trip to Delta offers another chance to do just that.

Steamboat football

7 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat (2-2) at Grand Junction Central (3-1)

There’s no break for the Sailors following last weekend’s rout against Delta. They’ll face another grueling test Saturday on the road.

Central has relied upon a very balanced attack, led by junior quarterback E.J. Barrera, who’s thrown for 11 touchdowns this season. Freshman Cade Baleweg has run for six scores and leads the team with nearly 100 yards rushing per game.

In the one game the Warriors did lose, they got lit up through the air to the tune of nearly 500 yards and five touchdowns. Steamboat’s been better suited to run the ball with Joe DeLine early this season, but if it’s to pull off an upset Saturday, it will need to find a similar crack in the defense.

Steamboat soccer

1 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat (7-1) vs. Palisade (1-9)

The Sailors are coming off back-to-back overtime victories against two of the top teams they’ll face this season. If, when they play at home at 1 p.m. Saturday against Palisade, they make it three OT games in a row, something will have gone horribly wrong.

The Bulldogs have been outscored 46-5 since losing to Steamboat, 6-1, early in September. All the coach-speak words about “one game at a time” and “there’s no day off in this league” are appropriate — indeed a loss or a tie would be a huge setback — but this game should be one with offensive fireworks, and they should be launched from Steamboat shoes.

Steamboat volleyball

6:30 p.m. Thursday: Steamboat (10-2) at Summit (4-5)

1 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat vs. Rifle (1-9)

The Sailors had a letdown last week, losing at home to Eagle Valley. That was more an issue of Eagle Valley being really good than Steamboat lacking focus, but perhaps it will help that focus anyway as it will be key this weekend in a pair of games against low-tier league opponents.

Summit’s the more dangerous of the two. The Tigers have several league wins and have had good stretches elsewhere in losing efforts. Rifle, meanwhile, hasn’t won a set in a match in nearly a month. Anything can happen, of course, but as long as the Sailors come out focused, they could put on an efficient, victorious show at home Saturday.

Steamboat cross country

Saturday: Steamboat at Moffat County

The Sailors put on a show running at home last week, but it’s back to competition this week as they make the short trip Saturday to Craig. That will mean plenty of terrain and competitors they’re familiar with, which should make for an exciting race.

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

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