Soroco boys busy building chemistry ahead of 2021-22 season |

Soroco boys busy building chemistry ahead of 2021-22 season

OAK CREEK — The Soroco High School Boy’s basketball team boarded a bus Friday morning and headed for Gunnison, where the players watched the Western Colorado University men’s basketball team compete in a home tournament. The trip was not only be a fun way to kick off holiday break but a team-bonding excursion perfectly timed ahead of the season start.

The trip will allow the upperclassmen and underclassmen to get to know each other off the court, which should translate to greater teamwork on the court. Ahead of the 2021-22 season, chemistry is the biggest weakness of the team.

“Staying in the hotel rooms, staying up late, long bus rides, they all help,” Kirby said. “That’s what we like about going to tournaments. Yes, you play a lot of good teams, its competitive, but that’s how you build chemistry, spending all that time together.”

The four seniors and four juniors are very experienced, bringing talent and wisdom to the team, helping the 10 freshmen and sophomores who have seen little to no varsity time. The number of players with experience is a benefit, but the younger players have a lot of catching up to do.

“We got a lot of guys we just encouraged to come out,” senior Jed Kirby said. “Guys who have never played middle school or high school. So there’s a learning curve to it.”

Gregory thinks the team has shooting skills and speed, which makes for a fine lineup. Combined with height, the Rams should be pretty good.

“In the past, we’ve either had size or speed, and this year, we’ve got quite a bit of both,” Kirby said. “You can’t call us a small team, but we’ve still got the speed, and top to bottom, we’re all good shooters.”

Aside from building relationships between teammates, the Rams also need to work on rebounding. In early season practices, Gregory hasn’t seen anyone aggressively grabbing balls off the backboard, which will have to change if they want to see success. He also thinks defense will be something the team spends a lot of time working on.

Kirby is most looking forward to seeing the Rams take on Vail Christian, which Soroco hosts Feb. 4.

“This year, they’ll be really good; they didn’t lose anybody last year,” Kirby said. “We want to be the best, and to be the best, you got to beat the best. Right now, they’re that top-tier team.”

Gregory is curious to see how the Rams will fare Jan. 22 against Meeker, another Western Slope team that’s good.

“Meeker is always solid. We struggle with them,” he said. “Jed’s sophomore year, we beat Meeker once, but after that, we’ve struggled with Meeker.”

The Rams have plenty of time to build chemistry and improve defense before taking on the best in the region. Soroco is hoping not to play in a district play-in game and move right into the tournament, win and have a shot at regionals, maybe even state.

“We’ve got the talent to make the state tournament,” Kirby said. “We’ve just got to find the mindset.”

Soroco Boys Basketball Schedule

Dec. 9 - vs. Palisade, L 83-33

Dec. 10 - Tournament L 82-31, L 49-47

Jan. 7 - at Olathe, W 52-50 (OT)

Jan. 8 - vs. De Beque, W 52-42

Jan. 11 - vs. North Park, 6 p.m.

Jan. 14 - vs. Cedaredge, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 15 - at Rangely, 4 p.m.

Jan. 22 - at Meeker, 1 p.m.

Jan. 29 - vs. Caprock Academy, 4 p.m.

Feb. 4 - vs. Vail Christian, 4 p.m.

Feb. 5 - at West Grand, 4 p.m.

Feb. 11 - vs. Hayden, 7 p.m.

Feb. 18 - at North Park, 4 p.m.

Feb. 19 - vs. Plateau Valley, 4 p.m.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.