Matt Ray believes the Hayden boys basketball team has a chance to compete with the top teams in the conference. How competitive the Tigers are will hinge on how well they play as a team. Last season, the second-year coach at times felt the players competed as individuals rather than as a cohesive team. The team was led by seniors Levi Klapperich and Matt Weidner, who combined to score the majority of the Tigers' points.
Predicted order of finish: 1. Rifle COACH: Rick Schmitz, 12th year 1999: 7-1 and 17-5 STRENGTHS: Rifle was tied for first with Moffat County last season but eliminated the Bulldogs in the district championship game. The Bears have eight seniors, including Lisa Samuelson and Marilyn Samson. WEAKNESS: Outside shooting.
Steamboat Springs' boys basketball team exited last year's district tournament much earlier than they would have liked. Steamboat, which finished 13-7 overall, was upset by the No. 3 Rifle Bears on the Sailors' home court. But this year, the Steamboat players say there will be no fluke during postseason play. The Sailors, who shared the conference title with Delta last season, are gunning for a district championship.
For Steamboat Springs to win the 4A Western Slope Conference this season, the Sailors will need to rely on their bench, not experience. The Sailors, who were 4-4 in the conference in 1999, are counting on the size they will inherit this season from their sophomore class. That size, coupled with the talent of seniors Brienna Combs, Natalie Muth and Ashley Rogers, could lead Steamboat to its goal.
For three years in a row, the Hayden girls basketball team has reached the regional tournament. This season, the Tigers are determined to advance to the state tournament. The Tigers may have lost three starters from last year's league championship team, but head coach Donny Rolando believes the 2000 team has the makings of something special.
A 23-year-old Steamboat Springs man spent Thanksgiving Day in the Routt County Jail after he allegedly tried to rob a local convenience store in the early morning hours. Gregg Grabowski faces charges of robbery and second-degree burglary after he and another man, who remains at large, allegedly stole money from the Kum and Go, 80 Anglers Drive.
Janus Jacobs spent his first Thanksgiving at the Steamboat Springs Community Center Thursday. Jacobs, an 18-year-old from Holland, downed a soda with some turkey and stuffing as he chatted with an individual from Pennsylvania. Jacobs and his dinner companion, Greg Sklaney, were among a few hundred individuals who attended the Community Center's 10th annual free Thanksgiving dinner from 2 to 5 p.m.
Continuing a strong trend of growth even in the off-season, city sales tax revenues jumped another 7.1 percent this September as compared to September 1999. Lodging again proved a good indicator of sales tax growth, as hotels and resorts such as the Sheraton hosted group business events and continued to draw tourists to the area.
The Soroco Rams basketball squad will be more on the move this year than fans have seen in the past to make up for a lack of size in the paint. Seventh-year coach Andy Johnson has 19 players out for basketball this year. Sixteen of those boys are freshmen and sophomores.
Bob Johnson's 35th year of coaching at Soroco could be one of his best if the girls play to their potential. "We have seven seniors and they all are pretty good," Johnson said. One of the key seniors is returning starting point guard Sarah Broadbent, who will bring the ball down and be at the helm of Johnson's flex offense.
Predicted order of finish: 1. Steamboat Springs COACH: Kelly Meek, 26th year 1999: 6-2 and 13-7 STRENGTHS: Steamboat has size this year. The Sailors return all-conference honorable mention players Rusty Eck and Danny Weber to their 1999 conference championship team. Eck, a 6-foot-6-inch post player, averaged 7.5 rebounds per game last season. Weber, at 6 feet 5 inches tall, was the team's third leading rebounder. The senior twin towers will be joined by junior Alex Mackey, a 6-foot-5-inch post player, and Ryan Scheer who also brings inside game at 6 feet 3 inches tall. Scheer and Mackey played on the junior varsity squad last season.
Joan Zimmerman woke up early Thanksgiving morning, not to stuff a turkey, but to prepare for a day of work in Steamboat Springs. Zimmerman put on her blue Clark's Market shirt and left her Craig home to work in the store's bakery starting at 5 a.m.