Hayden Hayden's football and volleyball teams will compete tonight in key matchups against conference rivals.
The football team will host its first Western Slope conference game of the season when the powerhouse West Grand Mustangs come to town. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The volleyball team will travel to Collbran where it will take on Plateau Valley. The junior varsity will take the court at 5 p.m. The varsity is expected to take the court at 7 p.m.
The Tigers football team will be looking to end a two-game losing streak when it hosts the Mustangs. Both teams come in with 1-2 records.
It has been seven years since the Tigers knocked off the Mustangs, though.
"West Grand is always tough," said Kevin Kleckler, the Tigers head coach for the past three years. "They are kind of down this year. This is the year to knock them off."
The key to the game will be stopping the Mustangs' two tight-end set and their ground game, he said.
"We have had an up and down week of practice," he said. "Tuesday, we had a real good practice, but Wednesday we took pictures, which was a tough day."
Hayden lost its past two games and is looking to bounce back against West Grand.
The team lost to Nucla, 55-16, Sept. 9 and lost last week to Norwood, 48-0. The tigers opened the season with a win over the Moffat County Bulldogs junior varsity squad.
"It will be extremely important for the athletes to come back and give it their all every single play," Kleckler said.
Unlike the football team, the volleyball team enters its contest with Plateau Valley on a winning streak.
"The team is playing very well," said Sally Brach-Morton, assistant coach. "They are doing a nice job. I expect us to do well against Plateau Valley."
The Tigers won their first match of the year last Friday when they defeated the Soroco Rams in three games. It was Kip Rillos' first victory as the head coach of the team.
On Tuesday, the Tigers defeated Moffat County's junior varsity squad in three games. The Tigers are 2-3 overall and are 1-2 in league play.
"The team is showing good poise," Brach-Morton said. "When they are getting down in games they are showing the ability to come back. I expect we will go down there and play good ball."
The match up against the Cowboys is the Tigers fourth league match of the season. Earlier this season, Hayden dropped matches to West Grand and Grand Valley.
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org