Steamboat Springs On Monday, Sailor soccer player Daniel Barney and his teammates basked in the warm autumn sun at Emerald Park before practice.
If he was concerned about facing No. 4 Mullen this week in the state playoffs, it was hidden somewhere behind his broad smile and energetic outlook.
"So we got a tough draw," Barney said. "If you look at the brackets, it's not that bad. If we can beat them, then things should get a lot easier because we don't have to face a top seed in the next game. We will just have to prove ourselves early."
It's that attitude and an incredible team chemistry that has defined the 13-3 Steamboat Springs High School boys soccer team this season.
The squad has overcome adversity several times this season, so the idea of getting a tough draw in the state seeding didn't seem to be that big of a deal to the players.
"We will earn our respect the old fashioned way -- one game at a time," Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said.
The coach said he was disappointed when he learned the Sailors had been seeded 13th out of 16 teams in this year's state playoffs. He was equally shocked to learn that Western Slope champion Rifle was slotted 12th and will have to face No. 5 Pueblo Centennial. He also was surprised Battle Mountain was placed 16th and will face No. 1 Liberty this week.
Bohlmann didn't expect his team to be seeded behind teams such as Niwot, whom Steamboat beat early in the season.
He expected one of the teams from the Western Slope to crack the top 10.
But the coach doesn't want his team to lose focus this week just because of the seeding. Instead he is hoping to use it as fuel for his team's drive toward a state title -- one game at a time.
While the Sailors know they will be facing Mullen, the day and time of the game have not been determined. Bohlmann said he is hoping for Saturday, but said the game could take place as soon as Thursday.
Kate Parke, Steamboat Springs athletics secretary, said she expected a decision on the game time sometime today.