Steamboat Springs It's a rarity, but Steamboat Springs High School soccer coach Rob Bohlmann will certainly take it.
After a string of four games in seven days, the Sailors have had the luxury of a full week of practice in preparation for today's 11 a.m. rematch with Delta at Gardner Field.
A week ago, Steamboat played to a 3-3 tie with Delta in what Bohlmann called uninspired soccer.
This week, Bohlmann said the focus has been on fitness and tying up loose ends. The Sailors went through two intense, highly competitive practices Monday and Tuesday before taking the day off Wednesday.
"On our road trip, passion of play was a concern," Bohlmann said. "We've worked on the psychological element and playing hard. And what better place to do that (than) in practice and training."
In the previous game against Delta, Steamboat struggled to find a rhythm, playing catch-up the entire game.
Bohlmann said he expects the Panthers to come into today's game with a lot of confidence. While player-to-player, and technically, Bohlmann said Steamboat is probably the stronger group, he said Steamboat still will have to line up and play hard.
"We're at that point in the season," Bohlmann said. "We've had more than enough time, enough games, enough training outside that at this time we're playing at the level where we're not peaking but playing good, solid soccer. We have to manage the game for 80 minutes and really dictate the play instead of the opposition."
Delta's pitching might be a relative unknown, but if there's one thing Steamboat manager Dave Roy knows, it's how well the Panthers can hit the ball.
Last year, Steamboat (2-5) gave up 26 runs in the team's doubleheader with Delta.
"Their hitting is outstanding," said Roy, whose Sailors are preparing for an 11 a.m. doubleheader at Delta today. "They're 5-0 right now, so we're looking to upset them."
Steamboat will have the services of No. 1 starter Alex Wood for game one of today's doubleheader. Wood - who got a late start because of basketball - threw two innings in game one of last weekend's doubleheader against Glenwood Springs, his first outing of the year.
Wood should be able to throw five or six innings today, Roy said. Last year against Delta, Wood limited the Panthers to one run through three innings, before Delta started to string together hits.
Sophomores Alex Estes and Cody Miles also are scheduled to pitch for Steamboat.
"We're still thin from a pitching standpoint," said Roy, who will be without No. 2 pitcher Lars Johnson, who is ski racing this weekend. "It will be strong if those three can give us some quality innings."
Track and Field
The Steamboat and Hayden track teams will be competing at 8 a.m. today in Rangely. Soroco is scheduled to compete in Cedaredge. All three area schools were scheduled to compete at West Grand, but too much snow on the track forced the meet to be canceled. The West Grand meet serves as a pre-qualifier for the state meet. It will be the first meet for Soroco and one of the first times the Rams have been outside.