Steamboat Springs Summer is rounding the corner and heading into the final straightaway.
Maybe the clearest sign of approaching autumn is the start of high school sports next week.
Monday marks the 92nd season of Colorado High School Activities Association-sanctioned high school sports.
Golf is the first sport that can begin sanctioned practices. All other fall sports — cross-country, boys soccer, volleyball, football and boys tennis — officially can start practice Aug. 13.
“This is always a fun week for me,” Steamboat golf coach Steve Dodson said.
The golf team will have an 18-hole qualifier Monday at Haymaker Golf Course. On Tuesday, the team will have a skills competition, and Wednesday will feature another 18-hole qualifier.
The team's first competition is Thursday in Battlement Mesa.
Dodson said he anticipates having 20 players show up Monday for what traditionally is one of the fall's strongest sports teams. The Sailors will be helped this year by Andrew Donner, an assistant pro at Haymaker.
“We brought in some new blood with some real professional teaching techniques,” Dodson said.
Last year, junior Erik Sobeck was the lone member of the team to qualify for the state golf tournament. Sobeck shot a 79-87 to place 63rd in the state tournament.
Dodson said the goal always remains the same for the team: He expects to compete for a team spot at the state championships.
“That’s always been our goal. That won’t change,” Dodson said. “I know a lot of the kids aspire to that goal. I know Erik Sobeck wants to go back. He’s got more to prove. It’s a highlight of any high school kid's career.”
This year's regional tournament is in Cortez, with the state championship to be held at Montrose.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com