2012 Routt County High School Sports Awards: Games of the Year

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Steamboat's Ben Wharton, left, and Christian Ramirez celebrate after a goal Saturday against Denver East. The Sailors won the game, 9-4.

■ Steamboat

May 5, 2012: Steamboat boys lacrosse 9, Denver East 4

It’s not hard to put the game into context. It marked the first state playoff win for the lacrosse team in school history. After three straight years of bowing out in the first round, Steamboat finally broke through. After trailing, 2-1, at the half, Steamboat blew it open in the second half. Although the game may not have featured the dramatics of some others, it was hard to argue about its significance. Now with two classifications in lacrosse, Steamboat will look to win not only a playoff game but also a state title. 

■ Hayden

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Hayden's Erin Koehler, left, and Brette Frentress pick up a block Saturday during the district volleyball tournament in Oak Creek. The Tigers were at their best late, winning a thrilling five-set match against Paonia, but they were inconsistent in a pair of earlier matches against Meeker and Rangely.

Oct. 29, 2011: Hayden girls volleyball 3, Paonia 2

On paper, the match meant absolutely nothing to the Tigers. Hayden definitely was eliminated from the regional volleyball tournament, and the final match against bitter all-sport rival Paonia was but a formality to finish the round-robin circuit. Someone forgot to tell the Tigers it didn’t matter. They roared throughout a gut-wrenching five games, playing their best volleyball of the season. The final result was a 3-2 victory. It made no difference for Hayden. The season was over, but it ended Paonia’s season, as well, and it sent the Tigers home on a high fans won’t soon forget.

■ Soroco

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Soroco senior Lauryn Bruggink taps the ball over the net Friday against Hayden.

Sept. 16, 2011: Soroco girls volleyball 3, Hayden 1

The Rams weren’t mired in any kind of lengthy losing streak to Hayden, but their Sept. 16 four-game win against the Tigers still was mighty sweet, and it signaled the high tide for the team. The offense was silky smooth, the hitters powerful and the defense tough. Soroco was cruising with a 6-1 record after the match, and league and regional championships seemed within its grasp. None of that happened as the team struggled down the stretch, but that night the Rams proved when they were on their game, they could handle any opponent.

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