Routt County prep sports teams open winter season

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Hayden boys basketball

6:30 p.m. Thursday: Hayden at Soroco

There isn’t a better way to start the winter season than with a little cross-county action. Hayden comes in with high hopes, returning 85 percent of its scoring and six of its top seven rebounders from a year ago. Soroco will be led by guard Nic Paxton and hulking post Ryan Jeep. Rivalry games like this are made for late season so enjoy this pre-holiday treat.

Hayden and Soroco girls basketball

Thursday to Saturday: Meeker Cowboy Shootout

Both teams have lots of questions. Each roster will feature young players filling in, but each school has top-notch coaches in the Rams' David Bruner and the Tigers' Michell Wilkie. The Cowboy Shootout usually draws some of the top smaller schools in the region and will help gauge where each program is.

Steamboat, Soroco and Hayden wrestling

9 a.m. Saturday: Middle Park Tournament

All three area schools meet in Middle Park for the first tournament of the year. Hayden remains the dominant area wrestling program, but Steamboat and Soroco each return several strong wrestlers who should have a shot at the state tournament.

Steamboat girls basketball

6:30 p.m. Friday: Steamboat at Roaring Fork

Noon Saturday: Steamboat at Basalt

This could be coach John Ameen’s deepest and most talented team. Getting everyone healthy is the biggest concern. On paper, Steamboat should be fine in this tournament, playing against a pair of smaller schools. Figuring out his rotation is the biggest thing for Ameen right now.

Steamboat boys basketball

8 p.m. Friday: Steamboat at Roaring Fork

3:30 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat at Basalt

The Steamboat boys are young and inexperienced, looking like they’ll start two sophomores and two juniors. This will be an introduction for most to varsity basketball. Junior guard Carter Kounovsky is the only returning starter. Steamboat will struggle early, but there is plenty of talent in the sophomore class.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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