Steamboat Springs High School coach Rob Bohlmann said his squad was realistic Sunday as it waited for the release of the Class 4A playoff bracket.
It also was optimistic that despite an up-and-down season, the Sailors would be included in the 32-team field, and it was from that optimism that the disappointment stemmed.
Steamboat didn’t make the cut, thus ending Steamboat’s season. The team’s last game was a Thursday loss to Summit, which did make it and was seeded 31st.
“We were disappointed,” Bohlmann said. “We knew we had lost a little stock on Thursday night, but looking at all the different teams and the finishes from around the various leagues, we were optimistic. We thought we deserved a spot, but it wasn’t to be.”
Having failed to earn one of the Western Slope League’s four automatic qualifier spots, Steamboat had pinned its hopes to eight at-large berths. It wasn’t selected, however, and the seeds of other Western Slope teams may offer a clue as to why.
Battle Mountain is the league champion, the only undefeated team in the state, the top-ranked team by the Colorado High School Activities Association and the No. 2 team in the Denver Post poll. The squad was slotted No. 6 in the tournament.
Summit, the No. 19 team by those CHSAA rankings, got the No. 31 seed.
Steamboat, the No. 31 team, was left out entirely.
“In my mind, Battle Mountain is the best and most exciting teams and watch and play in the state and they got No. 6,” Bohlmann said. “We’re going to have to earn respect the old fashioned way, and I think our Western Slope teams that are in the tournament will have a lot of success this year.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com