Routt County high school sports roundup

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Editor's note: The Steamboat Springs High School football team's record has been corrected below.

It was a busy weekend in local high school sports. Here’s a recap of what you may have missed, plus a bit of analysis and a quick look ahead to what’s next for local fall sports teams.

Hayden football (2-1) defeated Rocky Mountain Lutheran, 48-6

What happened: Easily beat Rocky Mountain Lutheran, 48-6, although the Tigers didn’t exactly play their cleanest game. Several long plays were called back early due to penalties. Still, the result was never in doubt. Most drives lasted only a few plays, and the Tigers starters were on the bench and a running clock was established by halftime.

What we learned: Not a lot. We knew the Tigers were good because of their returning seniors’ previous success, the way they manhandled their opponent in the season’s first game, and the way they hung with No. 1-ranked Dayspring Christian. On Friday, they did what a good team should, knocking Rocky Mountain Lutheran out early. Dan Engle had his best game of the young season, scoring five touchdowns. His ability to gain yards could be key this week against Soroco’s quick-strike offense.

What’s next: Soroco at Hayden, 7 p.m. Friday

Soroco football (3-0) defeated Plateau Valley, 63-0

What happened: The Rams looked powerful and won with ease, going up 42-0 in the first quarter to set the running clock. They didn’t have a drive of more than three plays in that period, thoroughly dismantling Plateau Valley.

What we learned: We learned Friday night’s game against Hayden has the potential to be a great game between county rivals. Plateau Valley obviously was a team with serious problems. It had only 10 total players. But the Rams were as efficient as could be expected against a field of tackling dummies. It was hard to not be impressed.

What’s next: Soroco at Hayden, 7 p.m. Friday

Steamboat football (1-2) lost to Moffat County, 56-27

What happened: Steamboat couldn’t make it a winning streak after coming out on the wrong end of a wild game against the Bulldogs. A spat of turnovers proved too much as the Sailors couldn't rally from a 28-point deficit.

What we learned: The Sailors are fun to watch. Yes, it’s another loss, but Steamboat showed both heart and offensive pop Friday. The Sailors were down 35-7 in the first half but pulled within one score by the end of the half, and they had a chance to tie it in the third. Christian Ramirez can win games with his arm, but his four interceptions also really hurt. Either way, it should keep Friday nights in Steamboat exciting.

What’s next: Steamboat at Glenwood Springs, 7 p.m. Friday

Hayden volleyball (0-6) lost to Little Snake River, 3-1, West Grand, 3-0, and North Park, 3-2

What happened: Hayden is still struggling. Obviously it was better Saturday when it took North Park to five games, but the Tigers did handle what was a two-win Wildcat team twice last season.

What we learned: Soroco and Hayden are in a similar boat, both teams trying to toughen up inexperienced rosters for varsity league play as fast as possible. That’s meant some frustrating matches for the teams to this point, but it could make for an interesting showdown Tuesday, when the two squads face off.

What’s next: Soroco at Hayden, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Soroco volleyball (1-4) lost to Vail Christian, 3-0, and Rangely, 3-1

What happened: The Rams have plenty of steps they need to take, but they may have been victims of a rough schedule to some extent this weekend. Vail Christian has been one of the best teams in the region in recent years, so there’s no shame in losing there. Rangely also is off to a hot start.

What we learned: Consistency is a problem. The Rams came out and won their first game against Rangely but followed that up by scoring just 13 points in the next game. Momentum shifts like that will knock out any team.

What’s next: Soroco at Hayden, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Steamboat volleyball (6-3) beat Summit, 3-0

What happened: Steamboat flexed its muscles to beat the Tigers and go 1-0 in the league. All three games were close pretty much from beginning to end, but the Sailors came up with the big hits when it mattered most.

What we learned: Winning close games is a sign of strength. Steamboat won its three games by 7 points, 4 points and 4 points. All three were closer as the teams approached 20 points, but the Sailors got the best of the end of each game, and that’s a good sign going forward. Alex Feeley and Gabby Heron stood out, finishing with 15 and eight kills, respectively, and tall junior Maggie Crouch had a nice afternoon at the net, showing she could continue to grow into the role as the season progressed.

What’s next: Steamboat at Eagle Valley, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Steamboat soccer (3-3) loses to Summit, 1-0, and Palisade, 4-2

What happened: Steamboat scored eight goals in its first three games, all wins, and just two in its next three, all losses. Pushed up against strong defenses, the Sailors crumbled.

What it means: Where are those Sailors who were 3-0 and looking strong a week ago? That team was patient and disciplined. The Steamboat that played Thursday against Summit looked flustered and careless. Surely a change in competition didn’t help, but the change in demeanor seemed to also reflect on the scoreboard. Three games in four days didn't help, either.

What’s next: Steamboat at Glenwood Springs, 7 p.m. Thursday

Steamboat tennis lost to Aspen, 4-3, beat Evergreen, 5-2

What happened: The Sailors set Friday’s dual against Aspen as a chance to measure themselves against a regional rival. They were left wanting as they lost four of the day’s matches. Saturday offered some sweet relief as the team picked up some nice wins down the lineup.

What it means: The balls had only barely stopped bouncing before Steamboat was talking about attaining revenge against Aspen. Indeed, the teams seemed so close you may be able to toss them together 10 times and get different scores in each. The Sailors will have a lot on the line in the rematch, which should at least in part take place in two weeks.

What’s next: Steamboat travels to play Friday against Fossil Ridge.

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