Steamboat Springs What happened: Hayden got to Soroco’s quarterback and stonewalled the Rams’ offense. The Tigers won the day with speed, exercising it on defense by being everywhere they needed to be and on offense by zipping through and around the Rams for big gains.
What does it mean: Hayden is one of the very best teams in the state. That much was obvious when the Tigers came up just short in a slugfest with 8-man No. 1 Dayspring Christian, but Friday’s win helped erase any doubt. Hayden still has several tough games on its regular season schedule, but its now the favorite to finish atop the league and earn a favorable matchup in the cross-divisional week.
What’s next: Hayden hits the road Friday to play at 2-2 Rangely.
What happened: Hayden stymied Soroco early with a couple of interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead. The Rams eventually scored to make it 14-7, but they never got their high-flying passing attack on track. The Tigers, meanwhile, stretched the field on offense and found plenty of room to roam.
What does it mean: It means Soroco isn't ready to take the big step against good teams, and that the Rams will be playing for second in their division. Their primary competition for that honor will be Vail Christian, which travels to play in Oak Creek on Friday, and West Grand. The top two teams from the league earn home game for the first postseason game, a cross-divisional matchup likely against a powerhouse Eastern Plains squad. The third- and fourth-place teams are on the road for that round, so the Rams have plenty to play for.
What’s next: That crucial showdown against Vail Christian begins at 7 p.m. Friday at Soroco High School.
What happened: Steamboat hung in early but couldn’t match a relentless Glenwood Springs offense the rest of the way. The Sailors could do little offensively after losing senior quarterback Christian Ramirez to an injury.
What does it mean: Friday was a step back for a team that won two weeks ago and was competitive last week with Moffat County. A lot of that has to do with Ramirez, whose experience behind center has shown early this season. Coach Lonn Clementson said Monday that Ramirez was undergoing tests for a concussion and that it was unclear when he might return to the lineup.
What’s next: The Sailors return home to play at 11 a.m. Saturday against Montezuma-Cortez.
What happened: The Sailors took one step forward but two back against Western Slope competition. The win against Eagle Valley was nice, but coach Wendy Hall said the team “lacked a little fight” in its three-game sweep Saturday at the hands of Delta.
What does it mean: Losing back-to-back three-set matches at home is never good, but the team has the chance to make up for it with a pair of important league matches this week.
What’s next: Steamboat welcomes Glenwood Springs to town Thursday, then plays at home again Friday against Eagle Valley.
Soroco volleyball (1-7) lost to Hayden, 3-1,, lost to Plateau Valley, 3-0, and lost to Paonia, 3-0
What happened: The Rams wavered between competitive and not so much during a Saturday sweep against Paonia. A handful of strong stretches weren’t enough to give Soroco the win it needs to turn around its season.
What does it mean: Coach Kim Reeves pointed out that her team isn’t exactly young, but it did enter the season lacking much in the way of varsity experience. The team’s record may not indicate that the players are putting the experience they’re quickly gaining to good use, but Reeves said she’s seeing exactly that.
What’s next: The Rams get another crack at Hayden, playing Friday at home against the Tigers.
Hayden volleyball (1-7) beat Soroco, 3-1,, and lost to Vail Christian, 3-2
What happened: The Tigers got their first win of the season against Soroco but couldn’t make it two in a row, falling at home to Vail Christian on Saturday afternoon.
What does it mean: A little momentum will surely help a program clearly struggling, and a win against the Rams and a close call against Vail Christian does show forward progress. It’s hard to ask much from any program that’s on its third coach in four years, but the Tigers seem to be getting back on their feet.
What’s next: Hayden plays Tuesday in Baggs, Wyo., against Little Snake River, hoping to avenge a 3-1 loss from earlier this season.
What happened: Steamboat wasn’t thrilled to be taken to overtime Thursday against Glenwood Springs, but it got the win it needed to break what had been a three-game losing streak. The Sailors slipped back to the losing side with a 1-0 loss Saturday at Evergreen.
What does it mean: Even with a 1-1 record, it was a productive weekend. Coach Rob Bohlmann said the Evergreen loss wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. He said his team just missed on a handful of chances to tie the game.
What’s next: The Sailors play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Eagle Valley.
Steamboat tennis lost to Fossil Ridge, 6-1, and Poudre, 5-2
What happened: The Sailors traveled to play against top-tier Front Range competition and the going was rough. The No. 2 doubles team of Quinn Cain and Nick Mathews won the only match against Fossil Ridge, playing, as coach Don Toy said, “beautifully.”
What does it mean: Toy said his players forced third sets on a number of occasions but that they couldn’t close many of those out. Regionals looms a week away, and he said the team will need a more consistent effort there to come out on top.
What’s next: Steamboat’s last regular season dual is on the road Wednesday against Peak to Peak.
What happened: The boys won the meet and both boys and girls runners racked up strong finishes and good times.
What does it mean: The “good times” part is the important part. Running an inherently slower course and in a much smaller field of competitors — i.e., fewer people to latch on to and stick with — the Sailors lowered their times. That’s the mark of an improving team.
What’s next: The Sailors run at home on Saturday morning.