High school sports preview for Dec. 12

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Soroco, Hayden and Steamboat wrestling

6 p.m. Friday: Soroco vs. Saratoga, Wyo.

9 p.m. Saturday: Soroco, Hayden and Steamboat at Soroco Invitational

9 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat at Wheat Ridge Invitational

Local wrestlers will get their first chance to perform for the home crowd Saturday when Soroco High School plays host to a tournament that will include not only the Rams but also all of the Hayden squad and much of the Steamboat Springs team.

Action gets underway in Oak Creek at 9 a.m. with finals expected to begin by 2 p.m.

“It’s always stressful hosting a tournament, but we have to do this stuff,” Soroco coach Jay Whaley said. “The more wrestling we have in Northwest Colorado, the better for the sport. We’re getting back to where we’re doing it again, and that’s really good.”

Soroco will actually wrestle at 6 p.m. Friday, too, playing host to a home dual against Saratoga, Wyo. Then Saturday, the tournament will draw nine teams: Soroco, Hayden, Steamboat, Buena Vista, Rangely, Battle Mountain, Lake County, Monarch and West Grand.

Whaley said he was a little disappointed with his team’s first outing last weekend at Middle Park High School. The Rams got a second-place finish there from Cody Constine. Two other wrestlers finished .500, but on the whole, the team struggled.

There’s no better place to turn things around than at home.

“I hope our kids show growth and improvement every week. That’s what we’re after,” Whaley said.

Steamboat will also send several wrestlers to a tournament at Wheat Ridge High School.

Hayden and Soroco boys basketball

3 p.m. Thursday: Soroco vs. Little Snake River High School

4:30 p.m. Thursday: Hayden vs. Fruita-Monument, JV

Both the Hayden and Soroco boys basketball teams will compete Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Cowboy Shoot-Out in Meeker.

For Soroco, which opens up at 3 p.m. Thursday against Little Snake River High School, from Baggs, Wyo., the weekend still will be about breaking in the team. The Rams cruised to a comfortable win Tuesday in their season opener against North Park, getting a boost from senior Matt Regan off the bench.

Getting Regan back into the sports flow and eventually into the starting lineup will be key for Soroco.

“It will be good basketball. Three straight games will get us back into game shape,” coach Jake Eskridge said. “We made a lot of mistakes Tuesday that I knew we would make. Our ball handlers are young right now and have a lot to work on.”

Hayden will open at 4:30 p.m. against Fruita-Monument’s junior varsity squad. The Tigers, who have been slowed by a long string of injuries early this season, will be looking for young players to fill some of the shoes currently vacant thanks to injuries.

“We want to see our kids executing, getting up some shots and giving a strong defensive effort,” coach Mike Luppes said. “We’ve got young kids, and they need to step up, hustle and work hard.”

Steamboat hockey

8 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (2-0) at Resurrection Christian (0-1)

6:15 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat at Chatfield (0-3)

The Sailors got a fantastic start to their season last weekend with a pair of wins — one thrilling, one lopsided.

Now, the team will try to capitalize on those victories as it continues its long season-opening road trip with two more Front Range dates. The team would like nothing more than to carry a winning streak into a Saturday showdown with rival Aspen.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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