Routt County prep sports weekend preview for Oct. 10

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Steamboat Springs football

7 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (4-2) at Palisade (6-0)

With a 28-27 victory Friday, Palisade beat Rifle and secured its spot at No. 1 in The Denver Post high school football poll. So, Steamboat knows just how high of a mountain it needs to climb Friday. The Sailors must begin by slowing Bulldogs’ two-headed running attack. Running back Dalton Hannigan has averaged nearly 12 yards per carry and has scored a dozen touchdowns this season while quarterback Levi Hoaglund has been gaining a measly 8.85 yards per carry while tacking on another 250 yards passing for 14 overall touchdowns.

The Sailors survived a slow start again Battle Mountain a week ago, but Palisade beat Battle Mountain, 70-0. Obviously, if there’s to be an upset, Steamboat will have to get started on the task from the opening kickoff.

Steamboat Springs volleyball

6:30 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (10-5) vs. Delta (4-11)

1 p.m. Saturday: Steamboat vs. Palisade (4-12)

Presented with two struggling teams, Steamboat has a chance for a sweep in its Friday and Saturday games, and it’s an opportunity the Sailors can ill afford to let slip away. Steamboat sustained a five-set loss to Delta earlier this season, but the Panthers haven’t won much of anything since then, going 1-4 in their ensuing games. Steamboat beat Palisade, 3-0, earlier this season, and while the Bulldogs have played better since then, they haven’t entirely righted their ship and have gone 1-4.

The Sailors sit in fourth place in the Western Slope League, and it will take a strong finish to the season to alter their fate. Tuesday’s three-game sweep of Summit was an excellent way to start, but the team will need to stay that hot, and two big games in front of home crowds are the perfect place to do that.

Steamboat Springs soccer

7 p.m. Friday: Steamboat (7-5-1) at Glenwood Springs (4-8)

The Sailors body-slammed Palisade to get back on track after a tough loss to Battle Mountain, now Steamboat looks to maintain momentum against Glenwood. Steamboat beat the Demons, 2-0, three weeks ago as Carter Kounovsky scored two goals. The Western Slope has become a muddled mess in the past week as Delta beat the two league leaders, Summit and Battle Mountain. Unfortunately, that all has helped weigh Steamboat down into fourth place. It will be difficult for the Sailors to finish above that at this point, but every game still is very important if the squad hopes to make the postseason. If it can’t lock down one of the automatic playoff-qualifying spots, the team’s record needs to be as good as possible, and that means no stumbles against Glenwood.

Steamboat Springs cross-country

3:30 p.m. Thursday: at Rifle

Thursday’s meet at Rifle marks the final dry run before the Steamboat Springs High School cross-country team jumps into the regional meet Oct. 18 at Delta. The Sailors didn’t compete last week, running in participation with the school’s homecoming festivities, so this will be their first competition since a Sept. 28 meet.

Steamboat Springs tennis

Thursday, Friday and Saturday: state tournament in Pueblo

The Steamboat Springs High School tennis squad will send seven players to the Class 4A state tennis tournament in Pueblo, a group led by senior Ben Wharton. He emerged as a regional champion at No. 3 singles a week ago while the No. 1 doubles team of Quinn Cain and Zach Dunklin, No. 3 doubles team Mathew White and Joe Borgerding and No. 4 doubles team Nick Sear and Peter Wharton also qualified. Wharton is slated to open play against an opponent from D’Evelyn. The Sailors will need to be at their best to medal in the season-ending tournament, but Steamboat isn’t far removed from logging great days in Pueblo, and 2013 could offer more.

Soroco volleyball

5 p.m. Saturday: Soroco (2-12) at Meeker (9-5)

The Rams rejoiced last weekend when they picked up their first and second wins of the season. Saturday’s matchup against Meeker is a tough, tough way to follow up that excitement, however. The Cowboys are second in the league behind undefeated Paonia.

A win Saturday for Soroco seems like a long shot, but the Rams have nothing to lose and as much confidence as they’ve had in years. Taking a set should be seen as a big step for a rebuilding program. The Rams are on a roll and will enter the game plenty pumped up.

Hayden volleyball

6:30 p.m. Friday: Hayden (9-4) at Little Snake River Valley, Wyo. (9-3)

3 p.m. Saturday: Hayden at West Grand (7-8)

It wasn’t unexpected, but it was a bump in the road all the same Saturday when Hayden lost against Paonia, falling in three sets. First place in the Western Slope probably already was out of reach for the Tigers, as is second as Paonia and Meeker figure to fill in there. If Hayden can continue to play well, it can lock up the third seed in the district tournament, and that would give the team a promising opportunity to advance.

Hayden has to continue to take care of business, however. Friday’s game against Wyoming’s Little Snake River Valley won’t weigh in on the district standings but should offer the team a chance to see how it’s improved since losing in a three-set sweep early in the season. Saturday against West Grand, the Tigers need to be on as a slip against a team on the lower half of the league could be costly. Hayden easily handled West Grand in the first meeting, but it’s never simple getting out of Kremmling with a win.

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

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