Routt County prep sports roundup for Sept. 16

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

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

What happened: Rocky Mountain Lutheran had some success running the ball, but Hayden still had no trouble winning the game and improving to 2-1. The Tigers excelled in all phases. Greg Frentress scored a pair of touchdowns, one running and one on a pass from Isaac Bridges. Dan Engle also scored twice, on a long breakaway run and on a punt return. Bridges had three scores, two passes, the other to Jack Redmond, and a 50-yard run.

What we learned: We learned Hayden’s not bad. The Eagles aren’t close to the level of some of the league competition the Tigers will see later this season, but they aren’t pushovers, either. With three lopsided games — two wins and a loss — it’s a bit tough to know what to make of Hayden at this point, but the Tigers took care of business, and that’s a strong sign.

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

Soroco football (3-0) defeated Plateau Valley, 53-6

What happened: The Rams got two defensive touchdowns to complement a strong offensive performance, getting scores from Storm Veilleux and Ian Palyo among others. They gave up just 71 yards to Plateau Valley’s offense.

What we learned: As with Hayden, it’s difficult to know what exactly to make of Soroco’s romp against an inferior opponent. Soroco showed its not as reliant on a quick-hit spread offense as it has been in past seasons. The Rams still need to show that their depth and grind-it-out can hang with more powerful opponents.

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

Steamboat football (2-1) defeated Moffat County, 57-15

What happened: Steamboat got a huge win against its rival, scoring in all aspects of the game to pick up its biggest victory since 2009. Billy Clark scored on a kickoff return to open the game, then scored another touchdown soon after on an interception return. Mitch McCannon also returned a punt for a score and had two receiving touchdowns.

What we learned: Steamboat’s relative success last year was about more than one strong class, and in fact the Sailors have built a strong program. With a winning record and an emotional high it hasn’t enjoyed in years, the team has a chance to capitalize against another rival Friday against Glenwood Springs.

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

Hayden volleyball (4-2) defeated West Grand, 3-1, and North Park, 3-2

What happened: Hayden struggled through sections of both of the week’s matches but found the strength to win two crucial ones. It trailed in both matches, 1-0 against West Grand and 2-1 against North Park. The Tigers responded strongly both times, surging to piece together a three-match winning streak.

What we learned: Thursday’s win against West Grand showed as well as anything that at its best, Hayden can use both power and smarts to make up for a lack of size. It remains to be seen whether that will fly against some of the big hitters in the Western Slope conference, but for a team that was 0-6 at this point last year, heading into the conference with hope marks a tremendous amount of progress in a short period of time.

What’s next: Hayden vs. Vail Christian, 5:30 p.m. Thursday

Steamboat volleyball (7-2) defeated Summit, 3-1

What happened: Steamboat got a combined 19 kills from Maddie Robinson and Mikaila Jegtvig, then strong play at the net from Taylor Herrington as it beat up Summit in the Western Slope opener, 3-1. Steamboat jumped out on top, 2-0, then closed it out in the fourth game.

What we learned: Consistency paid off for Steamboat on Saturday. Coach Wendy Hall said the team played its best, most consistent game at the net. With a solid defensive effort from Alexis Len, who had 27 digs, it was enough to start off league play on the right foot.

What’s next: Steamboat at Palisade, 6:30 p.m. Friday

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

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