High school sports weekend preview, Sept. 26-27
September 24, 2014
Hayden and Soroco volleyball
Steamboat Springs — 6 p.m. Friday: Hayden (3-9) vs. Soroco (6-4)
2 p.m. Saturday: Hayden vs. Little Snake River, Wyoming
This one will be fun. It wasn't even a month ago the intra-county rivals first clashed this season, and that night, Hayden could do little to slow the Rams, who won in a three-set sweep.
The rematch seems anything but decided, however. Both teams have enjoyed ups and downs since. Hayden has seen tremendous growth from its underclassmen, who've helped erase the idea that the team's fate is entirely dependent on senior Jordan Temple.
That rise culminated in a five-set win against a salty West Grand squad.
Soroco, meanwhile, hasn't been as good in the weeks since its win against Hayden, going 2-4 with wins against league bottom dwellers Vail Mountain and De Beque.
To win Friday, Hayden will need a whole team effort, and it will need a creatively swinging Temple to be the exclamation point. Soroco, on the other hand, will need to use its size to win at the net while finding that all-around team cohesiveness that marked its fast start to the season.
7 p.m. Friday: Hayden (2-2) vs. Rangely (4-1)
Four games into the season and know this young Tigers team isn't ready to hang with the eight-man elite, as lopsided losses against Merino and DaySpring Christian illustrated. We also know the Tigers can take advantage of weaker teams, as their big wins of the last two weeks attest.
We're about to find out how Hayden fares against teams closer to its own level.
Rangely has racked up more than 80 percent of its yards rushing with the junior-senior tandem of Troy Ruiz and Ethan Allred accounting for nearly 1,000 of those yards and 11 touchdowns. Hayden was muscled out by rush-heavy attacks early this season, and to win Friday — homecoming for the Tigers — the team will need to show substantial improvement in that department.
4 p.m. Saturday: Soroco (1-2) vs. Norwood (5-0)
Norwood's entrance into the conference this season immediately shifts the balance of power. Basically, until someone proves otherwise, all that power resides with the Mavericks, who only lost to eventual state champ DaySpring Christian by 1 point in last year's state semifinals.
Norwood's just as strong this year, 5-0 and currently ranked third in the state by CHSAANow.com.
For Soroco, it's another game where the team has to play mistake-free football. That includes limiting turnovers, taking advantage of every offensive opportunity it gets and playing assignment-sound, solid-tackling defense.