Luke Graham: Games that resonate
May 24, 2010
Steamboat Springs — It's tough to compare one year of high school sports with others, but in terms of pure success, it's hard to argue with the accolades earned by Routt County high school athletics in 2009-10.
The Steamboat Springs High School football team made it to the state championship game. The Soroco High School football team was a quarter away from going undefeated.
The Hayden High School boys basketball team made the state playoffs, and Tigers junior Treyben Letlow put together a remarkable wrestling season. Soroco delivered multiple state champions in track and field.
It's hard to whittle down a year to individual moments, but here are the five games that stick out to me, in no particular order:
■ Oct. 23, 2009 — Norwood 41, Soroco 20, in a season-ending football game
With no chance of postseason play because of Colorado High School Activities Association rules, this was the Rams' state championship game. It pitted a pair of 7-0 teams against each other. Soroco led, 20-18, late in the third quarter, before Norwood's powerful running game took over. Despite the loss, Soroco proved it belonged in eight-man football, finishing the year, 7-1.
■ Oct. 27, 2009 — D'Evelyn 1, Steamboat 0, in the first round of the boys state soccer playoffs
While Steamboat was unable to get the victory, the game had everything that makes soccer great. Start with the snow that blanketed the field. D'Evelyn scored a fluky goal in the first half, before Steamboat dominated the second. The Sailors had opportunity after opportunity in the second half, including four straight corner kicks at one point. Just great action for the last 40 minutes.
■ Nov. 5, 2009 — Steamboat 30, Glenwood Springs 21, in the final game of the football regular season
Steamboat locked up the Western Slope League title and set itself up for a storied run in the playoffs. This was a game that had it all. It featured two teams going back and forth, and one of the more remarkable individual performances in recent memory. Steamboat's Joe Dover caught a touchdown pass, blocked a field goal, picked off a pass, completed a pass, rushed for 124 yards, made 13 tackles and made possibly the biggest fourth-down conversion of the season.
■ Feb. 27, 2010 — Hayden 63, Meeker 58, in the Class 2A district basketball tournament
After getting beat by Meeker by 10 points earlier in the season, the Hayden High School boys basketball team dropped Class 2A's No. 1 team.
The win earned Hayden a No. 1 seed in the regional tournament and vaulted them to a spot in the eight-team state playoffs. As they did most of the season, Hayden got balanced scoring from all over the place. Four players scored in double digits as Hayden dealt Meeker its first loss of the season.
■ May 8, 2010— Fairview 10, Steamboat 9, in first round of state lacrosse playoffs
Even though Steamboat made the playoffs in 2009, it was this year's playoff game that showed the Sailors belonged. The team battled with Fairview the entire time, even having the run of play several times. Steamboat tied the game at 9 with less than two minutes left, before Fairview won it in the last 35 seconds.