The week in prep sports
September 10, 2012
Steamboat football: Beat Summit, 21-19
Steamboat Springs — What happened: Christian Ramirez threw three touchdowns passes to help the Sailors snap what had become a 10-ton losing streak, broken at 22 games. Skyler Kauf had 7 receptions for 176 yards and two scores. Steamboat went ahead by as much as 21-6 but had to hold on down the stretch as Summit struggled back.
What we learned: Not a whole lot matters more than the ending of that streak, amazing in part because it started with a loss in the state championship game three years ago. We can learn a lot more in coming weeks, like just how heavy that streak was for the Sailors. Summit didn't look like the worst team on Steamboat's schedule, and if the Sailors could build a 21-6 lead on them, there's no reason to think the Sailors can't win several more games and take a huge step toward rebuilding.
Next: Steamboat (1-1) plays at 7 p.m. Friday at home against rival Moffat County.
Soroco football: Beat Justice, 64-6
What happened: Soroco cruised to its second lopsided win in as many games this season, routing the thoroughly overmatched opponent. The Rams led 43-0 after the first quarter. Senior quarterback Nic Paxton scored six touchdowns, four of them passing. Ryan Jeep had two of those TD receptions, and Matt Regan and AJ Anderson each had one. Paxton also ran for 81 yards.
What we learned: It can be difficult to judge games like this, but Soroco has been so outstanding in each of its games this season that it's probably safe to draw some conclusions. One thing to remember is that all those gaudy stats came in just one half of action from the varsity starters. Coach David Bruner said his team has chapters of its playbook it hasn't even had to open yet thanks to the big wins. It also was impressive the way the JV team kept the pace with Justice. The most important lesson so far, though: The offensive line may be coming together. That was a huge question mark coming into the season because most of the starters were going to see their first serious varsity minutes. Bruner said Jaxon Ovard, Nate Ragan, Cody Constine, Dillon Koler and Cooper McCullar — all juniors — have stepped up. "They're really doing a great job," he said. "They're still making mistakes here and there, but they're just inexperienced. I'm really pleased with their progress.”
What's next: More of the same? Soroco (2-0) plays at 7 p.m. at home against twice-routed Plateau Valley (0-2).
Hayden football: Lost to No. 1 Dayspring Christian, 28-17
What happened: The teams traded blows throughout, but Hayden had a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter. Dayspring Christian took the lead with an 18-play, 70-yard drive that survived three third-down conversions and was capped with a fourth-and-9 touchdown pass. Hayden's attempt to respond stalled on a slightly flubbed fourth-and-2 play deep in Dayspring territory.
What we learned: The Tigers may not have won in their first big 8-man test, but they passed it. They entered the game ranked No. 4 by the Denver Post. Their ranking will drop no doubt, but they proved they can play with top-tier competition, and that's been fairly rare for teams in the region recently. Eastern Plains teams have dominated the division since Western Slope teams started playing 8-man, but this was the closest game any area team has played against an eastern powerhouse. Hayden still lost against a Dayspring team that was without one of its top players, but nonetheless, the Tigers taking a lead into the fourth quarter seems significant.
What's next: Hayden (1-1) hits the road to play Rocky Mountain Lutheran (0-3) Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Denver.
Volleyball: Steamboat goes 1-1, Soroco 0-2, and Hayden 0-3
Soroco was swept in three games against West Grand and Vail Mountain.
Hayden, meanwhile, lost all three of its games in a Moffat County tournament, falling in two games each match in the best-of-three games format. The Tigers lost to Basalt, Olathe and Aspen.
First-year coach Christene Planansky said the Tigers seem to be rattled early this season after going through constant coaching change — she's the third in three years — but that they improved as the weekend went along. The Aspen match was the closest, with Hayden falling 25-23, 27-25.
"That was the best they've played out of everything I've seen them do," Planansky said.
Steamboat, meanwhile, beat Aspen in two games but also lost to Olathe in two.
What we learned: A year after all three were competitive, the Routt County high school volleyball teams struggled in their first big weekend of action, each stumbling out of the gate to some degree. It could be a sign that it's going to be a long season, or it could just be that some early-season ironing out is required.
What's next: Soroco plays at 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Vail Christian, and Hayden plays Little Snake River at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at home. Both matches should make for very tough tests, but also for opportunities to show progress. Steamboat is back in action at home at 1 p.m. against Summit.
Steamboat soccer: Beat Rifle, 4-0
What happened: Steamboat scored all four of its goals in the middle 40 minutes of the 80-minute game, spreading the ball around and taking advantage of the Rifle defense.
What we learned: It's no surprise, but Saturday was more evidence that Steamboat is good. The Sailors demonstrated great patience on offense Saturday, passing the ball around frequently to find better looks. They're one of the programs in the region that other teams aspire to.
What's next: Steamboat (3-0) plays at 4 p.m. Tuesday at home against Battle Mountain (2-0).
Steamboat tennis: Played at Western Slope Open tournament in Grand Junction
What happened: Stefan Sortland led the way for the Sailors, placing fourth at No. 3 singles. Gabri Erspamer and the No. 1 doubles team of Corbin Diehl and Ben Wharton were sixth in the tournament.
What we learned: Steamboat has a lot of learning to do, but coach Don Toy said the team is well on its way. The Western Slope Open is typically one of the toughest events of the year, and that made for a brutal learning curve for the fresh-faced Sailors. It was invaluable experience, Toy said: "You can just watch those kids, even the older ones, in each match and see how much they improve."
What's next: An important test against a regional rival. Steamboat plays Aspen at 4 p.m. Friday at home.
Steamboat cross-country: Raced at Battle Mountain
What happened: The Sailors recorded a pair of seventh-place team finishes Saturday at a Battle Mountain High School meet. Alexandra Tumminello led the way for Steamboat's girls, finishing the 5-kilometer course in 25 minutes, 22 seconds. Lena Barkier was 40th overall, Kelly Borgerding was 47th, Lindsey Adler was 48th, Bailey Pugh was 49th, Carissa Anderson was 51st, and Madeline Martin was 52nd.
Colton Lewer led the boys squad, finishing in 21:25 and in 22nd place. Hunter McLean was 32nd, Tyler Scott was 36th, Charlie Tisch was 40th, Ben Lingle was 46th, Tanner Morrison was 50th, and Erik Rudolph was 55th.
What’s next: The team runs Friday at Heritage.