Preps preview: Steamboat volleyball’s having a ball but just how far will momentum take the team? |

Preps preview: Steamboat volleyball’s having a ball but just how far will momentum take the team?

The Steamboat Springs High School volleyball team has won five straight. It'll be a challenge to keep that streak going Saturday.

Steamboat football

7 p.m. Friday Steamboat (1-6) vs. Aspen (6-1)

Playing at home against rival Moffat County, Steamboat looked last week as good as it has in any game this side of its rout of hapless Roaring Fork. That wasn't good enough to keep things interesting into the second half, but it was a step.

Tanner Raper helped get things rolling offensively by establishing the option run, but the team couldn't maintain that momentum when he went out with an injury.
Whether he's back or not, Steamboat will need to move the ball and, in something that was definitely missing against Moffat, score when it gets into the red zone, if it's going to stay competitive with Aspen.

Steamboat volleyball

6:30 p.m. Thursday Steamboat (9-9) vs. Summit (4-12)
1 p.m. Saturday Steamboat vs. Glenwood Springs (14-2)

The Demons are cruising to their first winning season since 2013, and some of that success has been at the expense of the Sailors. Glenwood's already beat Steamboat twice this season and will try to make it a three-for-three sweep Saturday.

That outcome may take more work than the previous two if Steamboat can keep up the furious level of play that has in recent weeks rescued its season. The team has now won five consecutive league matches and raised its record to 9-9 after sitting at 4-9 overall at one point this fall.

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The Sailors head into this weekend's action as confident as they've been since the start of the season and playing perhaps their best volleyball since 2015, when they won the Western Slope League. Saturday's home showdown with Glenwood will be a test of just how much they've improved.

Steamboat and Soroco cross country

Friday at Delta for regional championship

Both the Steamboat Springs and Soroco high school cross country teams have proven strong enough in the last two seasons to take a little drama out of the regional championship. There will be Sailors and Rams running the week after regionals at the state championship, but which Sailors and Rams?

Both girls teams are in very favorable positions to advance. Steamboat girls have the No. 2 ranked team in all of Class 3A. Soroco is ranked eighth in Class 2A and is slotted in second in its region.

The question will be how many boys can join the girls in qualifying. All runners who finish in the top 15 will qualify, and the top four teams will qualify, as well.

Both the Steamboat and Soroco boys stand to qualify several individuals — especially the Rams, who likely have a regional champ in senior Ben Kelley — but both teams will need to race well to make the cut for state.

Soroco football

7 p.m. Thursday Soroco (5-2) vs. West Grand (7-0)

The way Gilpin County has established itself as one of the top two teams in the league, beating Soroco along the way, has taken some juice out of this matchup, but the Rams can accomplish plenty with a win Thursday and inject themselves into a three-way tie atop the league.

That's a pretty tall order as West Grand is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the state in 8-man football by The Mustangs have given up just two touchdowns all season, and they haven't scored less than 40 points in any games. That may well be too much for the Rams to overcome, but they do have the offensive firepower to pull off an upset.

That firepower starts, of course, with running back Jace Logan. He was occasionally slowed in big games last season, but no one's yet stopped him this year, so if he's getting some help from other offensive threats, and if the Rams are finishing drives, it's easy to imagine Soroco trading offensive blows with West Grand.

Winning, though? It would take a great game, but that's possible to imagine, too.

Soroco volleyball

6 p.m. Thursday Soroco (6-12) vs. West Grand (10-7)

Things are looking up for the Soroco volleyball team. It bounced back from an ugly first set to win the next three and best rival Hayden last week, then followed that win up with another tight victory, this time in five sets against Plateau Valley.

The Rams have a tough task against West Grand, 7-3 in the league, but something seems to be clicking for the them, so Soroco's in the right place for an upset.

Hayden football

7 p.m. Friday Hayden (4-3) vs. Plateau Valley (2-5)

The Tigers' playoff odds got long after last weekend's loss against Gilpin County, but they're still playing for one of their best finishes in recent seasons and for a spot in the middle of the league.

Plateau Valley, which has struggled this season to an 0-3 league record, offers that chance. Soroco teed off on the Cowboys with a fierce running game a week ago, and Hayden could do the same.

It'll be a big chance for the Tigers' quarterbacks and running backs such as Garrett St. Clair, Daylon Frentress and Patrick Hunter to rack up yards and touchdowns.

Hayden volleyball

6 p.m. Friday Hayden (4-12) at North Park (5-10)
1 p.m. Saturday Hayden vs. Plateau Valley (6-9)

The Tigers had a setback last week when they lost on the road against Soroco, a team they'd edged out in a matchup earlier in the season, but they weren't without highlights in that match and bounced back in a very nice way, blasting Vail Christian in a three-set sweep. Now they'll try to carry that momentum into two potentially winnable matches that will close out the regular season schedule.

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