The Friday night lights will showcase high school football tonight in Basalt.
The Longhorns will play their home opener at 7 p.m. today against a familiar, longtime rival — the Roaring Fork Rams.
“We’re definitely back working on fundamentals this week,” Basalt head coach Carl Frerichs said. The Longhorns played an early, zero-week game at Paonia last weekend, falling 30-8 to the big and beefy Eagles.
“We struggled with their size,” Frerichs said of a Paonia front line that averaged 200 pounds per player. “They were so big.”
He said the Longhorns knew the Eagles would be strong this year, with a roster of upperclassmen — many of whom helped Paona win back-to-back state wrestling titles.
“It was an eye-opener to struggle like we did,” said Frerichs, who lost four starters by halftime with injury.
He said the Longhorns are eager to get back on the field for tonight’s nonconference game.
Younger players, he said, will have an opportunity to step in against the Rams, who will be playing their first game of the season.
They’re led by former head coach Tory Jensen, who has returned to lead Roaring Fork High School football. He coached the Rams into the playoffs on a consistent basis in the 1990s and 2000s.
Senior quarterback Tanner Nieslanik will lead the Roaring Fork offense.
Other returning players include senior Nate Nieslanik, junior Adrian Chavez, senior Mitch Brown and sophomore Conrado Dolores.
The Rams, Class 1A, will play another 2A football school in the valley next weekend. Roaring Fork will host Aspen on Friday, Sept. 6.
The Skiers, meanwhile will play at Ignacio tonight after making the six-hour bus trip to the Four Corners. The nonleague game will match the 2A Skiers from the Western League against the Bobcats from the Class 1A Southern Peaks League.
The game is the first for both schools.
Aspen will return to the valley for next weekend’s game in Carbondale against Roaring Fork.
Then, on Sept. 13, the Skiers will make a return trip to south-central Colorado when they play at Pagosa Springs to open the Western League season.
The Aspen High School volleyball team will open the 2013 season today and Saturday at the annual Glenwood Springs Invitational.
The Skiers will play Denver Lutheran at 12:30 p.m. today. The Aspen girls will play Nucla at 5 p.m. today.
On Saturday morning, the Aspen volleyball team will play Vail Christian at 8 a.m. in the Glenwood tourney.
The following weekend, the AHS volleyball team will play in Craig at the Moffat County Invitational.
The Skiers don’t open the home season until Sept. 19 when they host Coal Ridge.