Colbert’s Prep Playbook: The end of the fall sports season is getting near

Last week I wrote about the start of league play in football. This week, let’s talk about the fast-approaching season finales for many teams. It’s amazing how quick it can go by, as I feel most fall sports just got started.

But, as we might find out midweek, winter is fast approaching (and bring it on, I say — my snowboard has been caged long enough).

Let’s break this down by how soon said season will end.

Golf, Tennis

As you hopefully know, golf season ends Tuesday with the final round of the state tournament. Aspen, somewhat surprisingly, was tied for first after a round and in position to repeat as state champions. Basalt had some work to do.

Next on the list will be boys tennis, as Basalt and Aspen both go to regionals Friday. The season will end for any players who don’t make the regional championship and qualify for state, which is next week in Pueblo. BHS, in only its second varsity season, faces an uphill battle to qualify. Aspen, however, will have a chance to qualify its entire team to state should it bring its best to regionals.

Softball, Cross Country

For Aspen and Basalt softball, the regular season will end this week. Both teams play their final home games Tuesday. AHS will wrap it up with a trip to Montezuma-Cortez on Thursday, while Basalt should have its eyes set on next week. The Longhorns, ranked No. 5 in 3A this week, are 20-1 overall and went undefeated in league play. Nothing has yet been confirmed, but all signs point to Basalt hosting its regional tournament next week, likely Oct. 19. After beating up on the Western Slope all season, I’m excited to see what BHS can do against the best in the state. They could legitimately make a run in the state tournament.

Both cross country teams still have a little something left in the regular season, but the Oct. 18 regional is well within sight. Basalt will host the regional at Crown Mountain Park, after Aspen hosted it last fall at Aspen Golf Club. BHS junior Sierra Bower won the regional last year, and I’d be willing to bet she’ll win it again in about a week. She’s on a short list of runners statewide who could win the 3A state championship, which is held Oct. 26 in Colorado Springs. Don’t sleep on the AHS girls, either, as they will be a factor at both regional and state.

Football, Volleyball, Soccer

These teams still have a little ways to go. The regular season ends in football Nov. 1 when Aspen hosts Basalt. AHS is pretty much in a must-win situation the rest of the way in order to make the playoffs, while Basalt is rolling at 5-0 and ranked No. 7 in Class 2A. Hopefully one of them can make a run deeper into November.

Aspen volleyball has games scheduled through Halloween, while Basalt’s season is set to end Nov. 2. Not sure either team has much of a shot at any sort of postseason, but with about three weeks to go there is certainly time to make moves in terms of RPI. Both teams are kind of hovering in the 50s right now.

The regular season in soccer won’t quite make it to the trick-or-treating, with Basalt’s finale currently scheduled for Oct. 24 and Aspen’s on Oct. 26. As far as postseason goes, only Roaring Fork is a lock here in the valley (they have an RPI of 3 as of Monday night). If the season had ended Monday night, Basalt might have snuck into the playoffs as they have an RPI of 30 in Class 3A, with 32 teams making the 3A state tournament. Aspen’s RPI is only 52, so they’ll need to start stacking up some wins in order to get in.

With neither football team at home this week, this is a good chance to check out the AHS boys soccer team. The Skiers host Roaring Fork at 6 p.m. Friday under the lights on the AHS turf.