Let’s make those lights shine bright | AspenTimes.com

Let’s make those lights shine bright

If ever there was a night to come out and cheer on the Aspen High School football team, this is it. It’s homecoming weekend, and the Skiers are facing their downvalley rivals, the Basalt Longhorns.

It’s rare that you get to face your biggest rival on homecoming weekend, but that’s hardly the only thing that should make this a good contest. It’s the league opener for both teams, and it’s a good matchup, given the new life injected into the Skiers by coach Mike Sirko.

This also will be the first time that Aspen has hosted Basalt on its new field under the lights.

Are you ready for some football?

For all the controversy surrounding the hiring of coach Sirko, husband of Aspen School District Superintendent Diana Sirko, he appears to have had a powerful effect on his players. Even Basalt coach Forrest Grosh acknowledged to the Times this week that the Skiers are “a different team than in the past.”

All of which bodes well for tonight’s game, the rest of the season and, frankly, this whole community. A competitive football team in a fine new venue is something this entire town can support (with the possible exception of a few grumpy neighbors), and God knows Aspen can use a common cause to rally for, simply as a counterpoint to all the political bickering.

And the action on the gridiron isn’t the only thing happening tonight. The Aspen girls also will host Basalt on the volleyball court, in what looks to be another competitive match. Basalt’s undefeated volleyball team looks primed for another state run, but Aspen always tends to give its rivals a good game.

This is the stuff that small towns are made of, and this looks to be a fun and exciting evening no matter which side you’re on. (As The Aspen Times editorial board, we must throw our support to the Skiers, although we’ll take the Longhorns against almost anyone else.) Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

While we’re at it, we’ll go ahead and urge everyone with an interest in prep sports to check out our Meet the Teams special section in today’s paper. Part of our mission as a community newspaper is to avidly follow high school sports, and this special section should give readers everything they need to know at the outset of the fall preps season.

Go Skiers!