AHS, BHS face off tonight in Basalt
For the first time since 1994, Basalt High and Aspen High are facing off in varsity football.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Basalt Middle School stadium.
“Under the lights!” Aspen coach Tom Goode exclaimed Thursday. “The kids are looking forward to it, no doubt.”
Aspen and Basalt both opened the season with a pair of losses to non-league opponents; tonight’s game is both teams’ Class 2A Western League opener.
“Starting league play is exciting, knowing that the first two games were win-win situations for us because they weren’t league games,” Goode said. “The kids have an opportunity to clean the slate off.
Aspen revived varsity football this season after two years with a junior varsity. In 1994, football was discontinued at AHS due to dwindling participation. Basalt, meanwhile, is also struggling to rebuild its program. BHS coach Kent Shorten could not be reached for comment Thursday.
“There’s always that buzz when these kids meet in any sport,” Goode said. “Most of the kids all know each other anyway.”
“On the football side of it, I’m really proud to say that we have a very good relationship with Basalt ? there’s a camaraderie between the players and the coaches,” Goode continued. “I wish them all the success in the world because it’s great that we both have programs now.”
And besides, as Goode admitted, “If I wasn’t coaching Aspen, I’d be a big Basalt fan.”
Aspen lost its varsity debut 30-14 on Aug. 31, then fell to Grand Valley 20-12 last Saturday. Basalt, meanwhile, lost to the larger Class 3A Glenwood Springs 44-0 last Friday.
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Aspen High School girls soccer coach Chris Ellis could have told you the team would be facing a strong opponent in the first round of the state playoffs well before the bracket was released on Sunday. With only a 16-team field this spring, any squad that found itself among those few had to be solid.