Aspen girls head to Vail for opener

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The Skiers are ready to tip off a new season.

The Aspen High School girls basketball team will take to the court today in Vail for the season opener and the opening game of the annual Vail Christian Tip-Off Tournament.

The Skiers, led by first-year coach Rolf Schildman, will take on Boulder’s Shining Mountain Waldorf School at 1 p.m. today at the Vail Christian gym, located west of Vail.

The Skiers will play host Vail Christian at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the second day of the season-opening tournament.

“We’ve got some seniors who are looking good right now,” Schildman said. “But you never really know how it will go until you get on the court.”

Schildman, familiar in valley basketball circles, coached the Basalt High School boys team last season, leading the Longhorns into the postseason playoffs.

Schildman said he was happy to get a teaching and coaching job in Aspen. He’s a world history and geography teacher.

“We’re trying to put it together,” he said of the preseason workouts for the Skiers. “I’ve gotten to know the girls, and I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” Schildman said.

He added that the opening games are always difficult in the transition to a new system.

Plus, he said, the Skiers lost a valuable practice day with Wednesday’s snow day, when school and activities were canceled.

“And we had a week off for Thanksgiving,” Schildman said, adding that the Skiers are eager to kick off the season today against the Lions of Shining Mountain.

The Skiers are scheduled to open the Class 3A Western Slope League season on Dec. 10 at Grand Valley (Parachute).