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Aspen High golf hosts tourney today

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

A young Aspen High School golf team posted its best team finish of the season yesterday with a second at a Glenwood Springs High-hosted tournament at the Glenwood Golf Course.

Aspen sophomore Teddy Karlinski shot a 7-over par 77 to claim fourth place overall, two strokes off the winning pace.

AHS sophomore Wylie Melberg shot a 78 and classmate Colin Sledge shot a personal tournament-best 84 to give Aspen a combined score of 239. Glenwood Springs High won the 12-team tournament with a combined score of 229.

“We’re building,” said Aspen coach Alden Richards.

Beginning at 10 a.m. today, the Aspen team hosts its only tournament of the season at the Aspen Golf Club. Twelve teams are expected to compete, including Glenwood, Basalt, Roaring Fork, Rifle, Steamboat Springs and Montrose, the dominant Western Slope team thus far this season.

“We’re hoping Wednesday’s result springboards us into Thursday’s tournament,” Richards said.

Earlier this season, the Aspen team finished sixth at Devil’s Thumb in Delta, and finished 10th at both Tiara Rado (Grand Junction) and Deer Creek (Cedaredge).

“We’ve got one junior leading the way in Jake Smith, but we’re a young team,” Richards said.

“We’ve got a 15-man roster, our biggest ever as well, and hopefully the guys will stay focused on their game skills.”

In today’s tourney, four Aspen players will play for the varsity team and eight more will play as a junior varsity unit.

“With these guys playing this well at such a young age, there’s nothing but good things to look forward to with this team,” Richards added.

@ATD Sub heds:Football

@ATD body copy: Aspen and Basalt’s football programs fell equally on hard times last season, finishing the 2002 campaign at 1-8 overall.

It’s no surprise, then, that the two teams met during the preseason for a scrimmage to try and help one another’s cause.

Said Aspen coach Tom Goode: “It’s going to be a struggle this season and there’s no mystery about that.”

Offered rookie Basalt coach Forrest Grosh: “Our main goal is looking for improvement each and every day and changing toward a winning attitude.”

Basalt opens Friday night under the lights in Meeker, while Aspen travels to face Norwood High on Saturday afternoon.

“Everything’s been great so far,” said Grosh. “We’re trying to bring a fresh start and attitude adjustment, but we want the kids to have fun and it’s already recognizable.”

“They’re hungry for a win,” the Longhorn coach added.

Grosh said junior Justin Kovach, the team’s center, will be a force for the Longhorn this season, opening holes and creating space for senior halfback Ross Unglert and senior tight end Adam Gawrys.

Looking toward Meeker, Grosh’s first game as a head coach, he said: “They’re a strong team and they run the option and they love their tight ends.”

Grosh declined to discuss Basalt’s schemes, however. “It’s my one advantage as a rookie coach,” he said.

Aspen is more of a known quantity in the 2A Western Slope League, after fielding a varsity for the first time since the mid-1990s last season.

Tailback Dusty Stutsman, the keystone to Aspen’s offense since his freshman year, returns as the go-to guy.

“He’s obviously the heart of our offense,” said Aspen coach Goode.

While Aspen lost several defensive starters from last year’s squad, Goode said the team features a more mature offense this year.

“We’re not the biggest line in the conference, not by any means, but what I like about our guys is that they know the game and we’re capable of working with them,” the coach said of linemen Aaron Parada, Darren Gardner, Severin Goode, Will Moore and Michael Gordon.

Junior Pat Faurer returns at quarterback, along with Stutsman at tailback, senior Ben Westfeldt at fullback and Hunter Barr at wingback.

“We’re always working on our passing game to try and open up the field for Dusty,” Goode said.

@ATD Sub heds:AHS tennis

@ATD body copy: The Aspen High boys tennis team opens the season at home Saturday with a match against Hotchkiss.

Starting at 10 a.m., the match will be held at the Aspen Golf and Tennis Club.

Last year’s Skiers sent a record nine players to the state championship, and while many of those players have graduated the team is looking fine.

“I thought we might be more like a JV team, but it’s not. We’re looking good,” said Sherril Kerr, the longtime AHS coach. “And I got a gift in the form of a singles player on exchange from Germany.”

The German exchange student, named “Lassa” according to Kerr, will fill Aspen’s No. 1 singles spot, “and he’ll fill it pretty well,” the coach said.

Meanwhile, senior Will Otte and sophomores Glen Engelman and Alex Wells are currently having playoffs for the No. 2 and No. 3 singles positions.

The rest of the team – a record number, with 24 on the roster – are also in playoffs this week to determine the varsity doubles pairings, Kerr said.

The Aspen team also includes one player who travels from Glenwood to practice with the team daily, and two from Basalt. “That’s awesome dedication,” Kerr said.

As for the team’s record numbers, Kerr attributed it to the new courts at the Aspen Golf and Tennis Club, where she also works.

“It’s a direct result of the summer program out here,” she said. “All the kids played this summer and it’s really going to help build the high school program in the future.”

@ATD pullquote1:”We’re hoping Wednesday’s result springboards us into Thursday’s tournament.”


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