Basalt football lands No. 9 seed, will travel to No. 8 The Classical Academy
The Basalt High School football team is in the playoffs, and that’s all that really matters for coach Carl Frerichs. The Longhorns (7-2) landed as the No. 9 seed in Class 2A when the brackets were announced Sunday, and will play Saturday afternoon at No. 8 The Classical Academy (6-3) in the first round.
Kickoff is tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. in Colorado Springs.
Despite finishing No. 6 in RPI (Rating Percentage Index), Basalt fell one spot short of hosting a first-round game.
“We feel good wherever we would have fell, just because we are excited to be in and we feel like focusing on us is really the most important thing,” Frerichs said. “We are confident in our team. We are confident in what we can do. So just getting in the playoffs is really what matters for us and then taking care of ourselves is what we really need to focus on.”
Basalt is one of four 2A Western Slope League teams to make the postseason from the six-team league. Rifle (9-0) landed the No. 1 seed and will face No. 16 Englewood (7-2) in the first round. The winner of that game will play the Basalt-Classical Academy winner in the quarterfinals, a game BHS would host if it gets there.
Also in from the WSL are No. 4 Delta (8-1), which faces No. 13 Pagosa Springs (5-4) in the first round, and No. 15 Moffat County (5-4), which faces No. 2 Sterling (8-1). Just missing out on a postseason bid was Aspen (4-5), which lost to Basalt on Friday in their regular-season finale, 17-14. Moffat had the higher computer ranking despite a 28-0 loss to Aspen on Oct. 11.
“I was a little surprised that the three top seeds from our league were all on the same side,” Frerichs said. “But I also think it shows the respect for the Western Slope League when four teams are making the playoffs out of six teams.”
La Junta, which beat Platte Valley in the 2018 state championship game, snuck into the 2019 playoffs as the No. 14 seed. Platte Valley is back as the No. 6 seed.
The teams were seeded based off a compilation of numerous ranking systems. In 2A, all league champions automatically qualified and the rest of the 16-team field was picked based off RPI. Rifle finished No. 1 in RPI, Delta No. 4, Basalt No. 6 and Moffat County No. 14. Aspen finished at No. 20, and thus was left out of the bracket.
The 16 qualifying teams were then seeded based off a combination of RPI, the CHSAANow coaches poll, the MaxPreps rankings and the Packard Ratings. This was all boiled down to one number, with The Classical Academy just edging Basalt for the No. 8 seed and the right to host a first-round game.
The Titans should be somewhat familiar, as they hosted Aspen in the first round of the 2017 state playoffs, winning 36-24 in what ended up as coach Karson Pike’s final game in his two-year stint with the Skiers.
Frerichs said The Classical Academy reminds him a lot of D’Evelyn, which Basalt has faced a couple of times in recent playoff games. Basalt beat D’Evelyn in the first round last year, winning 26-14 on the BHS field before a 46-9 home loss to Platte Valley in the second round.
“They look big up front. They run the spread on offense. They definitely look like they have some good schemes and they know what they are doing,” Frerichs said, noting he has never coached against The Classical Academy in his now decade-plus stint at Basalt. “They didn’t make the playoffs last year, but before that they were usually a playoff team every year. So I think they are confident in their situation and what they can do, and they definitely have a tradition of some really good football players.”
The Classical Academy has three losses this season, one coming against No. 2 seed Sterling and another against No. 3 seed Resurrection Christian. The Titans finished the year with a surprising 28-20 loss at Woodland Park, which didn’t make the playoffs. Basalt’s two losses came against No. 1 seed Rifle and No. 4 seed Delta.
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High school sports are back. At least, things seem to be trending that way. As it stands, what is being dubbed “Season B” can begin practice on Monday, Jan. 18, with competition slated to get underway a week later.